Chinese New Year is approaching fast, and as such, people are preparing to welcome the Year of the Pig in many different ways. With the belief that what you do during the Spring Festival will have an effect on your luck in the coming year, many people follow superstitions, some of which are given a modern twist. Cars, for example, are associated with quite a wide range of Chinese New Year superstitions, and as we all know, it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to folk beliefs.
To that end, today's article by our team at Kwiksure shares some of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to preparing your car for Chinese New Year, so good fortune stays with it and also with you throughout 2019.
Put a pair of oranges on the dashboard
Oranges and tangerines are associated with good luck, especially during Chinese New Year, as their color symbolizes riches and good fortune. By placing a pair of tangerines or oranges on your dashboard, you are welcoming good luck into your car and your life. Also, they're great for decorative purposes considering the overall festive mood!
Place something red inside the car
Just like placing oranges in your car brings good luck and prosperity, having making sure there is something red inside your car this time of year is a must. Red is an ultimate luck and money symbol during CNY, and some people even place a red packet with banknotes inside their cars for better results. Our advice? If you put money in the red packet, don’t leave it in plain sight to avoid potential theft - which is certainly one of the worst things that can happen to you during CNY celebrations!
Let the luck in: open car windows on New Year’s Day
Just like the belief that opening windows in the house during Chinese New Year will bring luck and prosperity to its residents, opening car windows is believed to bring luck to the car’s owner. However, opening your car windows can invite thieves, and as much as opening your car’s windows can bring you good luck, we advise that you only do it if you can park your car in a guarded or private parking spot. Otherwise, only open the windows slightly for a short period of time.
Clean the interior and exterior of your car before CNY
This superstition takes its roots from the fact that traditionally people clean their houses to get rid of any bad fortune and to make room for good luck for the New Year. Clean your car for the same reason, and remember that you should do it before the New Year, as cleaning and sweeping during the Spring Festival takes good luck away.
Avoid driving black cars
Since in Chinese culture the color black is associated with mourning, some people avoid wearing it, and some won't even drive their black car during CNY to avoid bad luck. However, if your car is black, and you have to drive it during the Spring Festival, counteract the bad luck by decorating it with the prosperous colors such as red, gold, and 'top up' your luck by adorning your car with a compulsory pair of oranges.
Avoid driving a car with an “X” or number “4” on the license plate
To many Chinese people, the number “4” is inauspicious as when spoken out loud it resembles the sound of “death” in the Chinese language, hence it is associated with bad luck. Having an X symbol on the license plate is also unwanted as it can resemble the driver’s luck being crossed out.
Avoid placing any sharp objects in the car
This superstition also has its roots from the house environment, where during the first day of Chinese New Year people avoid using sharp objects, as they can “cut” off your luck and fortune for the upcoming year. Plus, why would you want to keep a knife or pair of scissors in your car anyway?
Practical tips for Chinese New Year and your car
If you do plan to rent a car this CNY, read our previous posts about renting a car in a foreign country, and winter safety driving tips if you’re heading in the northern direction. But even if you are not planning a big road trip this Chinese New Year, there are a few things you should remember to enjoy safe and auspicious Spring Festival celebrations. Le
Workshops might be closed
Our advice is to have a service check before CNY, as chances are that during Chinese New Year workshops will be closed and you may be left without access to vehicle repair services for the whole three days of celebrations.
Don’t drink and drive
This should go without explanation, but remember that even a few "drops” of festive wine can impair your driving and if any accident - big or small - occurs while you’re under the influence, your motor insurance, and even your driving license can get invalidated. Don’t risk that.
In times where large crowds are celebrating, always remember to stay within a safe distance from the dancing dragons and lions, and hand fireworks. Try to park your car away from the festivity routes, and you may also use a special car cover for extra protection. For more safety tips during CNY, read our blog titled “Top 5 car safety tips to follow during Chinese New Year”.
As a leading motor insurance broker in Hong Kong, Kwiskure’s team of advisors is dedicated to sharing expert tips and advice on all things automotive and insurance-related! Keep up-to-date with what’s going on by checking out our blog, or contact us today for some expert advice, and a free price quote!