CNY Taboos | Taiwan dos and don’ts during holidays

Members of the non-profit Alumni Association of Former Sponsored Children sell red envelopes in Penghu on Jan. 18, 2020.
Members of the non-profit Alumni Association of Former Sponsored Children sell red envelopes in Penghu on Jan. 18, 2020.

TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) — On the first day of the Chinese New Year, we all get excited about red envelopes (if you’re still young/lucky enough to be on the receiving end), great food and parties, so let’s take a look at some activities commonly viewed as taboos during the holidays:

On the First Day of Chinese New Year

No laundry, no hair-washing — some believe that doing laundry and washing your hair on the morning of the first day of Chinese New Year wash away good fortune. Also advised against is waking people up, because the traditional myth has it that the person you awoke will be chased after all year to get things done; on the other hand, taking a nap at noon would make you lazy for the following 12 months.

On the Second Day of Chinese New Year

Traditionally, daughters go home to their parents on the second day of the Chinese New Year. On the first, they are to stay with their husbands’ families. For those who bring presents with them on the second day of CNY, it is advised that you bring an even number of them. Odd numbers are believed to be unlucky.

Additionally, laundry is still on the no-no list.

On the Third Day of Chinese New Year

Interestingly, while the entire holiday during of Chinese New Year is overwhelmed with greetings and celebrations, it is advised that one stays home and not visit relatives or friends on the third day of CNY. Why?

Per the old Chinese calendar, the third day of CNY is also called the “angry dog day,” (赤狗日) which makes people get into heated arguments more easily. Moreover, the Chinese character for “angry” (赤) here also bears the meaning “poverty-stricken”, which is believed what would happen should one celebrate CNY extravagantly on this day.

On the Fourth Day of Chinese New Year

This is the day when the gods come home to protect the members of the household. It is believed that one of the Gods does a roll-call, which is why traveling is not recommended on this day.

On the Fifth Day of Chinese New Year

It’s about time to get rid of the garbage from days of parties and great food. On this day, is it is believed that households must throw out all the rubbish otherwise poverty would be cast upon them for the year to come.

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