2017 is the year of the rooster. To ring in the New Year with a loud cockledoodledoo, here are eight things you must do before the big day.
Get a hair cut
What better way to welcome in the new year than a brand new hair cut. So hop over to your favourite barber or hairdresser and get more bangs (literally) for your bucks! Just remember to keep it short and tidy enough for a month. You don’t want to snip away your luscious locks and good luck don’t you?
Clean the house
Throw away old furnitures, give old, unused clothes to charity, sweep all the bad luck away and dust every nook and cranny for cobwebs. So take out your feather duster, vacuum cleaner and start dusting! Come New Year, your home will be as good as new. Just remember to put those brooms away on that day, lest you sweep all your good luck away!
Buy new clothes and shoes
Fashionistas, rejoice! This is the perfect occasion to splurge on that new pair of clothes and shoes that you have been eyeing for as there is now a legitimate excuse to wear them for the New Year. So go ahead and indulge yourself in that new Jimmy Choos or Mont Blanc – preferably in auspicious red.
Do New Year shopping
Throng the shopping centres and pasar malam to stock up on cookies, food and other new year goodies. The best time to do so is the day before where you can get bargain deals as shopkeepers are eager to clear their stocks. Be prepared for the mad rush and jostling with the crowd. Not for the faint-hearted.
Go to the flower market
Stock up on pussy willows, orchids, chrysanthemums, jade plants, orange trees and lucky bamboos for your home as these flowers and plants are considered auspicious. Pussy willows are especially ubiquitous as they represent the start of spring. You can find them at all the wholesale store in Sungai Buloh or Petaling Street. When going for plants, go for the lucky bamboos, as they represent strength in Chinese. The best thing is, they require very little care and thrives on its own. Just put in a vase, add water and you are good to go.
Buy auspicious fruits
While good for our health, some fruits have auspicious meaning in Chinese customs. Traditional favourites like orange represents gold in Chinese traditions and its round shape signifies money. Others, like bright red and pink Pomelo, represent good health. You might want to also consider bananas which symbolises unity while yellow stands for happiness.
Make banners with good luck messages
Decorate the entrance of your home with good luck greetings preferably jn red and gold. This is because such colours are considered lucky. For example, red represents vitality of life and happiness while gold represents wealth and prosperity. You can buy them at the bookstore or make your own using bright red papers using markers or brush, if you are good with your hands.
Pay respect to your ancestors
Last but not least, don’t forget to pay respect to your ancestors. According to Chinese traditions, the New Year can only begin after they have done so. On New Year’s eve, you can see people thronging the temples to give their offerings of food and prayers to please the spirits of the deceased for more good luck ahead.