How to Prepare for the Chinese New Year
Here are how to prepare for the Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year preparations begin weeks in advance. How you enter the new year sets the tone for the 12 months that follow, so it’s crucial to start off on the right foot in order to enjoy a year of luck, health, and prosperity. Thankfully, long-standing traditions and superstitions provide clear direction for how to do so.
The whole point of Chinese New Year preparations goes beyond getting ready to enjoy feasts, fireworks, lion dances, and drinking sessions, although there are plenty of those. It’s a time for family reunions, new beginnings, renewed romance, and new potential for the year to come. Since your actions during Chinese New Year may determine the outcome for the entire year ahead, it’s important to make all the necessary arrangements before and during the celebration, down to the most minute details.
But with some simple preparations, you’ll have no trouble attracting all the luck and good fortune you’ll need. Just as January 1 is a time for self-reflection and setting new goals, observing the Chinese New Year is about having an opportunity for a fresh start. Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar and falls sometime between late January and late February, so if you’ve already given up on those New Year resolutions, it gives you a second chance to start again.
Prepare Your House
With so much to be done, Chinese New Year preparations typically begin a few weeks before. Cleaning a house may not seem like the most joyous of traditions, but as a ritual, it sets the tone for the new year to start fresh. Traditionally, the house is swept, cleaned, and decorated for optimal feng shui. The deep cleaning is done before Chinese New Year is usually the most thorough of the entire year, so clean out those old drawers, throw out dead plants, and tidy up all that clutter to make room for better things.
However, it’s critical that you finish all of your cleanings before the holiday arrives. Sweeping the house during Chinese New Year is considered unlucky, as you could be sweeping the fresh, incoming good luck away. Even taking out the trash, doing laundry, or washing your hair on the day of the lunar new year is considered taboo. And it isn’t just the house that gets an updated look.
Chinese New Year is a time to look your best. New wardrobes are purchased for family gatherings, temple visits, and public celebrations. Red is the color of choice, but white and black clothing should be avoided during Chinese New Year as they are associated with funerals and death. Red is the most auspicious color in Chinese lore and the best for attracting good luck. Oh! don’t forget to wear your nails! Book now!
If red just isn’t your color, you can get by with a pair of red underwear during Chinese New Year (yes, it’s a tradition!). Even a red bracelet, piece of jewelry, or ribbon tied around the wrist will do. Also, it’s a good idea to wear your lucky color. Check it out here.
Using sharp objects during the entire New Year celebration is believed to cut out good fortunes for the coming year, so get your hair cut and trim your nails beforehand. Don’t get caught with hairy underarms, Book with your grooming expert now!
With many businesses shut down the first few days of the holiday, shopping should be done as early as possible. Groceries for the festival dinners and regular meals need to be purchased in anticipation of the holiday. Store shelves are often ransacked the week before the Chinese New Year. You’re sure to be traveling or hosting guests, potentially both, so lots of snacks are in order. Dumplings are a must, as they’re good for prosperity.
Small gifts and tokens of love are exchanged during Chinese New Year, so purchase candies, small cakes, trinkets, and candles. Children typically receive money or sweets placed inside red envelopes known as hóng bāo. Alcohol, tea, fruit, flowers, and sweets make great Chinese New Year gifts for party hosts, just don’t show up empty-handed. If you choose to give fruit, give oranges, and make sure that baskets do not include pears. Avoid gifts that are considered unlucky, such as umbrellas. Whether you are looking for something naughty or nice, always remember to respect the culture of each and every one.