TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Sunday (Feb. 4) is Lichun (立春), which is considered the beginning of spring on the lunisolar calendar, and numerology expert Hsiao Meng (小孟) has listed eight taboos traditionally observed by Taiwanese on this day.
Lichun is traditionally an opportunity to engage in activities that bring hope for a prosperous new year. On this day, people hold ceremonies to welcome the new year and eat dishes such as spring pancakes, radishes, and a platter of five spicy vegetables (onion, garlic, pepper, ginger, and mustard).
Families often go on outings on this day to see flowers in bloom and to enjoy scenic spots. In ancient times, people used to smash a clay ox, and good luck would go to the person who was able to snatch the head.
However, there are also eight taboos on this day to avoid misfortune in the coming year, listed by numerology expert Hsiao Meng (小孟) on his Facebook page:
1. Married women should not visit their mothers' home
It is believed that if women return to their mother's home on this day, it could take the good fortune away from her in-law's family and transfer it to her maternal home, thereby interfering with their luck. In addition, visiting the home of one's mother on the first day of spring adds "another spring," which would signify remarrying.
2. Don't move into a new home
The first day of spring marks the transition of old energy into new. Therefore, one should hold off on moving in order to avoid disturbing the energy inside a home. The beginning of the year also represents a time of turbulence, which is not considered conducive to a move.
3. Don't quarrel with others
Arguing with others will taint the good luck of the first day of spring and spread to the whole year. It is thus advisable to try to maintain harmony with others for at least this one day.
4. Don't get a haircut
In ancient times, it was thought that hair was just like vegetation in the soil. If a plant was cut just as it was beginning to sprout, its growth could be greatly inhibited. In this way, the ancients believed cutting one's hair would cut off their vitality at the beginning of spring, negatively impacting their fortune for the year.
5. Don't see a doctor
In ancient times, it was believed that Lichun was an auspicious festival. Therefore, ancients believed that seeing a doctor for non-medical emergencies on this day would incur bad luck, bringing misfortune for the rest of the year.
6. Don't lie down the whole day
On this spring day, when yang energy gathers strength and the temperature begins to rise, one should exercise the muscles and joints to promote blood circulation and stay fit.
7. Don't do strenuous exercise
Lichun marks the approach of a new year, a time for health preservation. Although some exercise is important on this day, one should not overdo it. If one exercises too strenuously, they could deplete their yang energy, draining their health.
8. Don't overindulge in games or watch TV dramas
This is a time to begin making plans for the whole year. Spending too much time idly playing games or watching TV dramas, while failing to plan may prevent one from achieving great success in the rest of the year.