8 Taboos to Take Note of During CNY House Visiting Or You Won’t Be Invited Back Next Year

Last Updated on 2023-01-08 , 6:21 pm

Chinese New Year is just around the corner, and what’s better than being invited to someone’s house? But then again, do some wrong things and you might not be invited back again!

So unless you intend to just visit once and never go back, here are some things that you shouldn’t do during house visits, because #traditions.

1. Do not wear black.

Passed on from generation to generation, I have heard countless times on the inauspiciousness of wearing black during Chinese New Year. Even though times have changed, we should still respect the wishes of those who will grimace at the sole sight of a single black piece of garment donned by anyone in the house. Also, the money within the Ang Pao will probably diminish magically when wearing black clothes, so best to avoid it!

The best bet? Wear red. I don’t need to explain why, eh?

2. Do not visit a house empty handed.

It is seen as rude when you enter a house without at least a pair of oranges or tangerines to wish the host or the elders good health and prosperity. These fruits are symbols of good luck and wealth as the bright orange colour resembles gold. Thus, fresh oranges with the brightest shade of orange should be picked!

3. Do not wish nonsensical greetings at the door.

I remember in the past where my grandparents would leave the door to their house locked unless they are satisfied with the Chinese New Year sayings that we recite. From my experience, it is encouraged to not recite cheeky greeting such as Gong Xi Fa Cai, Hong Bao Na Lai which blatantly translates to Happy New Year and give me your red packets! Certainly, the door will remain locked and your parents will think twice before bringing you for house visits again.

4. Minimise your child crying.

Parents take note! The wail of a child is believed to bring bad luck to the household and hence nasty gazes from the elders who may berate you for not controlling your children. Thus, try to at least inform your kids to control their tantrums during house visits or else they will be scolded by the elders.

5. Settle your debts.

Money should not be lent or borrowed during Chinese New Year, and all debts should be settled by the eve of the festive period. Also, even if someone owes you money, you should not request the amount of money to be returned, especially when at the debtor’s home as it is said to bring bad luck. Try to win your money through Backjack instead!

6. Do not give certain gifts.

Pears, clocks, umbrellas and mirrors are just several of the inauspicious gifts that will attract criticism from the superstitious individuals. For instance, pears, although being a fruit, sounds the same as leaving or parting in Mandarin and is thus inauspicious. Clocks also symbolise that time is running out and is a definite no-no as a gift in the Chinese culture.

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7. Don’t eat porridge for breakfast.

In the past, only the poor would have congee for breakfast and thus it is considered taboo to eat it during Chinese New Year as it is a sign of poverty. Bringing porridge to other people’s homes may be seen as an intended contemptuous act to bring them poverty this year!

8. Refrain from visiting your parents’ home on the first day.

This only applies to married daughters as it is believed to bring bad luck to the parents, causing them financial hardship for the times ahead. Traditionally, the married daughter can only visit the house of her parents on the second day of Chinese New Year.

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