Taboos and superstitions for Lunar New Year House cleaning On New Year's Eve, all brooms, brushes, dusters, dust pans and other cleaning equipment are put away. Sweeping or dusting should not be done on New Year's Day for fear that good fortune will be swept away. Setting off firecrackers This is the Chinese way of ushering in the New Year. On the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, every door and window in the house also have to be opened to allow the old year to go out. No foul language Everyone should refrain from using foul language. Negative terms and the word 'four' ('sei'), which has a similar sound to the Chinese word for death, are also not to be uttered. Death and dying are never mentioned and ghost stories are totally taboo. No crying If you cry on New Year's Day, you will cry all through the year. Therefore, children are not spanked, even though they are mischievous. Wear red Red is considered a bright, happy colour sure to bring the wearer a sunny and prosperous future. Red packets (lai see ) Married couples give children and single adults money in red envelopes for good fortune. No knives or scissors Don't use them on New Year's Day as they may cut off fortune.