How to Stay Lucky During the Chinese New Year

Chinese Community Elders Receive New Year Gifts in Semarang, Indonesia

With Lunar New Year fast approaching, many Chinese are maximizing their chances for a prosperous year ahead — one that’s full of luck and good fortune.

Also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, the New Year is China’s biggest and most important holiday. This year, it begins on Friday, Feb. 16 and lasts until Sunday, Feb. 18. It is also celebrated in Vietnam (where it is known as Tet), Korea (called Seollal) and by people of Chinese descent in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and all over the world.

On Friday, the current Year of the Rooster will give way to the Year of the Dog, one of 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. Those born in the Year of the Dog are considered to be loyal, honest and selfless. But they can also be stubborn, cold and critical.

While Chinese New Year celebrations are known for the fireworks and food, the holiday is steeped in tradition and ceremony, with rituals invoking good luck and prosperity for the year ahead.

If you want to stay lucky this year, follow these Chinese traditions for the New Year.

Give your house a spring cleaning

In the run up to the Chinese New Year, it’s fortuitous to give your house a good clean. Decluttering and throwing away unwanted items gets rid of the stagnant energy that has accumulated during the previous year. But make sure to get the dusting done before the first day of Chinese New Year, as cleaning during the holiday brings bad luck according to old superstitions.

Decorate with red lanterns

In Chinese culture, red is the color of happiness and celebration, and leading up to Chinese New Year, the color can be seen everywhere in Chinese cities: adorning doors, walls, office buildings and shopping malls. Hang red lanterns in your doorway, affix red cardboard decorations to your walls, and wear red to attract good energy.

Chinese New Year is approaching. Have you put your decorations up? Watch #Instavideo:

— Andrew Leyden (@PenguinSix) January 25, 2018

Offer red envelopes of money

Called hongbao in Mandarin, or lai see in Cantonese, these little red packets stuffed with cash are given to children, family, friends and employees during the Chinese New Year. But proper hongbao etiquette must be observed: the envelopes are usually given by married people or employers, the packet should contain new banknotes, the sum should be an even number, and never in denominations of four—because the Chinese word for four sounds like the word for death.

Red envelopes are also “fed” to the Chinese lions during traditional lion dances, which are popular during the Chinese New Year. Dance troupes visit offices and parade through the streets accompanied by a din of drums and firecrackers to clean away the energy of the old year and to manifest good energy for the next.

NurPhoto/Getty Images A donor seen holding a red envelope in Semarang City, Indonesia on Jan. 31 2016. NurPhoto/Getty Images Watch a fireworks display

Fireworks are a Chinese New Year …read more

Source:: Time – World


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