Tips and taboos: your Lunar New Year superstition guide

Left to right: Auburn Hospital physiotherapists James Chen, Joanna Mak, dietitian Sophie Feng and physiotherapist Jasmin Huang.

IMPORTANT: Please read the following information for travellers returning from China:

While many made 2020 resolutions late last year, the arrival of the Year of the Rat comes with its own traditions to help ensure a safe and healthy new year.

Lunar New Year will be celebrated on Saturday 25 January this year, and the celebration is rich with customs and traditions to attract good luck in the year to come – however, with these celebrations come superstitions.

Auburn Hospital physiotherapy team leader James Chen unpacked some of the most common superstitions.

“My parents always told me that whatever you do on the first day of the Lunar New Year, you will have to continue to do for the remainder of the year,” James said.

“So I always avoided doing things like cleaning the house! I often avoid washing my hair on Lunar New Year because it is believed to wash away the good luck to come.

Auburn Hospital physiotherapist James Chen.

“Also, no needles. Never use needles on Lunar New Year because it could create holes in your wealth.

“Another one that my family follow quite closely is getting a haircut before the New Year begins. My wife always goes and gets her hair done nicely because a fresh appearance is meant to be a produce a clean slate and a fresh start.

“The most challenging one for me would be the superstition that if you are to visit a hospital, it could bring illness for the duration of the year. Because I work in a hospital this could prove to be quite difficult.

“My wife and family are a lot more superstitious than I am, but these concepts do always sit in the back of my mind.

Auburn Hospital staff celebrating Lunar New Year

“I love this time of year and the celebrations it brings.”

“I love when my family and friends come together to bring in the new year.”

NSW Health is encouraging the Chinese community to get healthy this Lunar New Year, using The Get Healthy Service Chinese Coaching Program.

This is a FREE and confidential phone based service with Cantonese and Mandarin speaking health coaches who offer culturally appropriate coaching and resources, helping you achieve a healthier lifestyle.

For more information on the Get Healthy Service Chinese Coaching program click here or call 1300 806 258, Monday to Friday, 8am – 8pm.

Important information for travellers returning from China: