Lunar New Year 25th January 2020
25 days on from the Western New Year, the Lunar New Year – and the year of the Rat – is upon us. Here at Adore, we are celebrating the new lunar year with an awesome sale; products will be discounted up to 60% from the 18th of January to the 26th. But, to help everyone get in the celebratory spirit, we thought we would discuss the Lunar New Year, some ways to celebrate, and some fun facts you may not have known.
Year of the Rat
2019 was the year of the Pig, but now we are moving on to the year of the Rat. Chinese Zodiacs are a bit different to their Western Star Sign counterparts – they encompass the whole year of your birth, and are often thought of as unlucky years for those born under the current sign; this is related to the fact that the new year is seen as a re-birth, so you will be tested in certain ways.
The Rat is the first of the 12 Zodiac signs due to an old legend where the Jade emperor organised a race to decide the order, the first one to arrive to his party became the first Zodiac Animal; and the cunning rat hitched a ride on the ox but jumped off at the last second to overtake the unwitting bovine and win the race. So, rat first, ox second.
If you were born in 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996 or 2008 the Rat is your zodiac sign. Technically it also is if you were born this year but there is not a good chance you would be reading this blog if you were. Want to know your Chinese Zodiac sign? Find out here.
Rats are said to be energetic and optimistic, with their abilities best suited to creative jobs. Authors, artists, or, dare we even suggest it, interior designers? Wouldn’t hurt to look at our Lunar New Year sales and see if anything catches your eye.
Paint the town red
Red is an important colour in Chinese tradition and can be seen everywhere throughout the Lunar New Year celebrations. From lanterns, to door couplets, to paintings – red is a must have element. The legend goes that a half-bull, half-lion monster known as the Nián used to terrorise villagers every New Year, eating their livestock, crops and even children. Eventually the villagers fought back against this monster and discovered it was scared of loud noises and, of course, the colour red – so red has come to symbolise luck and good fortune in Chinese culture.
Do our red soap roses scare you? then you might be a Nián.
Cleaning is taboo
If the food, festivities and decorations don’t entice you, then this might – all forms of cleaning are taboo during the first day of the Lunar New Year. Sweeping and throwing out rubbish are said to take the good luck out of your house and as such is to be avoided as best as you can. If you have to clean, then you should start at the outside of a room and work your way in.
Washing and cutting hair is also not allowed. The Chinese character for hair is the same as the first character in prosper so it is best to avoid any makeovers.
In the same vein as showering, running water outside is also not allowed as it is seen to symbolise money running away from the home.
If you can keep all this in mind, then you will hold on to your good fortune for the year. If not, then you will at least have clean hair and a clean house during the first day of the Lunar New Year.
Give the right gifts
Gift giving is encouraged during the Lunar New Year celebrations, but there are rules and superstitions around what is allowed.
The most popular gifts are small red envelopes – to bestow happiness and blessings on the receiver – that often contain money. These are frequently exchanged between all kinds of people, from family to family and bosses to employees. Children often receive around ¥100 ($20), and parents are at the higher end at ¥500 - ¥2000 ($100-$300) – who says having children doesn’t have its benefits. Just remember lucky and unlucky numbers are also a part of the Chinese tradition, you want to do all you can maximise the luckiness of your gifts.
Like all things, this tradition is also shaped by superstition. It is not recommended that you gift pears, for example, because the Chinese character for pears (梨, pronounced “lee”) is pronounced similarly to the one for parting (离, “li”).
In the same vein, clocks are also a bad luck gift. The Chinese phrase for "giving a clock" (送钟, "Song Jong") exactly like the words for "attending a ritual funeral" (送终). Clocks are also a reminder of the passing, and running out, of time - so it is probably for the best to give them a pass.
Mirrors are also considered to be bad gifts not just in China, but the rest of Asia. Mirrors are said to attract ghosts and are also considered bad luck due to their tendency to break easily.
we wouldn't begrudge you for buying the Leah Wall Mirror, but gifting it could be bad luck.
So, what can you expect to receive aside from money (and not pears)? For your friends; tea, tea sets, fruits, alcohol and tobacco are all appropriate. Seniors can expect to receive warm clothing, and children often get candy, clothes, toys, school supplies and books.
The Lunar New Year is all about changing fortunes – celebrate the festivities correctly and you could increase your good luck and fortune going into the year of the Rat. Paint your home red, don’t clean and keep an eye on the gifts you receive, and you could go a long way to making the year of the Rat one of your best yet.
If you want to test your luck, of course, all purchases during our Lunar New Year Sale enter you into the draw to win our Emerson Recliner Chair, valued at $999. If you win, it would certainly not be a bad way to start off the new year.
Spend any amount at our stores until the 26th and go in the running to win the Emerson Recliner.
That’s all from us for now.
Wishing you a lucky and prosperous new year,
The Adore Home Living Team.