Chinese New Year is one of the most celebrated festival among the Chinese community in the world.
It is also known as Spring Festival where the spring season enters into the new year with warm weather where everyone started to prepare for the upcoming festival.
In order to prepare welcoming Chinese New Year, our family members are always busy at least 1 month prior with shopping for items, food, cleaning and decorating our home with lucky charms.
These are the 5 things that we had to do in order to welcome Chinese New Year with auspicious wealth and health.
- Spring Cleaning
- Chinese New Year starts on Feb 8th this year (the first lunar month of the Chinese Calendar, I don’t know anything about this!) and ends on the 15th day of the month which is known as “Chap Goh Meh”
- It is compulsory to clean every corner of the house in order to sweep or wash away all the back luck from last year so that we could welcome “good luck” into out home.
- Hence, we had to discard broken utensils,hardware items, torn clothes and under garments, replace dead plants with new bright plants, cleaning the windows, changing the curtains, bedsheets, sweeping and moping the floors for every bedrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen and even the toilets.
- This is the time of the year where kids and teenagers became useful helpers around the household.
- However, nobody is suppose to sweep the floor and not allowed to wash any laundry on Chinese New Year Eve and the next 3 days.
- It is believed that the Fortune of God will be coming to our home on those days. So, don’t sweep away your luck!
2) Pay Off Your Debts
- According to Chinese beliefs, especially business men and employers, it is compulsory to settle company or personal debts which includes giving out salaries to employees and “Red Packets” to welcome good luck to their business. I always looked forward to this moment of the year!
- In order to start the New Year, one has to have a “clean record” as debts are considered as bad luck. No debts for me!
- Do not bear grudges with friends, family members and clients. This is the best time to shake hands, forgive and forget about the past. Psst!Just for this festival!
- Most business related people would distribute boxes of oranges to clients because Mandarin oranges symbolize “gold ingots“. That means money and luck.
- It is considered uncultured to receive and not give back Mandarin oranges. As if you are taking another person luck and wealth. My mom told me so!
3) Buy New Clothes
- I love shopping trips! Shopping for brand new clothes, under garments and shoes for the whole family.
- Try to buy red , orange or yellow color clothes which symbolize gold and luck.
- All shopping malls would offer Big discounts, free vouchers and free gifts to attract customers to purchase more.
- Spending money with your salary and bonus always ends up here. Sigh!
4) A New Hair Cut
- This is the time where barber shops and hair dresser saloons are busy snipping off many heads.
- Men, boys, women and girls patronize these places to give themselves a new hair cut which symbolize a new you, new life to welcome the New Year.
- In addition, you have to pay a little more as the price hike up too. Daddy always complains that!
5) New Bank Notes
- Local banks will be stocking up new currency notes for bank savers to exchange. For example; if you need $5 , $10, $50 bank notes ( money ), you are required to queue up at the special lanes, list out the amount and quantity you requested.
$5 x 100 pcs = prepare $500 in advance
No extra fees for this service on all banks. The biggest problem are: no parking space, long queues and no more stock of new bank notes. That is where customers temper flares up.
Hence, I always look out for those unpopular banks where the number of customers are low. Furthermore, I can get Ang Pow packets for FREE!!
Wishing all friends a Happy Chinese New Year!!
Gong Xi Fa Cai!!
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photos by peachpurple