Sweeping Out the Good Luck (Chinese New Year)

Transcript (the folk practice):

Me: Do you do anything on Chinese New Year?

Informant: Like don’t sweep on Chinese New Year?

Me: Wait that’s a thing?

Informant: You don’t know that?

Me: I’ve never heard this!

Informant: Wait this is like famous, hang on. It’s like you’re not supposed to sweep during Chinese New Year if you don’t want to sweep the luck out of the house cleaning out the house symbolizes wait wait wait yeah sweeping out the house should be avoided during the first 3 days because good luck would be swept out.


Context of Performance: collected from an in-person conversation.

Informant: so it’s like a fun thing for Chinese New Year that I understand and don’t have to speak Chinese for it AND I get to like do it.

The informant also commented that she learned about it from her mom. Her family has been not sweeping during Chinese New Year since she was a kid (at least 10 years).

Personal Thoughts:

There’s a lot of traditions done during Chinese New Year that are associated with fortune and wealth. However, most that I’ve heard are things to do to scare off bad luck (such as lighting fireworks) as opposed to things not to do to keep good luck. This tradition is particularly interesting to me because I’ve associated Chinese New Year with Spring Cleaning time and/or a reset.