Saturday, November 27, 2004

Chinese Superstitions

In an effort to find out why exactly it is not a good thing to eat duck at an eightieth birthday (or any birthday?), I'm looking into Google for answers. (If you know of a good book which has the answer let me know.)

This site didn't have the answer, but it did have this interesting thing to say:

"Beating a person with a broom will rain bad luck upon that person for years." Well, it'll certainly seem like bad luck on the poor person getting beaten up won't it?

Joyce Jue reckons that you have to serve noodles as the last dish of a birthday banquet - we didn't. I wonder if it doesn't apply to octogenarians?

Here are some I know Mum believes in:
- Don't talk about people after they are dead
- Don't give candles as a birthday present - candles are a symbol of mortality or something
- If your palms are itchy, you're coming into money
- If a stray dog wanders into your home, feed it - it's good luck
- If you sneeze a few times and you don't have a cold or hayfever or something up your nose, expect to receive mail from someone you haven't heard from in a long time
- Don't have duck on your eightieth birthday (but chicken is okay and roast pork with crackling and fish are must-haves)

I'm sure there are more than that which I've forgotten.

4 comments:

no milk said...

this is a great topic. my mom was quite superstitious as well. but i don't think i have heard of this eating duck thing.

darth said...

i've heard some from my japanese relatives..like never leaving your chopsticks standing upright in your rice bowl...eating the same number of beans as your age on new years (starting to become a problem in my case)...the age 42 being bad luck for men...

the broom thing is pretty funny, btw.

kathrynoh said...

Maybe it's because duck can be quite tough if it isnt' cooked properly and that makes it hard for 80 year olds to chew?

I always believed the itchy palm one.

Violet said...

kathynoh: Perhaps the duck thing IS to do with age - we went out to Yum Char today and she turned down roast duck again. I know for a fact that she loves the stuff, and it can't be a fattiness factor 'cos it didn't stop her from grabbing several deep-fried dim sums...

Darth: eating the same number of beans as your age could be bad idea if you're elderly and unable to handle that much gas, eh? :-)