Chinese New Year Do’s and Don’ts

[caption id="attachment_825" align="alignleft" width="201" caption="Prawn pronouces as 'Ha' in Cantonese - everyone needs to laugh aloud as often as possible!"][/caption]

Love Vancouver, especially during cultural festivals.  This time of the year, of course I’m talking about Chinese New Year (CNY)!

Friends and colleagues send me email blessings, New Year charms and Rabbit images of all kinds – bowing, dancing, hopping, singing and laughing.  True and behold, a few of my non-Asian friends were ahead of me – they started asking me about CNY back in December!  What to do and eat, how to prepare, what are the traditions…there’re more and more non-Asian folks joining in for the food and fun!

Since I’ve been talking CNY food to a large extend on TV, radio and on print, why don’t I just change gear here and brief about the do’s and don’ts about CNY? Unavoidably, there’ll be tips on food stuff.


  • If your family is around, go and have dinner with them.
  • Go to a Chinese bakery and get yourself some CNY pastries and Lenn Gao (CNY cakes) and bite into some CNY charms and lucks.
  • Be a vegan for at least one day – the first day of the CNY, which is tomorrow, Feb 3rd to say ‘Thanks’ to all the animals that sacrifice their lives to feed us.
  • Greet everyone with ‘Gung Hey Fat Choy’. 
  • Get yourself a new outfit and wear it tomorrow.
  • Get a hair cut.
  • Go to a flower market or CNY fair. (Most Asian Malls and temples are hosting them, go to www.tourismrichmond.com or www.tourismvancouver.com for times and locations.
  • Go to the Chinatown CNY parade this Sunday.



  • Play around with any kind of fake money and certain paper products. Some of them are 

meant for the dead.  Check with your Chinese friends who know the culture and tradition.

  • Put fake money/coins into the Lei-si (red envelope),  

  • Sweep the floor on New Year’s Day.
  • Complain when you’re served a whole fish or whole chicken with their heads and tails still intact. Wholeness is important, especially during CNY.
  • Avoid arguing on the 3rd day of CNY (Saturday).  According to the Lunar Calendar, that’s the day when one can easily lose one’s temper and get into heated confrontations.
  • Fool around in Temples – show your respect even if you don’t know what’s going on.

In case you’re interested, I’ll be talking about Chinese New Year tomorrow at 103.5 with Tara and Mike and at Breakfast TV with Dawn on CityTV.

Well, here are my blessings to you all:

Wan-sze-ru-yee (May all your good wishes come true in Mandarin)

Loong-ma-jing-sun (Good health and good energy in Cantonese)