As many of you probably already know, Chinese New Year is a time filled with many rituals and traditions for the Chinese, most of which are aimed at inviting good luck and repelling bad luck in the new year. Although to be honest I’ve never really been a superstitious person, what I’ve come to realise spending so much time in Hong Kong is that even though I may not celebrate an overtly traditional CNY, there are a few customs that I think are relevant regardless of whether you observe or not, mainly to do with creating a clean slate and a fresh start. Because honestly, there’s nothing better right?
Chinese New Year Traditions I’ll Be Observing This Year
Recently while working with the Monica Vinader team to celebrate their new store opening in IFC (check out my online edit here) we got chatting about my experience of Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, and so I thought I would share with you the traditions I’ll be observing this year.
- Settle your debts – Going into the New Year with unpaid debts is seen as bad luck, and whether you observe or not, settling debts is detoxifying and so good for the mind. Squaring all your finances, following up on those invoices and paying all your bills (or making a plan for how you will) is key and something I’ll be focusing on. Clean slate ahead people!
- Spring Clean – It’s traditional to clean your house before New Year’s Day (you have up until midnight!) and never during the new year because there is the thought that you might sweep away your wealth and good fortune out the front door. Again, whether you’re doing it for luck or other practical reasons, an organised house is the ultimate clean slate. And remember to open the windows on New Years Day to welcome the fresh breeze of luck into your home. Fresh air + clean house = New Chapter for the new year.
- Refresh Your Look – Observers of CNY rituals don’t wash or cut their hair for the first three days of the new year because this is symbolic of washing away or severing your luck. The word ‘hair’ sounds similar to the Chinese word for ‘wealth’. Instead, they refresh their look in the lead up to CNY so they start the New Year with a new (hopefully lucky) self. I have to admit that a little bit of pamper time hurt no one, and although it may seem superficial, I have to say refreshing your look and pairing it with some refreshing of the soul with yoga and relaxation can give you the fresh perspective you’ve been craving.
As part of the CNY festivities, I got the letters’M.Y.O.L’ (make your own luck) engraved on one of the gorgeous Havana Friendship Bracelets, because that’s what the year of the goat is going to be for me!
Will you be celebrating the year of the sheep? And do you have any ways you like to create a clean slate?
Wearing: Jewelry by Monica Vinader, Trench by Kookai, Jeans from J Brand, Top and boots from Witchery, bag from Dylan Kain
Hong Kong is so pretty this time of year!
Naturally I’m also going to be throwing in a big fiesta with my adopted family in Hong Kong. Other traditions like eating fish (the word is similar to ‘plenty’) and wearing red underwear (red is an auspicious colour) seem like enjoyable experiences that can be fun regardless of what you celebrate!
Jewelry by Monica Vinader. Make sure you visit the new store in Hong Kong, which is located in the IFC.
Photos by Nicola Lemmon