A women's group yesterday called on parents to break a cultural taboo and welcome their divorced daughters home during the first two days of the Lunar New Year holidays.
In traditional Chinese culture, married and divorced women are not permitted to return to their parents’home during the first two days of the Lunar New Year, but according to the findings of a recent survey, many married women prefer to have Chinese New Year Eve's dinner at their parents’home rather than at their in-laws’
In Chinese culture, it is believed that married and divorced women visiting their parents’on the first day of the Chinese New Year would bring poverty and bad luck to the home and cause their brothers’fortunes to take a downturn.
According to tradition, married women usually have Lunar New Year Eve's dinner at the home of their in-laws and if married and divorced women do join their parents for New Year's Eve dinner, they are required to leave before the actual Lunar New Year arrives.
On the second day of the Chinese New Year when married and divorced daughters are allowed to return to their parents’home, they are required to prepare some gifts, known as“Dan Lou.”
One divorced woman who called herself“A Lien”said that she cannot understand why her unmarried younger sister could remain at their parents’home after the New Year Eve's dinner while she and her children were forced to leave before 11:00 p.m.
Another woman,“Hsiao Hui”who has been divorced for many years and lives near her parents, complained that she has to make trips to other areas to avoid causing embarrassment by breaking the New Year taboo.
She said that as a divorcee she is still allowed to worship her ancestors, but is confused as to why she is regarded as“spilled water”during Chinese New Year.
She was referring to a Chinese proverb that says,“A married daughter is similar to spilled water”and also to a Chinese tradition in which mothers would spill water outside the house when their daughters get married to symbolize the irreversible“departure”of their daughters.
Meanwhile, the Taiwan Gender Equity Education Association has released a survey on the top 10 Chinese traditions that cause emotional pain and discomfort to Taiwanese women.
According to the survey, the customs of spilling water and being banned from their parents’home during the first two days of the Lunar New Year ranked third and fourth, respectively.