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How to Prepare for Chinese New Year

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Chinese New Year: Traditional Market

To prepare for Chinese New Year, most families visit traditional markets like this one in Taipei, Taiwan to stock up on snacks.

Lauren Mack / About.com
Most families begin preparing a month or more in advance for Chinese New Year. Here's a step-by-step guide to getting ready for Chinese New Year.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 1-2 days to complete all activities

Here's How:

  1. Go to the fortune teller.

    Learn your fortune for the year ahead.

  2. Get a Hair Cut.

    A hair cut before New Year's is a must as cutting anything during Chinese New Year is considered bad luck. Need inspiration? About.com has help to insure you start the year off with the right hairstyle.

  3. Clean the House.

    Getting organized and doing a thorough spring cleaning are required to be complete by Chinese New Year. Every nook and cranny of the home is scrubbed, broken furniture and appliances discarded, and dirt is swept toward the door to insure Chinese New Year starts off right. Some families also adhere to Chinese New Year feng shui practices. Finally, chunlian (paper couplets) are hung around the home's doorway to usher in good luck.

  4. Go Shopping.

    Before Chinese New Year arrives, the following items must be bought: food for the Chinese New Year celebrations, new clothes to usher in the New Year, gifts and red envelopes to distribute to family and friends.

    Chinese New Year Food:

    New Clothes:

    Chinese Gifts:

    Often given instead of gifts, learn all about Red Envelopes.When visiting a person's house during Chinese New Year, it is customary to give a gift.

Tips:

  1. Start early in order to finish before Chinese New Year.
  2. Get the entire family involved to make Chinese New Year preparations easier and faster.
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