Okasaneko
(http://blog.hellokitty.com/okasaneko)
A Tubby Tabby, Three Konekos, and a Life with Hello Kitty and Autism

New Year Traditions Redux, Chinese Style

 Happy Chinese New Year!

This is a post for MegaMom’s tag on New Year traditions. With the Chinese New Year barely two days away, I feel compelled to clear my long-standing debts, this being very first in my list.

Here are the rules: Answer this question: What’s your New Year good luck tradition?
Then copy the names and answers of the people that answered before you and add your own to the bottom of the list. It helps build the community.

*My mom used to collect some coins and when the new year comes she put the coins in a bowl and shake it to create sounds. She said its good luck for money throughout the year. And also wearing dotted dresses on new year don’t know why. CC/chalyza/keep

*My old folks always told us to avoid spending money on new years day. They said, once you spend on the first day of the year, you like to spend the rest of the year. Behind d Scenes of ME/ Retchel’s Pure Life/ A little bit of me  

*I grew up believing that if you have some money on your pocket (whatever you’re wearing) come New Year’s eve it will ensure steady flow of income throughout the year. The other belief is that the main door of the house should be wide open come New Year’s eve so that good luck will be ushered in. Juliana of MY WORLD and JULIANA’S LAIR.

* We always lit fireworks (Chinese belief) as part of tradition to scare off “bad spirits” and start the New Year with a blast. Hailey of Hailey’s Beats and Bits

*We have our family worship when the sun sets on January 31st and we have thankfulness prayer when 12 o’clock strikes. In this way, my mom thinks that if we pray this time with thankfulness we gonna pray over and over again throughout the incoming new year. Sunshineforlife of Life is What We Make it// Dancing in Midlife Tune.

*New Year’s Eve is always special because it also happens to be my parents’ anniversary. We always started the day by going to church. Then it would be a day of setting off firecrackers. Dinner is light to pave way for media noche or midnight meal. Media noche always had arroz caldo and buko fruit salad - true Pinoy comfort foods. For good luck, we had a bowl of various round fruits, shaped like money (coins obviously and not paper), which we always found hard to resist eating until the clock strikes twelve. What am I doing talking in past tense? We still do this now, as my own family heads off to my parents’ house to celebrate with them. Pinay MegaMom

 ~0~

I grew up in a fairly liberal Chinese- Filipino household. My father wanted us to think, grow, and live outside the “box of traditions” so he made it a point to create our own rituals for special feasts. Still, it wasn’t always easy to get away from prescriptions and taboos, what with a feisty grandmother hovering around with a list of do’s and don’ts.

Some that I still remember:

· Do not sweep the floor on Chinese New Year’s Day; you’re sweeping out good luck. (Make sure your house is spic and span before the N day.) If you must sweep, make sure that you do not throw dirt away on that day. Keep it inside the house and bring it out the back door the next day. Never sweep over the front door threshold as this means “sweeping away” a family member. (To this day, I keep my front door closed most of the time so no one inadvertently sweeps over this. Old habits die hard, true, true.)

· Same rule with hair washing. Have your hair washed, styled, and coiffed the night before. It may be hard to sleep with little ringlets or curlers on your head but deal with it. After all, New Year’s day only comes once a year. Or twice, in our case. :-)

· Wear red (even if it’s a little too early for Valentine’s Day, haha) because red ensures a bright future. I always got in trouble with this one because I always wore pink. Pink is a light, sweet, romantic color, but to many, it’s simply washed-out red, so it literally meant I was setting myself up for a washed-out future.

· Make a lot of noise on the stroke of midnight to drive away evil spirits. We used to do this with fireworks but since a lot of the smaller kids had asthma, we made do with banging kitchen pots and pans, howling like banshees, and making a**es of ourselves.

When I was young, Chinese New Year’s Eve meant a mandatory trip to the Big House, as feisty grandma’s house was dreadfully