Chinese New Year Do’s and Don’ts

To ensure a prosperous year, we offer some traditional practices to bring good luck.


✅ Greet people by wishing them “Prosperity” (恭喜發財 – Gōngxǐ fācái)…because they will reciprocate by wishing prosperity onto you.

✅ Give red envelopes to people who are junior to you (See below for a warning). For working adults, while not a tradition, there’s an unwritten rule about giving red envelopes to elders as well. This probably accounts for the slow consumer spending immediately following the Chinese New Year since most of the disposable money is given away.

✅ Pay off all debts; it’s bad luck to carry over any debt to the new year.

✅ Wear new clothes; this is more traditional since in the past, people seldom bought new clothes because of economic hardship, so new clothes were bought mostly during the Lunar New Year. This also marks a new beginning. The Rat is the first animal in the Chinese zodiac and the Year of the Rat is regarded as a new beginning.

✅ Stay up past midnight so you can open the doors and windows at midnight to allow the old year to go out and welcome in the new year…what’s better is to light fireworks to celebrate the new year.

✅ Clean the house before the Lunar New Year.


❌ Make your children cry since crying is associated with sadness, so just let the children be merry and mischievous because it’s either that or be sorrowful for the rest of the year.

❌ Use foul language, curse, wish ill on anyone, talk about death, or tell ghost stories.

Source: Flickr

❌ Lend money; just as all debt should be paid off, lending money during this time will mean you will be lending throughout the year…who would want that!

Source: Flickr

❌ Sweep the floor for 3 days…that’s why you should clean the house beforehand; otherwise, you’ll be sweeping your hard earned money away!

❌ Use sharp objects, especially knifes; how does one cook dinner you may ask…easy: prepare all food before the new year–or better yet, go out for dinner as this is becoming a popular trend.

❌ Give money in odd amounts like NT $100, NT $300, NT $1,000, NT $3,000, etc. Give only in even amounts…except NT $4,000. Giving NT $600 and NT $6,000 are common because 6 is a lucky number.

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Disclaimer: This is solely for entertainment purposes. My Kaohsiung does not guarantee accuracy of any advice or prediction, either written or implied.

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