Hello everyone. Welcome back to MaoMi Chinese!
In every country, every culture, there are some strange sayings. For example, many Westerners believe that if we see a black cat crossing the road, something bad might happen today. For example, in English culture, thirteen can be a bad number, and Friday the thirteenth is an unlucky day. Of course, Black Friday has now become a day when people go on a shopping spree. These are called "superstitions" in Chinese. What kind of superstitions are there in Chinese culture? Today, let's talk about Chinese superstitions!
There are too many superstitions in Chinese culture! Firstly, let's talk about superstitions related to phonetic puns. For example, if we're going to give someone a gift, we must not give a clock or a watch, because giving a clock sounds exactly the same as ‘burying a parent’. 送终means that a person's parents have passed away, and he/she is going to watch the parents' burial. Therefore, you must never, absolutely never, definitely never give a clock as a gift, because it is too unlucky. Also, when eating a pear, it is best to eat it whole instead of cutting it apart. Because "split the pear", it sounds like "separate". Neither of us like to be separated from those we love. In addition, when buying a house, you will find that all houses related to the number 4 are particularly cheap. For example, an apartment on the fourth or fourteenth floor is cheap, a house on the fourth floor is cheap, and so on. Because four sounds like "dead". Many people don't like to talk about death, so the number four is not very auspicious. On the contrary, the number 8 is particularly auspicious, because it sounds similar to the "fa" of making a fortune. Of course, who doesn't like getting rich?
There is another kind of superstition, which is related to ghosts and gods. For example, when eating, never put chopsticks in the rice bowl. why? Because this kind of meal is for the dead. When Chinese go to the cemetery to see their ancestors, they often burn incense. The chopsticks inserted into the rice bowl look like burning incense. The Chinese also believe in the Benming Year. What is the Benming year? For example, this year's zodiac is the tiger. If you were born in the year of the tiger, then you are exactly 12 years old, 24 years old, 36 years old, 48 years old... This year is your Benming year. The Chinese believe that bad things often happen during the Benming year, so we have to wear red underwear and red clothes because we believe that red can scare away bad spirits.
There are also some superstitions, which should be just to make children behave and not do stupid things. For example, don't knock empty bowls with chopsticks when eating. Why? Because the beggars in the past often knocked on empty bowls while begging others for food. When I was very little, I used chopsticks to knock the empty bowl at someone's wedding dinner and was severely told off by adults, so I remember it very clearly.
There are countless superstitions in Chinese culture, and these are just small parts of them. What superstitions do you have in your culture? Feel free to share with everyone in the comments!