Some of the HILARIOUS superstitions we used to believe during CNY!
Couple of months back, social media was riding on the “Ok Boomer” trend, a little bit on the fence on that one, but ultimately all for good fun. Superstitions or taboos are discouraged actions where most of them are derived from the previous generations; or in a more recent term, “boomers”.
Trust us, there are some of these can outright comical while others entail a more subliminal message. So without any jibber-jabber, let us head on and explore the tabooed oddities in our CNY behaviourism!
1. No BLACK!
Ah the classic. Any Chinese kid or teen would know this essential outfit survival tip to avoid a wallop from their grandparent’s cane. This was notoriously brutal during the early 2000s where the skater-punk vibe was at its peak (Avril Lavigne fans unite!).
Well, what can one do right? Our unyielding love for our older ones somewhat surpasses our fashion sense and we just go along with the flow and paint ourselves with charming red cheongsams that make us look like we’re living in some ancient dynasty of sorts.
Even then the rampage doesn’t end. If our attire isn’t neat we’ll still more or less get a lashing from the higher-ups! But with all the ‘mini missions’ we’re forced to carry out on this auspicious event, managing our clothes can be a little hectic. For that Dyson and Philips fields the most modern irons and steamers that prep your clothes to perfection in a jiffy!
Actual meaning behind the taboo: Black and occasionally white dressing are usually associated with death and are formally used during Chinese funerals.
2. A big NO to hair washing!
It’s pretty dated and pretty unused. The omission of hair washing on the first day of Chinese New Year was argued by a lot of ladies who want to look their best for the most prosperous time of the year. I mean the Chinese God of Prosperity wouldn’t smile at someone who has Einstein-esque crazy hair right?
And we also know there are rebels out there who just went along and wash their anyways. Understandable, but if you’re already in it, why not just go all the way right? For that, we suggest something more traditional like a hair dryer from Dyson and Faber that helps eliminates the evidence of you washing your hair in the water remnants.
In all seriousness, whether you’re the rebellious one or the obedient one, we all want to look our best and there should be no argument about it.
Actual meaning behind the taboo: The Chinese term for hair is vocally similar to wealth, and by washing it, you are essentially ‘washing’ away wealth which is therefore tabooed.
3. Cleaning is FORBIDDEN
It’s the only time of the year where your parents or elders forbid you from cleaning the house. To be exact, it is not cleaning as a whole that is forbidden, but more into the act of sweeping.
While this might be a respite to many, there are many of us who are pedantic when it comes to hygiene. Think about it, we’re inviting our friends and distant relatives over to our house and we can’t imagine the impression we’re giving if our house isn’t what a house should look like!
Fortunately, taboos and superstitions didn’t age and evolve well with the times. Sweeping isn’t the only means to clean the floor. Duh! We have vacuum cleaners that do the job EVEN better if one were to say! Additionally, vacuum cleaners have drastically improved with enhanced functions to serve a variety of purposes.
To beat the taboos at their own game, we suggest weaponry from Dyson and Samsung. Just recently, Samsung released a robotic model of their vacuum cleaners that are innovatively designed and modern in its cleaning approach. Alternatively, Electrolux selections provide stability on all ends and are immaculate in combining both traditional and futuristic cleaning methods.
Actual meaning behind the taboo: The act of sweeping is equivalent to sweeping away wealth.
4. Consuming porridge during CNY is a bad sign!
This is a weird one even for us as it is one of the more obscure taboos in the Chinese ‘dictionary’ of the supernatural. Like c’mon, most of us WHOLLY enjoy a bowl of warm porridge every morning; it’s healthy, nutritious and the serene nature of the meal is refreshing. Yet somehow it somehow managed to find its way to the disciplinary records of the Chinese boomers.
As Bear Grylls meme notes, “Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.”
Instead of porridge, we go for something similar like soup or a freshly brewed stew. Elba has a wide range of multi-cookers that not only cook top-quality soups but are also more than capable of other cooking variations like baking and grilling. In other words, you are essentially getting more for what you initially paid for!
A tip though: Expand your culinary knowledge and try out different dishes and prepare a feast that is worthy of the occasion!
Actual meaning behind the taboo: Porridges are stereotypically consumed by the poorer folks which is an ominous sign during Chinese New Year (it’s pretty ironic because nowadays the price for a bowl of porridge can be quite hefty!)
5. Clocks should NEVER be a gift
While there are abundant of other gifts that are deemed ‘unholy’ or ‘inappropriate’ at least in the Chinese culture, the clock takes the cake for us as the cream of the crop. For all the wrong reasons of course.
If you’re really itching for a gift that signifies time, there are always smartwatches that are heavily trending right now. Airpods or earphones might not be related to time, but are great gift suggestions. For one, they’re useful and are almost a necessity for anyone living in the modern age!
Of course, we can go on and on about what are the perfect gifts for CNY, but still, we feel that the final decision lies within you and whatever it is, as long as it is genuine from the heart, the other party will, without doubt, feel the sincerity of it!
Actual meaning behind the taboo: Clock in the Chinese language can be used to describe the departure of someone, or grimly death.
Other tabooed gifts in the Chinese community:
Umbrellas: Attracts bad luck
Mirrors: A gateway for ghosts and other otherworldly beings
Shoes: A subliminal message of asking someone to get away from their life
Of course, most of the taboos that we’ve mentioned earlier are pretty long forgotten, to the extent where most of it is not practised anymore as of 2020. Even so, it is still good fun to know the origins of these superstitions and how they came to be!
Check out our stores and browse through our CNY deals that are bundled with prosperity and joyfulness!