How to Stay Lucky During the Chinese New Year

With Lunar New Year fast approaching, many Chinese are maximizing their chances for a prosperous year ahead — one that’s full of luck and good fortune.

Also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, the New Year is China’s biggest and most important holiday. This year, it begins on Friday, Feb. 16 and lasts until Sunday, Feb. 18. It is also celebrated in Vietnam (where it is known as Tet), Korea (called Seollal) and by people of Chinese descent in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and all over the world.

On Friday, the current Year of the Rooster will give way to the Year of the Dog, one of 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac. Those born in the Year of the Dog are considered to be loyal, honest and selfless. But they can also be stubborn, cold and critical.

While Chinese New Year celebrations are known for the fireworks and food, the holiday is steeped in tradition and ceremony, with rituals invoking good luck and prosperity for the year ahead.

If you want to stay lucky this year, follow these Chinese traditions for the New Year.

Give your house a spring cleaning

In the run up to the Chinese New Year, it’s fortuitous to give your house a good clean. Decluttering and throwing away unwanted items gets rid of the stagnant energy that has accumulated during the previous year. But make sure to get the dusting done before the first day of Chinese New Year, as cleaning during the holiday brings bad luck according to old superstitions.

Decorate with red lanterns

In Chinese culture, red is the color of happiness and celebration, and leading up to Chinese New Year, the color can be seen everywhere in Chinese cities: adorning doors, walls, office buildings and shopping malls. Hang red lanterns in your doorway, affix red cardboard decorations to your walls, and wear red to attract good energy.