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The year of the monkey is nearly upon us. And as the spring festival is the start of a new year, many families believe that following a set of beliefs and superstitions will affect your luck in the months ahead.

If you’re new to Chinese New Year celebrations, here are five things you may not know that will help you start the year on the right note:

1) Do a thorough spring clean

Give your house a full spring clean on the 28th day of the Lunar New Year (this year it falls on February 6). It is believed that cleaning sweeps away the bad luck of the preceding year and prepares your home for good luck.  

2) Get your hair done ahead

Cutting hair on Chinese New Year is also considered bad luck as the word hair in the Chinese language has the same pronunciation as prosperity. You don’t want to cut away one’s fortune at the beginning of the year.

3) Avoid buying shoes during the holiday period 

In Cantonese, the word shoes has the same pronunciation as “rough” – no-one wants a rough year! 

4) Skip washing 

On the first day of Chinese New Year, avoid washing your body, your hair or even your laundry! You’ll wash all your luck away. 

5) Greet and bless 

On the first and second day of Chinese New Year (February 8-9), greet and wish people “Gong Hey Fat Choy,” which means best wishes and have a prosperous year. 

This year you may even want to try saying “Hau Nin Fai Lok,” which means happy year of the monkey.

Chinese new year greeting

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