Superstitions for Good Luck

Sally Painter
Chinese character for good luck.

Superstitions for good luck in feng shui are based on the Chinese culture and philosophical belief systems. This is similar to luck beliefs in other cultures and covers a variety of areas.

General Chinese Superstitions for Good and Bad Luck

Like any culture, the Chinese have certain superstitions that are related to good and bad luck. These superstitions come in a variety of forms and can relate to specific kinds of luck, like energy or love, rather than general good or bad luck.

  • The Chinese believe that good luck can be found in pairs. Love/marriage can be enhanced with a pair of mandarin ducks on the nightstand.
  • Never point at the moon or you'll pay the price by having your ear fall off.
  • You don't want to build a home that faces north. This will bring financial ruin and other chaos in your life.
  • Staircases should have an even number of steps with no open risers since they symbolize loss of energy and also money.
  • A moustache is considered bad luck for the man.
  • The word is caution for marriage and numbers when it comes to the age difference between you and your spouse. If you want to ensure a happy marriage, you shouldn't marry anyone who is 3 or 6 years younger or older than you.
  • The Chinese culture considers used or second-hand clothes, furniture, and other items is inauspicious. This superstition is believed to be founded in ideologies of honor, reputations, and pride.
  • Never beat a person with a broom. This will bring bad luck to the person for many years.
  • When traveling, always knock on the door before entering. This alerts any spirits of your presence so they won't be startled by your presence and encourages them to leave.

What You Say Is Important

One of the things you don't want to do is talk about the dead. The Chinese don't talk about the dead or about anyone who is dying. This is considered very bad luck. Make sure your luck remains intact by not telling any ghost stories.

House Cleaning

How you sweep your home is very important. You can hold on to the good luck that enters your door by proper sweeping. When you sweep your home, you should sweep inwardly. You need to sweep all the dirt and dust into the center of your home and then physically carry it out of the house through the back door, never the front door. This keeps the good luck in your home.

Gift Giving

small red gift

Whenever the Chinese give a gift, it's done in pairs or multiples of pairs. If you wish to give a gift, then you'll want to give two gifts. The more gifts, the more luck, such as giving four, eight, sixteen gifts, and so on.

  • Gifts are given for various occasions such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and New Year.
  • Don't give pointy items as gives, such as a knife set or cacti. These are symbols for severing a relationship.
  • A lucky bamboo arrangement is often given for house warming gifts, birthdays, anniversaries and other events.
  • Never gift with miniature objects or plants, such as bonsai. This type of gift bestows stunted growth in all areas of life to the recipient.
  • Don't give a clock, hourglass, or other timepiece since this is a symbol of stealing time from the person and shortening their life.
  • Always insert money when giving a purse or wallet. If left empty, you're bestowing a lack of wealth to the person. Never give empty decorative boxes, always put something of value inside.
  • Gift wrap is very important. Use only bright colored papers and wrap with either a gold or red ribbon. Traditionally, a gift is wrapped in silk fabric to signify your best wishes for prosperity and wealth to the recipient.

Flowers for Good Luck

Even flowers have specific superstitions tied to them and their use in everyday life.

  • Lotus: This is the most prominent flower and symbolism is powerful. The lotus flower lifts out of the mud and blooms in great beauty. Long life.
  • Peach blossom: The peach tree is a symbol of immortality producing the gods' divine fruit. Love symbols.
  • Lilies: Lilies are used for weddings and even have a specific meaning that reads, "happy union for a hundred years."
  • Narcissus: White narcissus placed in the north sector of your home will boost career ambition luck.
  • Hydrangea: This good luck symbol restores balance in home life.
  • Orchids: For a couple, orchids mean happiness and also presents wealth and great luck in fortunes.
  • Chrysanthemum: This flower is used for religious offerings on altars. When looking for a gift for an older person, chrysanthemums are an ideal choice since they symbolize longevity.
  • Peonies: The peony is a powerful symbol of love and marriage.

Auspicious Colors

While colors are used in feng shui for compass sectors, there are also various superstitions that drive other uses of specific colors. These include:

  • Red: This is an auspicious color and considered a symbol of good luck. Weddings feature red lanterns, wedding invitation envelopes, money envelopes, wedding decorations and even the bride's dress.
  • Gold: This color represents wealth and is often used with red. It's found in all monetary and wealth symbols.
  • Black: This color represents water and is used for career luck. It's often used in a combination with red to create a powerful duo.
  • White: A mourning color, white is associated with funerals and a mourning period. It is never worn at a wedding.

