Unspoken and less known Chinese New Year Customs and why you should avoid them
Updated: Jan 17, 2019
Chinese New Year Reunions are a big deal to people who celebrate Chinese New year. Food is the ingredient that binds people together, and Chinese New Year is one big party where relatives from different walks of life gather together simply to eat and have fun. Reunion dinners is the only time in the year where far-flung relatives can meet up with one another and catch up with each other about their latest prospects in life. There are a lot of underlying and unspoken customs that different families adhere to, but today we shall look at the major ones.
One cannot live well, play well if he or she is not dined well
Chinese families may spend up to 2 days cooking, steaming and preparing this huge feast. It is always nice to show a high level of enthusiasm, to feel stoked to eat whatever the hosts have prepared. Hosts usually do not prepare food that are overly sour, spicy or niche taste, so don't worry about not having an acquired taste to fully enjoy the dishes. The idea of trying to accustom to everyone's taste is usually kept in mind.
Before the meal is the Yu Sheng or frequently known as Lo Hei. A word of advice, do not hold back your fervor to flip the salmon and salad bits. Fling it high as you can. Its a symbol of prosperity to flip it as high as you can. Sure things might get messy and sloppy but this is all done in the name of fun and goodwill. Be sure to shout and yell auspicious phrases such as 'Gong Xi Fa Cai' or 'Wan Shi Ru Yi' to maximize the craziness in the air!
Over stepping boundaries, there is a fine line between being proud of your achievements and bragging
It is crucial to know that things might not be going so well with some of your relatives. Even the children, actually no, ESPECIALLY the children as adults are much more equipped to deal with hardships. There will be times where questions get a bit too personal or uncomfortable
Everyone knows that certain relatives tend always ask questions or make statements during dinner discussions that have an interrogative nature. '
'How are your results this year?'
'My eldest son got into the best school in the district, which school are you going to?'.
Don't try to be vindictive and return with mean comments. It's always better to approach the children in the family with questions that show that you are genuinely caring about that.
'How has life been? I hope you've been great.'
'What are your dreams for this year?'
Competition among relative or friends is an apocryphal part of Chinese New Year. People will try to undermine you and your children for their own self - esteem gain. An eye for an eye will make the world go blind.
Gifts are great, but not all of them
There is that never-ending and confusing list of what you should never buy someone as a gift during Chinese New Year. We are here to list them out for clarity and future references.
Items that are related to funerals:
Handkerchiefs, towels,chrysanthemums, black and white portraits or clothes.
Sharp objects that symbolize cutting friendships:
Any tool with a blade, for e.g. scissors and knives
Words that are are homophones for unpleasant topics
No clocks because the word for clocks mean funeral rituals in Chinese;
Pear because sounds like separation.
There are way too much different and niche customs for us to cover in an article. As long as you visit someone with good will and intentions, everyone would understand it. Chinese New Year is all about making harmonious relationships and having fun.
We will be releasing a series of content-filled articles for Chinese New Year. At the mean time please make sure that you have made the necessary preparations (food mostly) for an amazing Chinese New Year.2
We understand that Chinese New Year is a major hassle for parents during Chinese Year. We will be having a store wide sale throughout our entire Me Books collection. With the promo code: MEBOOKSCNY2019
We will also be giving away free access towards our pre-released app on the App Store and Google Play.