Tag Archives: folk practices


A Grave of Rice

It’s bad luck to stick chopsticks into a bowl of rice, burying the tip. Supposedly this is because the chopsticks resemble the headstone placed on a grave, and reminders death are extremely inauspicious in Chinese society. The correct way to set a table, and to place chopsticks on a bowl of rice, is to lay them across… Continue Reading »

Fire and water must never meet

A feng shui master once told my informant that when fire and water meet within a household, conflict would arise. By fire, he refers to stoves, fireplaces, and other sources of heat, while by water he refers to faucets and pot spouts. A few years ago, my informant lived in a house with poorly laid… Continue Reading »