CNY customs: Tradition vs Superstition?

SINGAPORE - No to sweeping and mopping the floors. No to breaking or dropping things. And no to washing hair.

The list of traditional no-nos goes on for the first day of the Lunar New Year.

Are these Chinese traditions still relevant to Singaporeans today?

Or are they merely disregarded as superstitions?

RazorTV hits the streets to find out what Singaporeans will or will not be doing this Chinese New Year.

No breaking or dropping things

"I do believe in superstitions. I think about other superstitions about breaking mirrors, the seven-year jinx ya so, I think it's passed down from generation to generation."

"No I don't think we do, I've never heard of it before. I have no idea what it is about."

"When we were young, our parents would always tell us stories about what would happen if some.. In a way it does create that sense of fear."

"I guess it's just tradition or something that came along from a long time ago. Being a not very superstitious person, I guess it doesn't really mean a lot to me."

No sweeping and mopping floor

"The brooms and mops will be kept away. Only after the most important days then we will start to clean up the house."

"Sometimes houses get dusty very easily. So you have the need to clean it, especially if there are a lot of guests coming over. I don't know, personally, not cleaning your house can get a little.."

"I personally will still sweep and mop. No lah, you wouldn't sweep away your fortune. The fortune is what you have preserved, you know, it's not just one day you will sweep away."

No washing of hair

"You can't wash your hair on the first day of Chinese New Year. You can wash on the day before or on the 2nd or 3rd day. Some people say that it's unlucky to wash, that's what we believe in. Those who pray to the Chinese gods believe so."

"Wash hair is a bit extreme, I don't believe that. Certain things like hygiene and all that, I would want to look good on Chinese New Year's day, so I will not believe in that."

Must spring clean before Chinese New Year

"We have to follow such traditions. People would say "Oh it's so ridiculous" but spring cleaning for the new year is like whether it's for the Georgian calendar or Lunar calendar or the year of the horse. You have to start afresh."

"We don't but I think it's kind of fun to try to stick to it. Because it's not like we would follow such traditions every other day."

But these young people tell us there are still some traditions they hope will stand the test of time.

"I think the get-together during Chinese New Year eve for reunion dinner I think that's a very good practice. It builds good relations. Bringing the family together, I think that's something we can always practise all the time."

"Some of the Chinese traditions are better to keep. Now I'm a bit sad because we don't really wear our traditional costumes that much anymore. I mean, unlike the Muslims who, during Hari Raya, get to wear all their tradtional costumes. It's quite nice because the culture is still there. The Chinese are slowly losing the culture and during Chinese New Year we don't wear our own traditional clothes anymore."

"Not much teenagers will follow the traditions but I will continue to teach my children in the future about these traditions."

Whether it's superstition or tradition, it seems like there will always be some customs that never lose their charm.

Happy Chinese New Year to all. Gong xi fa cai.

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