Lunar New Year - The Dos and Don'ts
Lunar New Year is the first new moon of a lunar calendar year, whose months are moon cycles. The event is celebrated by numerous cultures in various ways.
Lunar New Year celebrations in East and Central Asia, like Singapore and Malaysia, are also commonly known as Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year usually falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice.
Below are some of the common dos and don'ts for a typical Lunar New Year.
Exchange Red Packets: Participate in the tradition of giving/receiving red packets, which symbolizes blessings for the upcoming new year. Red packets are typically only given by married couples. However, unmarried adults usually give red packets to their parents/grandparents as well, wishing them good luck and health. Money or gold bars can be placed in the red packets.
Respect Elders with Greetings: Offer traditional New Year greetings to elders, such as "Gong Xi Fa Cai" in Mandarin to convey blessings for the new year.
Share a Festive Meal: Gather with family and friends for a Lunar New Year feast, usually featuring symbolic dishes like fish for abundance. Reunion dinner is usually a standard activity where families reunite over a meal on New Year’s Eve.
Keep the Environment Tidy: Clean your home before the New Year (not on the first day!) to sweep away any negativity, making space for good luck and positive energy.
Wear Red or Traditional Attire: Embrace the festive spirit by wearing red, a symbol of luck and prosperity, or opt for traditional clothing like a Qipao for a cultural touch.
Avoid Negative Words: Refrain from using words associated with loss, sadness, or other negative connotations during the celebrations to promote a positive atmosphere.
Postpone Debts and Loans: Try to settle outstanding debts before the New Year to start fresh and avoid carrying financial burdens into the auspicious period.
Avoid Taboo Gifts: Be mindful of gift choices; avoid items associated with funerals, clocks, or sharp objects, as they may carry negative symbolism.
With these tips, we wish you and your loved ones a harmonious and happy celebration this coming Lunar New Year!