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Chinese New Year Etiquette And Traditions Your Kids Must Learn

Chinese New Year is almost here—a time when families come together to celebrate yet another prosperous year ahead. With such family gatherings come traditions every member has to observe, including children. This is very important as they key to keeping these customs alive is by passing them on. Ensure your kids practice these etiquettes and traditions for Chinese New Year. 

#1 Wear auspicious colours

Red is the colour of Chinese New Year. It symbolises prosperity, truth, and happiness so be sure to don your kids in red clothes or accessories. Other colours which are still believed to attract good luck are orange, pink, gold, or yellow. Avoid dressing them up in black and white as these often represent grief or mourning. 

#2 Don’t open gifts in front of the giver 

Opening gifts immediately and right in front of the giver is considered rude. They can thank the giver first and open the gifts in private at a later time. 

#3 Say words or expressions that convey prosperity

Teach your child to say 恭喜发财(Gong Xi Fa Cai) which when translated is “Wishing you a happy and prosperous new year,” whenever they encounter a guest or relative. Wishing each other well is common practice during Chinese New Year and practicing these greetings improves your child’s courteousness.

#4 No haircut

Don’t give your child a haircut during Chinese New Year as it is believed to symbolise losing money. If you’d like to give your little girl a new look for the new year, maybe a different hairstyle will do the trick?

#5 Wake up early 

Kids must wake up early on the first day of Chinese New Year and wish their parents a prosperous year ahead. After all, it’s going to be an exciting day! You may consider giving your child a red packet with money when they do this. 

#6 Avoid saying anything negative

In Chinese culture, whatever you say or do during this time will set the tone for the entire year. Thus, it is believed that if kids say anything antagonistic, such as foul language or insults, they will be set up for a year of negativity. Quarrelling is also a big no-no as well as talking about topics like death or ghosts. Instead, encourage them to utter words or messages of positivity and prosperity. Think happy thoughts! 

#7 Do not break dishes or drop chopsticks

Breaking dishes and dropping chopsticks are considered bad luck. However, this may really be unavoidable at times so teach your child to say 岁岁平安(Sui Sui Ping An)or “Everlasting peace, year after year” if this happens. Remind them to be extra careful as well. 

#8 Use two hands when receiving a gift

Train your little one to use two hands when someone hands them a gift. This gesture is a symbol of respect towards the giver.

#9 Do not use sharp objects

Keep sharp objects like knives or scissors out of their reach. These are identified as sources of bad omen which is said to cut away all the luck you’re supposed to have for the upcoming year. Yikes! 

#10 Bring two pieces of oranges at your elders’ house

When invited to an elder’s house, make your child bring two pieces of oranges which they can give to older family members in exchange for a red packet usually filled with money and coins.

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