Lucky Numbers

Numbers play an important role in feng shui and life is often ruled by the use of numbers. Some are auspicious and others are considered inauspicious.

  • Number 4: Four sounds like the Chinese word, death and should be avoided.
  • Number 8: Eight is lucky because it sounds like the word prosper.
  • Number 9: Nine sounds similar to the word sufficient.
  • Dates: Each Chinese zodiac sign has two most auspicious lunar months. These are used to select important dates such as weddings.
  • Address: The number 8 is associated with wealth while number 9 is associated with a long life. These are considered very auspicious numbers for a home address while 4 is inauspicious and homeowners avoid addresses with a 4.
  • Lucky numbers: The Kua number is your personal map to your four auspicious directions. You can take advantage of these directions and avoid your four inauspicious ones.

Food and Drink

Some foods and drinks are considered auspicious, and some are believed to be powerful aspects of important days and events.

  • Noodles: It's believed that long noodles are auspicious of a long life and you should never cut noodles or risk shortening your life.
  • Oranges: The round golden shape of an orange is considered a symbol of gold and represents blessings and prosperity.
  • Whole chicken and fish: A chicken and fish should be cooked whole and serve whole. Both are a symbol of family unity.
  • Spring rolls: The golden fried spring rolls are symbols of gold ingots.
  • Tea: Serving a visitor tea is the social sign that the visit is coming to an end.

Superstitions Surrounding New Year's Day

Variety of Chinese New Year Greeting Decorations

One of the most auspicious times for the Chinese is New Year's Day. The Chinese believe that the things you do on this day will determine your luck for the following year.

New Year Good Luck Tips

A few important tips can help you increase your luck for the upcoming year.

  • Don't argue or cry on New Year's Day unless you wish to cry and argue throughout the upcoming year.
  • Don't use sharp objects, like knives, on this important day since pointed objects are considered inauspicious. Knives on New Year's Day will slice and destroy your good luck.
  • Keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and avoid rough patches by not buying any shoes on New Yea's Day. The word shoes sounds like the word rough, so if you need new shoes, purchase a pair before the holiday.
  • You need to start the New Year off debt-free, otherwise, the you'll be plagued with bills and more bills throughout the entire year.
  • Serve noodles for the New Year's meal. The longer the noodle the longer and happier the luck will be.
  • The color red is considered to most auspicious color and brings the biggest and best luck. You'll want to wear red on New Year's Day.
  • To ensure you have a sweeter New Year, be sure to eat deserts, candy and other sweets.
  • Don't get your hair cut during the week of the New Year. If you cut your hair, you're cutting off good luck. Don't wash your hair on the first day of the New Year unless you want to wash away all of your good luck.

Wedding Superstitions

You'll find several superstitions surrounding wedding ceremonies.

  • A rainy wedding is auspicious and means a fertile and prosperous life together.
  • Don't try on your wedding dress before the wedding or you won't get married. There's no answer for how a bride gets fitted for her wedding dress.
  • If the groom stands or sits in front of his wife during the ceremony, he's doomed to life a married life constantly being henpecked.
  • It's bad luck if the groom arrives at the ceremony after the bride.
  • Never give the bride and groom knifes or other pointed and sharp objects as a gift. Sharp objects are considered inauspicious.
  • Rice tossed at the couple ensures prosperity.
  • The bride should never wear pearls on her wedding day or suffer a sad and tearful marriage.
  • Wedding clothes are red, white or yellow to ensure a lucky wedding and marriage.

Babies and Birth Superstitions

There are also superstitions surrounding births.

  • A baby shower before the baby is born is bad luck. These are held after the birth.
  • You can ensure the gender of your baby by eating certain foods.
  • Be careful what you think and do because this will affect who your child becomes.
  • Refrain from rubbing your abdomen too often, or suffer a spoiled child.
  • There can be no construction or work done in the home of a pregnant woman without risking the health of her unborn child.
  • Your baby's destiny is determined by the very first object she or he picks up.

Feng Shui and Superstitions

Most of these Chinese superstitions are observed in feng shui. Be sure to use the auspicious ones to increase your good luck in specified areas of your life.

Superstitions for Good Luck