10 Traditions That Invite Luck & Good Vibes for Lunar New Year

Say good bye old to negative vibes, and hello new lucky energy with 10 Lunar New Year customs that invite prosperity, peace, and wellbeing.

Updated January 22, 2024
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Lunar New Year (you'll sometimes hear it called Chinese New Year) is a huge celebration around the world. It's the perfect time to say goodbye to all that stuff you don't love about your life and welcome in new, exciting things, and we love that for you! 

Wondering how you can make your own luck and honor the traditional celebration of Lunar New Year? We have 10 easy ideas to help push the bad vibes out the door and invite in new, positive energy and luck.

Get Rid of Old Energy

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We totally understand clutter creep. What's that, you ask? Every year, we start with the best of intentions to keep clutter from invading our lives. But as the year goes on, the clutter starts to gather until our drawers are jumbled, our closets are crowded, our email inboxes fill with spam, and we've got dust bunnies under the bed. It happens to the best of us.

The problem with clutter is that it constricts us and keeps the energy from flowing in a way that supports living our best lives. Lunar New Year is the perfect time to banish it so you can start fresh and let that good mojo flow. Isn't it time you made space for all the good things you want?

Do this by cleaning and decluttering your house, getting rid of all those items you've been holding onto but not using. Straighten drawers, vacuum under the bed, trim dead leaves from plants, throw away clothes you don't wear anymore, and make a few repairs. And while you're at it, it's time to click unsubscribe at the bottom of all those pesky emails (just because you bought something from Etsy one time doesn't mean you need to hear from them every day forever).

Now is a great time to work on healing old wounds, too. Mad at someone? Work on forgiving them. Holding a grudge? Maybe it's time to give it up. Do something that ticked someone else off? It's a good time to apologize. Start the new year with a fresh home and a fresh mind. Oh — and if you're really being honest, isn't it time to clean out the car, too? We see you, seven-month-old chicken nugget, hiding under the back seat. 

Quick Tip

Finish all decluttering and cleaning before the clock strikes 12 on Lunar New Year's Eve. After the stroke of midnight, you could wipe or sweep away luck if you clean, so take the day off! You've earned it! If you've been bitten by the cleaning bug, you can resume cleaning in a few days. 

Share New Year's Greetings

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Sure, you could offer a simple, "Happy New Year!" After all, it invites blessings for others, and in our opinion, one of the best ways to receive luck in our own life is to share luck with others. But if you're feeling adventurous this year, try wishing someone a Happy New Year in Mandarin by saying, "Xin nian Kuai le" (pronounced "shin yen kwai luh"  — means "happy new year"). Or speak a Cantonese greeting, "Gong hey fat choi" (exactly as it's written  — means, "Wishing you a prosperous year"). 

Decorate With Red & Gold

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If you're feeling artsy and want to add some pops of color, red and gold are the traditional colors that invite prosperity. You can make it super cute.

  1. Head outside and grab a branch.
  2. Spray paint it white or gold.
  3. Stick the branch in a cute container full of rocks to make it stand up.
  4. Use red construction paper to cut out animals of the Chinese zodiac and flowers, and hang them with gold cord from the branches.  Hello, prosperity. 

Related: Chinese Good Luck Charms for Love, Success, and Life

Gift Red Envelopes

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We adore the idea of gifting love, prosperity, and peace to the people we love. And while you can't wave a magic wand over someone to give them those things instantly, you can give them a red envelope with some cash to help them create that energy in their life. 

We love the pretty red envelopes, called hóngbāo. Put a few bucks in them and seal them, then hand them to your recipient with two hands while maybe speaking one of those phrases we just taught you. 

Need to Know

Give the money in even numbers... even is lucky, and odd isn't. So give an even number of bills and an even-numbered amount of money. Just avoid anything in fours (don't give four bills or $4, for instance), because four is an unlucky even number.  We know... it's a lot to remember, but you've got this!

Skip Washing Your Hair

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Get out your dry shampoo — those dirty tresses can wait a day or two, and skip getting a haircut on the first day of Lunar New Year. Otherwise, you may be washing luck and prosperity down the drain or cutting it off. Why? Because the first character of the word hair is the same as the first character of prosperity, and you want to invite it to stick around. 

Oh — and while you're not washing things, skip washing your clothes that day, too. They can wait until tomorrow. 

Avoid Negative Words

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Speaking things out loud can give them energy. And there are just some things that you don't want to give energy to — like Beetlejuice. If that movie taught us anything, it's that words have power, and when you say them too often, you could speak something annoying into existence.

Hedge your bets and make sure positive vibes are front and center by keeping those negative words out of your mouth during the Lunar New Year. Speak positively and skip words that have negative associations like "death" or "poverty." If you speak these words, you could call them into existence. 

Pop a Balloon

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Loud noises can scare away bad energy — one of the ways we activate energy in certain areas of our homes (like in dark corners or closets) is by clapping our hands to chase away bad mojo and call in good vibes. And on Lunar New Year's Eve when you're doing your best to chase away darkness and invite the light in, you can pop a balloon as the clock begins to strike midnight. See ya, negativity. 

Eat Two Mandarin Oranges

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A yummy fruity snack and tasty noodles are power foods on Lunar New Year because they invite in good luck. Mandarin oranges symbolize wealth, and eating two is good luck (it's that whole even numbers thing again). You can gift two Mandarin oranges to others to wish them luck, too. Always offer them with both hands as a sign of respect.

If the oranges don't fill you all the way up, grab some long noodles (we love a bowl of ramen on Lunar New Year). If you're someone who breaks your spaghetti before you put it in the pot to cook, Lunar New Year is a great time to break that habit. The long noodles symbolize longevity. So don't break those noodles. Leave 'em long and lucky. 

On the other hand, skip the porridge (or porridge-like foods such as oatmeal... or as mom used to call it, mush) on New Year's Day... it could invite poverty.

Try Not to Break Bad

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Maybe put the super fragile items out of reach and handle anything breakable with extreme caution on the first day of Lunar New Year. If you're like us and are someone who breaks things... well... pretty much all the time, remember these words, "Sui sui ping an" ("swee-swee-ping-ann"). Speak them as soon as you break something to chase away bad luck and invite good luck. The phrase roughly translates to, "Wishing you peace and fortune."

Wear New Clothes

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Attention shopaholics and fashionistas! We have great news. On Lunar New Year, you have a reason to buy yourself something new. Because wearing new clothes on New Year's Day ushers in the year with a fresh start and invites luck. 

For even more luck, follow the old adage of dressing for the job you want — but in this case, dress for the level of prosperity and abundance you desire. It not only brings luck but also wards off misfortune and bad spirits. Red clothes and bright colors are especially lucky (hello, red-bottomed shoes, we've been waiting to have a reason to buy you for a long time). Skip the dark, somber hues, and don't wear black or white  — they're both bad luck.

Ring in Prosperity and Luck

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We adore a fresh start, and Lunar New Year is the perfect time to step on the path to better energy. We say out with the old and in with the new — energy, that is. So start on the right foot and get ready to have a successful year. Gong hey fat choi.

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10 Traditions That Invite Luck & Good Vibes for Lunar New Year