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Holiday Taboos

 
It is a Chinese taboo to share stories about death and dying and ghost stories during special occasions and holidays.

It is a Chinese taboo to share stories about death and dying and ghost stories during special occasions and holidays.

Chinese New Year

There are many Chinese New Year Taboos to be weary of. On the first day of Chinese New Year, inauspicious words cannot be spoken. For example, words like break, spoil, die, gone, and poor cannot be uttered.

During Chinese New Year, nothing should be broken. When eating fish, diners must be careful to not break any of the bones, and be extra careful not to break any plates.

Also, nothing should be cut during Chinese New Year as that signifies one’s life could be cut short. Noodles should not be cut and haircuts should be avoided. Just in general, sharp objects like scissors and knives are avoided during Chinese New Year.

All windows and doors in the home should be open on New Year’s Eve to send out the old year and welcome the New Year. All debts should be paid by Chinese New Year and nothing should be lent on New Year’s day, otherwise, the person will be paying back debts all year.

Other don'ts include crying on New Year’s Day as that means you will cry all year. And don’t wash your hair on Chinese New Year Day or you may wash away all your luck.

When preparing paper dragons for Chinese New Year, it is taboo for women who are menstruating, people in mourning, and babies to be near the dragons when the cloth is being pasted to the dragon’s body.

Eating fish during Chinese New Years (魚, yú) is a must, though diners have to make sure they do not eat all the fish. Having leftovers can ensure there is a surplus (餘, yú) every year.

Birthdays

One long noodle is typically slurped on one’s birthday, but revelers beware. The noodle should not be bitten or cut as this could shorten one’s life.

Weddings

In the three months leading up to a couple’s wedding, they should avoid going to a funeral or wake, another wedding, or visiting a woman who has just had a baby. If one of the couple’s parents passes away before the wedding, the wedding must be postponed for 100 days or 1,000 days as attending happy celebrations is considered disrespectful to the deceased.

No one should sleep on the bridal bed after it has been installed and blessed. If the groom must sleep on the bed before the wedding, he should not sleep alone as leaving one side of the bed empty is considered a curse on the couple’s health. To avoid leaving half of the bed empty, the groom should have a young boy, preferably born in the year of the dragon, accompany him in bed.

If a roast pig is given as part of the bride’s gift to the groom’s family, the tail and ears should not be broken. Doing so would mean the bride is not a virgin.

Fifth Lunar Month

The fifth lunar month is considered an unlucky month. It is a Chinese taboo to dry blankets in the sun and build houses during the fifth lunar month.

Hungry Ghost Festival

The Hungry Ghost Festival is held during the seventh lunar month. In order to avoid seeing ghosts, people should not go outside at night. Celebrations like weddings are not held, fishermen will not launch new boats, and many people opt to postpone their trips during the Hungry Ghost Month.

The souls of those who die by drowning are considered to be in the greatest turmoil, so some people refuse to go swimming to lessen the chance of a run-in with wayward ghosts.
 

  [Editor:一尾鱼   2017/02/12/]
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