3 Famous Chinese New Year Myths

February 6, 2019

Continuing on the trend of Chinese New Year content by sharing with you some famous and rather interesting Chinese New Year Myths. Growing up, I would ask my parents why we would do things a certain way or why we have to do something at all during this time, and often times it results in the answer: “you will know when you grow up” or “it’s just the way it is”. So right when I was old enough to research about it, I look everything up! Here’s a compilation of the my favorite Chinese New Year Myths.

Chinese New Year Myth #1 : Cleaning

It is considered to bring good luck if you clean your house the week leading up to Chinese New Year. This year, since Chinese New Year was on February 5th (yesterday), people began to clean their homes and everything in between the week leading up to the 5th. It usually involves a deep cleanse of everything they own. People believe that they are able to sweep/get rid of all the bad luck and evil on their things from the past year. Then once the new year arrives, the cleaning needs to stop. During two weeks of festivities Spring Festival), people cannot clean or else they will get rid of the good fortune and luck the new year has brought to them! So you definitely won’t be seeing anyone holding a broom during this time!

Chinese New Year Myth #2 : Using Fireworks to Scare Away Nian

It is said that more fireworks are sold during the Chinese New Year period than at any other time of the year….and for good reason. As the new year approaches, people are stocking up on fireworks to combat infamous monster, Nian. Nian, which means “year” when translated in Chinese, used to be a monster that came to villages on the new year’s day to destroy villages and anything in its sight. Legend has it that one time, a brave soul went to confront Nian with fireworks and Nian was scared away by the sound. And so the tradition carried on to today; fireworks are used to scare away Nian and any other evil spirits that may come!

Chinese New Year Myth #3 : Red Envelope and the Monster Sui

My favorite tradition was receiving red envelopes during this time cause of all the MUULLLAAA inside! Legend has it that when children went to sleep before New Years, the monster Sui would come and harm the children. Parents would give coins to kids before bed in these red envelopes to care the monster away. The noise that the coins make when clanked together in addition to the red color of the envelope helps ward off Sui and other evil spirits. Nowadays, people say that when elders give red envelopes to the younger generation, they are passing on their wisdom and fortune.


What to Wear on Chinese New Year

What is Chinese New Year | Chinese New Year 101

A million and one thanks for reading – until my next lil’ thought then!

xx jen

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  • Reply Heather Rowland February 6, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    This was such an interesting little post to read and gave me some amazing insights too – I had no clue about all of these myths! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Heather xoxo

    • Reply lilthoughtswithjen February 7, 2019 at 8:23 pm

      thank you so much for taking the time to read this post!
      xx jen

  • Reply Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's February 6, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    I’m definitely a fan of the red envelopes ;P

    • Reply lilthoughtswithjen February 7, 2019 at 8:23 pm

      ahah girl SAME!
      xx jen

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