Chinese New Year – do’s & don'ts

Words by Keven Amfo

18 January 2022


Our Hong Kong office shares their tips on how to best usher in the Year of the Tiger.

This 1st February, we will welcome the Year of the Tiger, according to the Chinese calendar. One of the most important holidays in China, this important marking of time offers a moment of pause to honour ancestors whilst sweeping away misfortune and ushering in happiness, wealth and longevity. This year celebrates the Tiger, known for strength and braveness. After the tumult of the past couple of years, we’re looking forward to the powerful energy for which this sign is known.

Our Hong Kong office shares some words of wisdom on how to welcome best the New Year, maximising good fortune.

Avoid breaking things

Breaking symbolises incompleteness and should be avoided in the period around Chinese New Year. Because it’s a festival of blessing, breaking things such as bowls and glasses can lead to disruption – breaking – of fortune and wealth. If something becomes broken accidentally, try wrapping the fragments in red paper or cloth and waiting to dispose of it to combat the bad luck.

Do not wake anyone up using their full name

Otherwise, that person will be urged and rushed for work throughout the rest of the year. Instead, let them rest and sleep in.

No taking naps

New Year’s Day is the best day to kick start your personal revolution! It is believed that taking a nap this day will lead to a lazy year ahead.

Don’t wash your hair

The Chinese pronunciation of wash (洗) is similar to die (死), which is deemed as bad luck. Inversely, the pronunciation of hair (髮) is close to get rich (發) – therefore, washing hair symbolises washing away your wealth and should be avoided during Chinese New Year.

Do not lend money to anyone, or ask for your money back

The Chinese believe that if you lend money on New Year Day, your wealth will continue to outflow for the whole year. And if you’ve previously lent money, this is not the time to ask for it back. Doing so shows disrespect and also means that you will need to work very hard for money, or need money, for the remainder of the year.

No cleaning, tidying or laundry

It’s generally believed that the first two days of the New Year are the birthdays of the God of Water. Therefore, ‘washing’ will lead to bad luck. Instead, clean your home before the New Year – which will also rid it of any bad luck – then wait to clean again (this even includes taking out the garbage), preserving the good fortune that has just arrived.

For more tips on how or where to best celebrate, please contact your lifestyle manager.

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