Chinese New Year Customs (六)
Teacher: Last time I asked you all to go back and ask about ethnic Chinese’s Lunar New Year traditions. Now talk about them.
John: The day of the New Year, whenever people meet they have to say “Congratulations and may you be prosperous.”
Ann: Our family definitely has fish for New Year’s Eve dinner. Dad said this is called “Surplus year by year.”
Jane: If you aren’t careful and break a cup or bowl, you have to say “May you have years of peace,” because “year” and “break” sound the same in Mandarin.
Jake: My Dad says when he was little, in order to extend his lifespan, on the night of New Year’s Eve he absolutely couldn’t go to sleep until after 12:00.
Teacher: You all have spoken very well! What things can you not do during the Lunar New Year?
Ann: During the Lunar New Year you can’t sweep, nor can you take out the trash, because that would mean sweeping out or taking out your luck for the year.
John: Also, during the Lunar New Year you can’t say inauspicious things and can’t scold people.
Jake: Excellent. So whatever I do then, I can’t be scolded by my parents.