The Lunar New Year is riddled with many dos and don’ts and superstitions, which at times may feel as though you’re navigating through a field of landmines. But as unique and unpredictable some of these traditions may be, it’s surprising to see that not everybody is absolutely clueless on them. Here are some of the taboos that you should avoid doing if you want to ensure good luck for the new year, along with shows to watch, that could help you live your best, most auspicious life!
Don’t loan out or borrow money from others
Pay back all your debts by the eve of Lunar New Year and don’t borrow money from other people on the first day or you might have to keep borrowing money for the whole year. Avoid loaning others money on the first day too as by doing so, you might not be able to accumulate wealth in the year ahead. Hoping to grow your money this year? Check out The Big Short about a group of finance experts who predicted an economic crisis and seized the opportunity to make huge profits. Or if you want to find out how you can live with less, watch Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important Things.
Don’t sweep the floor or throw out garbage on the first day of the Lunar New Year
Make sure your house is spick and span when you do your spring cleaning because it is bad luck to sweep the house on the first day of the Lunar New Year. When you sweep, it is believed that you will also be sweeping away your money. Taking out the trash is also a no-no as it symbolizes throwing out your good fortune from the house. For cleaning tips and tricks, learn from Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, and if you want to also take the opportunity to redecorate your space, get inspiration from shows like Interior Design Masters.
Don’t give Lunar New Year greetings to someone who still hasn’t gotten out of bed
It is customary to say auspicious words and wish someone good fortune and prosperity during the Lunar New Year. However, you should not say your greetings to someone who is still lying in bed or else you might jinx them to be bed-ridden for the rest of the year. You also should not tell someone to get out of bed because it might mean that they will always be in a rush to get things done in the new year. So, why not take this opportunity to stay in bed a little while more and catch up on light-hearted sitcoms like Kim’s Convenience or Brooklyn Nine-Nine? Starting your New Year’s day with laughter will be sure to put you in a good mood for the rest of the day and hopefully year!
Don’t cut your hair during the Lunar New Year celebrations
Leaving your hair long has been a symbol of longevity since ancient times, so cutting your hair during the Lunar New Year represents cutting your life short. Definitely not the best way to a fresh year. If you’re looking to get a new ‘do, head to the salon before the actual day of the festival – you can even get some inspiration from your favourite Netflix characters! Think Eleven’s buzz cut in Stranger Things, or go a little funky with some corn-rows like Crazy Eyes from Orange Is The New Black or turn heads with a striking shade ala Cheryl Blossom from Riverdale.
People are generally not allowed to cry during Lunar New Year
The only tears that you should be shed during the Lunar New Year are the ones from laughing too much. #supportlocal talents such as Singaporean Fakkah Fuzz, in his stand-up comedy show Fakkah Fuzz: Almost Banned. Russell Peters also has his Netflix special, Russell Peters: Almost Famous and if that isn’t enough, you can’t go wrong with the full 10 seasons of Friends.
Wear red underwear during your Lunar New Year gambling sessions
Red is an auspicious colour, thought to bring joy and fortune to its wearers during the Lunar New Year. The bright shade may just win you the next hand at poker with your relatives, but not everybody is able to pull it off. Wearing red underwear lets you have the both worlds – you can wear your insta-worthy outfit and also receive all the luck! Alternatively, take fashion advice from Kimmy in Unbreakable Kimmy Schimidt with her brightly coloured clothes or the gorgeous lady wrestlers from GLOW – did somebody say spandex?
Try not to buy books or read during the Lunar New Year
As the Chinese pronunciation of the word ‘books’ sounds similar to ‘lose’, it is said that buying books or reading them will cause you to lose your fortunes for the year. It is also considered inauspicious to bring them with you while making visits to friends and family, so leave those books at home! Instead, embrace the spirit of family with shows like Santa Clarita Diet and A Series of Unfortunate Events while you wait for that steamboat lunch.
Children should stay up through the night on the eve of Lunar New Year
Staying up during eve of Lunar New Year may be a hard task after all that scrumptious food, but you gotta suck it up and do it if you want your parents to have a long life. To keep you company late into the night, Netflix has many thrillers that will have you at the edge of your seat as you wait for midnight to strike. Watch Joel Kinnaman in Altered Carbon, as he investigates a murder for the person who revived him, after being in a deep sleep for 250 years. Or for a little dose of dystopia why not give the recently released The Cloverfield Paradox a go? If sci-fi isn’t your cup of tea, indulge in Narcos, a docu-drama which tells the story of the Colombian drug trade. You’ll see the sunrise before you know it!
Images: Pexels, Unsplash
Additional Reporting: Valerie Toh