Chinese New Year taboos and traditions

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Stop sweeping. Let the laundry pile up. Absolutely do not wash your hair. Unless, of course, you don't mind a year of bad luck.

That's right, the arrival of Chinese New Year comes with some serious beliefs about health, wealth and prosperity.

Known as the Spring Festival, celebrations of Chinese New Year begin one day before, and last until the 15th day of the new year.

It's believed that a person's actions throughout the 15-day festival will affect them (and their family) for the entire year to follow, so these traditions should be strictly observed.

Using knives and scissors, for example, might cause a mishap that could bring inauspicious things.

The simple task of sweeping could sweep away wealth. And women who leave the house on New Year's Day risk an entire year of bad luck.

In 2020, many people consider at least a few of these traditions outdated; but as luck would have it, belief runs deep, so in the Year of the Rat, they are still very much a part of Chinese New Year and the Spring Festival.
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