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The Significance of Day Two During Lunar New Year: Traditions and Taboos

by Aaron Isaacs 0 Comments

The second day of the Lunar New Year, known as "初二" (Chu Er), holds a unique place in the tapestry of Lunar New Year celebrations. This day, rich in tradition and familial bonds, offers a glimpse into the depth of cultural practices that define the Lunar New Year. From the return to maternal homes to honoring pets, Chu Er encapsulates customs that emphasize harmony, respect, and gratitude. This blog post explores the key traditions associated with the second day of the Lunar New Year and the important considerations to keep in mind.

Traditions of Chu Er

  1. Returning to the Maternal Home One of the day's most heartwarming customs is when married daughters visit their maternal homes with their husbands and children. This visit symbolizes the daughter's gratitude towards her parents and reinforces family ties. It’s a day filled with joy, updates, and shared meals, strengthening the bonds between the generations.

  2. Exchanging Blessings Continuing the practice of visiting relatives, the second day extends the opportunity to exchange blessings and good wishes. It's a time to foster relationships, express respect, and share the joy of the season. The exchange of red envelopes (红包) containing money, known as "Lucky Money," remains a popular custom, especially for children.

  3. Honoring Ancestors Some families choose this day to perform rituals that honor their ancestors. These ceremonies can range from simple offerings of food and incense to elaborate prayers, symbolizing respect for the ancestors and seeking their blessings for the coming year.

  4. Celebrating Pets Interestingly, Chu Er is also considered the birthday of all dogs. In recognition of their loyalty and companionship, pets, especially dogs, are treated with extra care and affection. Special treats and attention on this day acknowledge their role in the family and society.

Considerations and Taboos

While the second day of the Lunar New Year is marked by specific customs, there are also general practices and taboos that are observed throughout the festival:

  • Avoid Negativity: It is crucial to avoid negative words, thoughts, and actions. Speaking about death, using sharp words, or engaging in conflicts can be seen as inauspicious and potentially setting a negative tone for the rest of the year.

  • Handle Breakages with Care: Breaking objects can symbolize misfortune or the severance of luck and relationships. If something breaks, it’s customary to say auspicious phrases to counteract the negative implications.

  • Dress Appropriately: Wearing new clothes, particularly in red or other bright colors, is encouraged to symbolize a fresh start and good fortune. Avoid wearing black or white, as these colors are traditionally associated with mourning.

Conclusion The second day of the Lunar New Year, Chu Er, is a blend of joyous reunions, cultural reverence, and thoughtful practices. By engaging in these traditions and observing the associated taboos, individuals not only honor their cultural heritage but also contribute to the positive flow of energy and fortune for the year ahead. As we celebrate, let's remember the values of family, respect, and optimism that these customs embody, carrying them forward into the new year with hope and harmony.

As we embrace these traditions, it's important to remember that the spirit of the Lunar New Year is one of renewal and joy, transcending beyond the dos and don'ts to foster a sense of community and shared happiness.

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