Author Archives: Quinn Blades

Give Me the Red Bag

The interview will be depicted by initials. The Interviewer is QB and the interview is CH.

This final superstition was given as an offhand remembrance that the student did not expect to tell me.

CH: Ok so on Chinese New Years, traditionally younger people like kids say this one saying to their parents or elders. Its gong xi fa cai/ hong bao na lai. And what that means roughly translated is “I wish you good luck and good fortune, now hand me the red bag” and the red bag has money in it. And it can be upwards of hundreds of dollars depending on how old the kid is.

Analysis: This once again shows the importance of red within the Chinese culture. Not only does it help protect them from evil doings, but it can also bring them fortune and wealth. However, it should be noted that they must pay their respects to their elders before receiving their gift, thus showing the importance of their family on their lives. It is also interesting that the older you get the more money you receive. It could possibly be to show the maturity of the person rewards them with more fortune.

Chinese New Year Fish Tradition

The interview will be depicted by initials. The Interviewer is QB and the interviewee is CH.


QB: So what was this superstition you were talking about?


CH: Um…its really simple actually. On Chinese New Years, we eat a whole steamed fish, including the head to symbolize the circle of life…I think it’s the circle of life.


Analysis: There are many rituals and superstitions for the Chinese New Year, many of which may seem bizarre to Americans. However, this one the student seemed eager to share and proud that the family utilized all of the fish on the evening. Even though it was to support the circle of life, the student seemed more impressed that they used all of the fish rather than the meaning.

Zodiac Superstition

The interview will be depicted by initials. The Interviewer is QB and the interview is CH.


QB: Are there any other superstitions you can tell me?


CH: For your Zodiac year…If its your Zodiac year it is thought you are more prone to dangers and misfortune…so…you have to wear red to ward away evils or evil things. A lot of people wear red bracelets or necklaces, but my family and I wear red underwear. It has to be, like, the duration is a whole year starting on Chinese New Year. Or it has to just have red on it?


QB: So you wear it for a whole year?


CH: Mhmmm…but its only every 12 years so its not that bad.


Analysis: The seems to be a little different from other traditions. While it follows the universal meaning of wearing red for protection, it is interesting that it only pertains to the students underwear. They seemed a little uncomfortable speaking about this certain ritual, but confirmed that each year they never failed to follow the rules.

Protection Against the Evil Eye

The interview will be depicted by initials. The Interviewer is QB and the interview is VS.

QB: Do you have any stories or superstitions that stick out to you at the moment?

VS: Well we do…like…if um…so for babies we put a little red bracelet to ward off the evil eye. But for adults if you have the evil eye…some symptoms are like fever. But its usually in kids because if someone stares at your kid long enough you get it. And the process to get rid of it for adults and kids is like an elder rubbing an egg all over your body to absorb the negative energy. Then they crack the egg in the water and if it floats then it means you had the evil eye but if it mixes you never had it.

Analysis: The most interesting fact is that the evil eye is mainly focused on children. While the student said it was possible for the adults to get it as well, the main focus for warding off the evil eye is with infants. Also it is interesting how to “test” if one has the evil eye. One may assume, however, that no matter what the egg does you are gratefully rid of the curse.

New Year, New Underwear

The interview will be depicted by initials. The Interviewer is QB and the interview is VS.

QB: That is great! Are there any special traditions you and your family do?

VS: For New Years you have to wear new underwear. There’s yellow, red, green, and white but they all have to be new. Yellow is for luck, Green is for money, Red is for love, and white is for health or fertility. You can just choose one color or wear one with all types of colors.

Analysis: Again we see that the underwear is a major factor with the New Year. While the colors stand for the common universal symbolism, it is interesting to note that the underwear MUST be new. One may assume that it is to bring in the new luck and fortune along with the year.