Chinese New Year may be a time for friends, family and fun, but is also a time for foreboding as the festival is riddled with superstitions. The Chinese, including Hong Kongers, place much stock in the rites and rituals in Chinese New Year superstitions. Check out our top Chinese New Year superstition tips below, to make sure the year of the rat doesn't land you in the sewer.
1. Dirty DoingsPut your feet up and relax. Certainly the most enjoyable of the Chinese New Year superstitions, sweeping and cleaning is strictly forbidden. The Chinese believe cleaning means you'll sweep all of your good luck out the front door.
2. Time to Come CleanBefore you can enjoy number two, you need to give the house a full spring clean, before putting cleaning tools in the cupboard on New Year's Eve.
3. Read Between the LinesBe sure to stock up on reading materials before Chinese New Year, as Hong Kong's bookshops will be padlocked tight. In Cantonese, book is a homonym for 'lose'.
4. Choppy WatersMake sure you avoid rough seas in the new year by not buying shoes over the holiday period. In Cantonese, shoes are a homonym for 'rough'.
5. Balance the BooksIf you're in debt, it's time to dip into your pockets and pay people off. The Chinese believe that if you start the new year in the red, you'll finish it the same way.
6. Ghostly ConversationsCaught round a campfire over the holiday period? No ghost stories. Tales of death, dying and ghosts is considered supremely inauspicious, especially during Chinese New Year.
7. Lady in RedChinese New Year is packed with colors, and while all the colors of the rainbow bring good luck, it's the color red that is considered the ultimate luck bringer.
8. Sweet YearHong Kongers have a sweet touch at the best of times, but Chinese New Year offers the perfect chance to raid the sweet shop, as eating candies is said to deliver a sweeter year.
9. Feel the BreezeWelcome in the New Year with a blast of fresh air, opening your windows is said to let in good luck.
10. Get to the PointSharp objects are said to be harbingers of bad luck, as their sharp points cut out your good luck, pack them away.You should also avoid the hairdressers or you'll have your good luck chopped off.