Kung Hei Fat Choy! We know you're probably sick of really baaaad Chinese New Year puns by now, so we won't bleat on. It really gets our goat too. Instead, we look at how to maximise your luck over the year with tips from fung shui masters and traditional beliefs.
1. Beware the Fan Tai Sui
Fan Tai Sui translates as an individual who may face obstacles over a Chinese calendar year with regards to health, work, wealth or relationships. According to fung shui master So Man Fung, there are four zodiac signs that could be unlucky in the Year of the Goat – Ox, Goat, Dog and Rat. We share his insight...
Ox (Born January 24, 1925 – February 12, 1926, or every 12 years thereafter)
Health might be a concern, with those born in the year of the ox more prone to stress. To help stay calm and healthy, it's important to communicate with family and friends. You should also be particularly aware of traffic safety and drive carefully at all times. Work life might be a little bumpy because of people scheming behind your back, so watch out. Also keep your eyes open for opportunities – they will be few and far between this year so grab them with both hands when they come along.
Goat (Born February 17, 1931 to February 5, 1932 or every 12 years thereafter)
Love is unlikely to run a smooth course for goats this year, unfortunately. Single ladies need to be careful when it comes to developing a new relationship, and be on high alert for liars. For men, especially those who are already married or with a partner, avoid getting too friendly with other women as it will likely have repercussions in your relationship.
Dog (Born February 14, 1934 to February 3, 1935 or every 12 years thereafter)
Finances are looking a little shaky for dogs in 2015 - with the worst-case scenario of bankruptcy even looming for some. Investors in particular should be extra cautious, and not move too fast in new ventures. With careful forward planning, however, there could be a chance of a nice windfall at the end of the year. Placing a “rich elephant” or a “golden toad” decoration at home or in the office can also help to avoid losing money.
Rat (Born February 5, 1924 to January 23, 1925 or every 12 years thereafter)
For the second year in a row, poor rats are still Fan Tai Sui, as they will cross paths with the spiritual “Xiaohao Star", bringing bad luck and financial woes. For example, sudden increases in outgoings or surprise costs are likely. The wealth situation should improve by autumn, but in the meantime, try to mediate the effects of Xiaohao by wearing a “thousand-hand Guanyin” representation, such as a necklace or brooch.
2. Do not sweep the floor
Since ancient times, people have refrained from sweeping the floor during Chinese New Year. In fact, traditionally, many people don't do any cleaning in the house for the first three days, as they believe that cleaning will sweep away all the luck for the whole year. In some places in China, people won't do any cleaning until the 15th day of the new calendar! But it's up to you how strictly you want to adhere to these traditions...
3. Do not eat congee
In the past, congee was seen as a poor-man's food, and so the belief followed that if one eats congee on the first day of Chinese New Year, that person is condemning themselves to be poor for the whole year. Instead, the tradition is to eat rice, which will promote prosperity for the rest of the year. These traditions have lapsed slightly, as people now like to eat congee with Chinese New Year cakes such as turnip cake and “nian gao”, as congee is good at getting rid of the oil from the cake.
4. Do not buy shoes
This superstition is related to two Chinese languages – Cantonese and Mandarin. In Cantonese “shoes” is pronounced as “haai”, which sounds like sighing and bad for luck. Meanwhile in Mandarin, it is pronounced as “xie”, which is similar to the meaning of “evil”. Therefore, people will only buy shoes one month after Chinese New Year celebrations.
5. Do not visit relatives on the third day of Lunar New Year
While Chinese New Year is an important time for families to come together, people believe the third day of the holiday is a bad time to visit friends or relatives. The third day of the Lunar New Year is associated with blue moods, which can lead to quarrels and fights if exacerbated. Instead, people traditionally use this day to go to the temple and pray for their luck for the whole year. People also bring a paper windmill home to blow away bad luck!