As Singaporeans, we’re familiar with the typical Chinese New Year superstitions pertaining to wealth: don’t wash your hair on the first day of the lunar year, don’t sweep the floor on New Year’s, don’t wear damaged clothes.
And of course, there are the home decorating taboos that are believed to bring bad luck or fortune during the new year. While some of these are just mere superstitions, some of these beliefs can also be attributed to common sense and safety precautions. Below is a list of things you should avoid when styling your house for Chinese New Year.
Leave sharp objects out in the open
This is a big no-no. Traditional Chinese belief says that leaving knives and scissors out in the open will ‘cut’ the family’s wealth away. It could also result in accidents involving loss of blood, which is thought to be inauspicious during the festival.
Store your knives and scissors in a drawer. It’s a logical thing to do since none of us want anyone getting hurt on this happy occasion.
Decorate with chrysanthemum flowers
If you do this, your Chinese grandparents will probably shriek if they see white chrysanthemum flowers in the house during Chinese New Year. Chrysanthemum and white-coloured flowers are usually used during funerals and wouldn’t be pleasant for the celebration of a new year, because they’re often associated with mourning.
If you really want to include flowers as part of the home decor, go for pretty pink peonies and red orchids instead. These are flowers that symbolise fertility and beauty in the Chinese culture.
Draping black curtains
In fact, you should just avoid anything black for the next 15 days of Chinese New Year. Like white, black is a colour reserved for funerals and is viewed as an unlucky shade. This is why black clothes are pretty much frowned upon during Chinese New Year. Go for brighter shades like gold or even yellow, since they’re the top colours of the Rooster year.
Placing mirrors in the hallway
Mirrors are great in making your narrow space look more spacious. Because they reflect light, they make the room a little brighter too. However, the superstition is that mirrors can attract unwanted paranormal visitors to your home. Best to keep those mirrors covered and stored.
Square or rectangular dining table
It’s not really a taboo to have square or rectangular dining tables. The preferred table shape for Chinese New Year feasts, especially the reunion dinner which takes place on the Eve, is a round one. This is because the Chinese word for ’round’ also means ‘reunion’ and ‘togetherness’. Coupled with the fact that round tables have no sharp corners, which is also a Chinese taboo for the spring season, thus it’s much better to have round tables for this time of the year.
Arranging chairs and sofas near the door
It is believed that chairs placed near to, or right in front of, the main door will prevent luck and prosperity from entering the home. The chairs and sofas placed too near it are obstacles to the ‘flow’ of wealth that comes during Chinese New Year.
So, if you want the money, move those chairs slightly further away from the main entrance.
Now that you know what not to use for Chinese New Year decorations, let your creativity run free and bring the spring season festive mood into the house! Should you need ideas and help with any of the decor, just pick the service required and complete the form on Kaodim.
written by Esther Chung