Kampua Talk: First Day Jitters

Kampua Talk

Saturday, February 17, 2007

First Day Jitters

As the Chinese New Year is also known as the season of spring, most Chinese celebrate the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar grandly, hoping for good luck and health. Because of this anal obsession, many taboos have been created.

For instance, on the morning of the first day of Chinese New Year, everyone will don their best attire and pray to gods and ancestors for good luck and prosperity. Everyone wishes auspicious greetings to all family members whether you like them or not as well as visitors. Phrases that denote wealth and prosperity are frequently uttered, while exciting entertainment such as lion or dragon dances liven up the occasion.

Although you have to smell nice, it is a taboo to shower or wash your hair on the first day of Chinese New Year. The Chinese community always clean and groom themselves the night before to welcome the arrival of the New Year. Some kiasu aunties even go to the extent of going to the salons and have their hair all set up mile-high and they sleep sitting up the whole night! LOL!!!

It would be inauspicious to have wet hair on the first day of the New Year as it will bring about obstacles throughout the year. Sewing and using a scissors is also prohobited to prevent people from accidentally hurting themselves; it is a bad omen to see blood on the first day of Chinese New Year as it signifies an onset of more accidents within the year.

Everyone is keen to receive cash-filled red packets or ang pows but there is a rule of how much money one should put in. Remember to always put even denominations in the ang pows. The Chinese are very particular about even numbers as they wish to have favourable events happening twice. Odd numbers bear inauspicious tidings. The Cantonese have nicknamed the ang pows "lucky envelopes" to symbolize good luck and success in all undertakings.

Crying is highly discouraged or you'd be plagued by illnesses and mishaps the whole year through. Try not to throw tantrums as well as it is bad luck to quarrel on this important day. Stay away from monks and nuns - they are considered "empty" as they have denounced all material things in life. If you chitchat with any of them, all your endeavours and efforts shall be fruitless and futile. The taboos mentioned are "hazardous weapons" on the first day of Chinese New Year. Every Chinese person will take extra care not to break the rules as they do not want ill luck to befall them. There may be serious accidents, mishaps, disharmony and slander toward the family if the taboos were not observed. Or so they say.

LOL!!! If you have broken some or all of the taboos mentioned above, fear not! It's not the end of the world. These are merely traditions passed down from generation to generation and should be taken with a large handful of salt!

**This is supposed to be posted tomorrow but since the idea is there, why not? In the mean time, this might be my last post for today. So, wishing everyone Happy Chinese New Year and have a wonderful reunion dinner!!!



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