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VB Hacks

Happy Lunar New Year!

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Photographed by Brittany Wright

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In the West, the new year is all about family, friends, celebrations and festive fireworks. In the Far East, the same applies—albeit with an extra serving of superstitions to ensure good fortune and luck all year long. Here, to ring in the Lunar New Year on January 25, we share a cheat sheet of dos and don'ts—because you don't want to tempt the fates, do you?

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But first! Here's a quick primer on the Chinese zodiac—it features various animals instead of astrological signs. So instead of Aries, Cancer and Aquarius, there's the dragon, ox and tiger—12 in all. 2020 is the year of the rat and, contrary to popular stereotypes, that's a good thing: The animal symbolizes wealth and—as the first animal of the zodiac cycle—new beginnings.

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Dos & Don'ts

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Do Stock Up on Oranges
Mandarin oranges are considered super symbols of prosperity and good luck, which is why you typically see them everywhere during the Lunar New Year revelries. They're also frequently exchanged as gifts. Fun fact: The Chinese word for the fruit sounds a lot like the word for gold—hence its all-star rep.

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Don't Cut Your Hair
The days and weeks leading up to the Lunar New Year is a peak season for salons and hairdressers—because cutting your hair on the day of is an absolute no-no. Same goes for washing it. Or showering, period. Doing so is the equivalent of chopping or washing away good fortune.

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Do Wear Red
Red is a good luck color, said to ward off evil spirits. Colors to avoid? Black, which represents bad luck, and white, which is traditionally worn during funerals.

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Don't Use Any Sharp Objects
This includes scissors, knives, needles… The reason is the same as mentioned in the "Don't Cut Your Hair" tip—you don't want to cut off your wealth and good fortune. Plus, they're considered harbingers of conflict and quarreling. Stay away from the sharp objects during the new year and you'll have a peaceful 2020.

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Do Open the Windows at Midnight
Let the new year's luck come in—and the old year vibes out.

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Don't Clean House
Don't even think about doing laundry, throwing away garbage or cleaning of any sort. You don’t want to accidentally toss out any good fortune that comes to you that day. Which isn't to say you should welcome the new year with a messy home; just make sure to declutter and tidy in advance of the actual day. If, however, you have an accident, break something and must clean it up, start at the outer edge of the room and sweep inwards—never outwards and over the threshold of the door.

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Do Eat Oysters
The Chinese word for oyster sounds like the term for "good things". Plus, they resemble the gold ingots used in imperial China and are considered a symbol of wealth.

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Don't Take a Nap
If you indulge and take an afternoon nap, the thinking goes, you'll be lazy all year round. As you can see from this list, New Year's Day forecasts a lot of what happens the rest of the year.

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Do Shop!
No, seriously. Wearing new clothes denotes new beginnings, while wearing damaged or worn-down clothing is said to bring bad luck. If you want to slip into those distressed jeans, do so at your own peril.

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Shop Red for Good Luck

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