New Year superstitions abound. Following are some of the more prevalent beliefs.
Using sharp knives or scissors at the beginning of the New Year can cut off luck.
Bad luck will come to those who cook or clean during the first five days of the New Year.
Visiting ancestors and cleaning the resting place of the dead by going to graveyards and paying respects is a family consideration.
People will take baths adorned with mint leaves on New Year’s Eve in addition to getting haircuts and buying new clothes (red clothes are quite lucky). This way evil spirits will not know who they are; it is a way of disguise with a new appearance.
Debts are repaid and any money owed is settled before the New Year or it will create disagreement in the family.
Children often catch up with homework before New Year’s Eve and their parents are finalizing their work responsibilities.
In the past, families used to hang plum blossoms over doorways and a new picture of the Kitchen God goes up every New Year’s Eve, often with an altar adorned with incense and sticky sweet cakes called niango. The Kitchen God’s picture generally hangs in the kitchen a week prior and is burned on New Year’s Day so he will go to Heaven and report to the Jade Emperor, who can bestow good graces on the household. If the Kitchen God eats the sticky cakes, his mouth will get stuck shut and no report is good news.
Sometimes red banners (red again for good luck) are hung.