Kung Hei Fat Choi! (Happy Chinese New Year!) Auspiciousness is very important at Chinese New Year because the start of Chinese New Year determines your fortune for the rest of the year.
As cosmopolitan as it is, Hong Kong still inherits and follows the most colourful customs of Chinese New Year. So courtesy of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, why not follow the ten auspicious customs of Chinese New Year in Hong Kong to get a great start to the Year of Monkey.
1. Dress in red! Good luck will shine from head to toe
Red is associated with joy, happiness, good luck, wealth and good fortune. It also symbolises fire and it can ward off evil spirits. Dressing in red on the first day of the New Year will bring you good luck for the rest of the year.
2. Smile and smile! Let only good words come from your mouth
Greeting everyone you see with a big smile and a blessing will bring you happiness and an upbeat spirit for the New Year. Don’t say any bad words.
Here’s a tip if you speak Cantonese. Avoid the following words, which are pronounced the same as some bad words: the number “4” sounds the same as “dead”, “book” sounds the same as “lose”, “shoes” sounds the same as a “sigh”. So watch what you say, or an evil spirit will follow you for the rest of the year!
3. Give thanks to the spirits! Pray for good fortune in the New Year
During Chinese New Year, locals go to the temple to give thanks for the past 12 months and pray for good fortune in the New Year. To plan ahead for the New Year, follow the locals and draw the fortune sticks to get a glimpse of your luck in the New Year.
4. Watch a lion dance! Get good energy in the New Year
The lion signifies courage, stability and superiority. In the lion dance performance, the lion moves to the musical rhythm of the drum and mimic various moods with its movements, which make it look life-like. To absorb good energy from the lion, watch the lion dance and be as strong as a lion in the New Year!
5. Capture the Monkey in the Night Parade! Be as smart as a monkey in the New Year
This is the Year of Monkey, and the Monkey represents cleverness, dexterity and nimbleness in Chinese culture. People who are born in the Year of Monkey are regarded as smart. Capture the Monkey in the Night Parade and you will be as smart and nimble as a monkey in the New Year!
6. Looking for Mr or Ms Right? Circle a peach blossom tree to find your partner
Peach blossoms symbolise luck in love. To attract this luck, walk around a peach blossom tree three times in a clockwise direction. Your Mr. or Ms. Right is bound to show up in the New Year.
7. Place a tangerine tree at home for good luck and fortune in the New Year
In Chinese, the character and pronunciation of “Tangerine” and “Luck” are the same, and the colour of tangerines is a bit like gold. This makes it the perfect auspicious item for a business person. People who do business will have a tangerine tree at home or at the shop front to wish for “great luck, great profit” in the New Year.
8. Spin away the bad luck and attract good luck with a pinwheel
So last year wasn’t that great? Get a pinwheel!
According to Chinese customs, spinning a pinwheel wards off the bad luck, and brings good fortune. “Spinning” in Chinese has the same meaning as “change”, so by spinning the wheel, you can “change” your luck from bad to good.
9. Bring warm blessings to your house with hand-written Fai Chun
Fai Chun is red paper with phrases wishing good luck, prosperity and other blessings. People stick Fai Chun on the door to make the coming year a fruitful and lucky one.
Don’t worry if you don’t understand Chinese, because the golden writing by the calligraphy master is sure to be appropriate and makes it an art piece to be showcased at home, giving your home an authentic Hong Kong touch.
10. Decorate your house with plenty of red for a jubilant festive atmosphere
For Chinese people, red is associated with “happiness and good fortune”. If you decorate your house in red, it means good fortune and happiness will stay in your home.
During Chinese New Year, people visit relatives and friends. Your home decorations will give your home a jubilant festive atmosphere and your guests a warm blessing for a Happy New Year.