Beliefs from historical Chinese language tradition nonetheless maintain significance in modern-day life

Have you ever heard of any of those quirky Hong Kong superstitions? Carry out these acts and be ready for misfortune, unhealthy luck, sad relationships, and extra.

Whereas Hong Kong is famend for being one of many prime markets for finance, it additionally has a historical past deep-rooted in custom and Chinese language superstition, and there are occasions when there appears to be a combative dynamic between trendy life-style and up to date tradition and heritage. Behind the attractive Chinese language temples are historical tales, and the markets in Kowloon and components of Wong Tai Sin are nonetheless surrounded by many fortune tellers. Discover out some quirky Hong Kong superstitions that don’t appear to make a lot modern-day sense, however have withstood the take a look at of time.

Quirky superstitions and beliefs in Hong Kong

1. Quantity 4

Taboo hong kong
The quantity 4 is taken into account an unfortunate quantity (Pictures: Combine and Match Studio)

Hong Kong’s relationship with the quantity 4 is fascinating, a cultural nuance that provides only a little bit of spice to town’s vibrant tapestry. It has an eerie phonetic resemblance to the phrase “loss of life” in each Cantonese and Mandarin. This charming cultural perception has left a conspicuous mark on Hong Kong’s city panorama.

Have you ever ever observed that some residence buildings mysteriously lack a fourth ground? That’s not an architectural oversight, Honey! It’s an intriguing nod to this superstition, cementing its standing as one of many metropolis’s most recognised and revered beliefs.

2. Leftover rice

A bowl of rice
Eat all of your rice! (Pictures: alien0417 by way of Pixabay)

A well-liked one for adults attempting to get kids to eat, ensure you end all the pieces in your bowl right down to the final grain of rice. Every grain of rice left behind will point out what number of zits scars and spots your future partner could have.

3. Chopsticks in your bowl

Chopsticks on a bowl
By no means, below any circumstances, stick your chopsticks upright in your meals (Pictures: Ricardo Ortiz by way of Pexels)

Be sure you by no means stick chopsticks upright in your meals, particularly rice, because it resembles incense sticks which can be used to burn and pay respects for the useless. Not solely will it carry you unhealthy luck however will make you seem to have horrible desk manners.

4. Reducing your birthday cake

Cake cutting superstition
Keep in mind to go away a bit of little bit of cake on the backside (Pictures: Jacob Lund)

In line with Hong Kong superstitions, for those who reduce your birthday cake all the best way to the underside, you’ll be doomed to a lifetime of singledom! And let’s be sincere, even for those who don’t consider within the energy of cake-cutting, it’s all the time higher to be secure than sorry. Who is aware of, possibly it’ll carry you a lifetime of happiness along with your soulmate.

5. Gifting a pair of footwear

Shoes superstition hong kong
Sneakers are an enormous no-no in the case of presents (Pictures: malcolm garret by way of Pexels)

Don’t ever buy footwear as a gift. Firstly, as a result of footwear in Cantonese feels like a sigh, so thereby gifting them implies to the individual you’re giving the present, that they’re a burden. Secondly, the sensible use for footwear is to stroll or run in them, so giving your giftee a pair of footwear means they are going to depart you. Lastly, footwear are stepped on, and can be utilized to step on others, symbolising poor relationships and unhealthy luck.

6. Clocks as presents

Clock superstition hong kong
It’s finest to keep away from clocks when gifting (Pictures: Jeshoots-com by way of Pixabay)

Gifting a clock is extremely unhealthy luck, as in Chinese language the phrase sounds much like attending and paying respects at a funeral. Presenting your giftee a clock particularly on their day of delivery is taken into account inauspicious and a foul omen.

Thierry Chow explains how feng shui and good energy can pave the way to personal growth

7. By no means carry dwelling a stranger’s umbrella or open it indoors

Umbrella superstition hong kong
Be conscious of the magical connection umbrellas have (Pictures: Miftah Rafli Hidayat by way of Pexels)

Umbrellas are identified to hold ghosts, as a result of spirits are typically drawn to shadows. So, keep away from opening an umbrella indoors, because the shadow from the umbrella acts as an entrance for ghosts to enter your doorways and don’t ever decide up a stranger’s umbrella and convey it dwelling.

8. Villain-hitting

villain hitting hong kong tradition
Is villain-hitting the worst destiny for a photograph? (Pictures: Pazu Kong by way of Flickr)

Have you ever ever seen an aged girl vigorously attacking and beating a drawing or {photograph} together with her shoe? Guess what – that’s a part of her job! Drawings of perceived enemies are created after which given to those ladies to beat mercilessly. Every now and then, the beatings could also be accompanied by curses (so deal with everybody kindly!). Villain-beating additionally has worldwide notoriety – Time Journal named this custom because the “Greatest Solution to Get It Off Your Chest” in its 2009 Better of Asia characteristic.

9. Trinkets and bells throughout the Hungry Ghost Competition

Bells tinsels hong kong attract ghosts
Bells entice supernatural guests! (Pictures: gnomeandi by way of Getty Photographs)

The seventh month of the lunar calendar marks the Hungry Ghost Competition when all gates of the afterlife let unfastened and roam the Earth. Throughout this time, individuals ought to keep away from sporting or carrying something that has bells or trinkets that can make a ding sound, as that is believed to draw spirits. So in case your little kitty has a cute bell, sorry boo, it’s gotta come down!

Discover out extra with our information to the Hungry Ghost Competition.

10. Dragon gates

Dragon goat qi feng shui
Let the dragons carry their auspicious power (Pictures: The Repulse Bay by way of Fb)

You’re not alone for those who puzzled why there’s a large square-shaped gap carved in buildings. “What a waste of area,” some would assume, however there’s really a feng shui reasoning behind the structure. It’s believed that dragons nonetheless dwell within the mountains and these holes enable the beasts to cross by way of to succeed in the ocean. This act additionally brings optimistic power (often called qi) and the blockage of their passage is believed to carry unhealthy luck.

11. Sweeping at night time

Sweeping night superstition
Maintain the broom closeted until daylight (Pictures: vladans by way of Getty Photographs)

Maintain that broom proper there! In line with Hong Kong superstitions, it’s thought of an enormous no-no to comb your flooring as soon as the solar has set. This centuries-old perception stems from the concept you may inadvertently sweep away all of your good luck and prosperity together with the mud.

12. Inexperienced hats

Green hat superstition hong kong
Go for a distinct color to keep away from pointless glances (Pictures: jonathanfilskov-photography by way of Getty Photographs Signature)

The phrase “sporting a inexperienced hat” carries a fairly unsavoury connotation in Chinese language tradition, because it implies {that a} man’s accomplice is being untrue. This quirky Hong Kong superstition has its roots within the language, with the phrase sounding eerily much like the time period for “cuckold” in Mandarin.

13. Books within the bed room

book bedroom superstition
You would possibly need to rethink the situation of your private library (Pictures: prepared produced from Pexels)

In native superstition, the phrase for “e-book” in Cantonese phonetically mirrors the time period for “lose”, resulting in the idea that books within the bed room may trigger you to expertise losses in life or work. It’s significantly heeded by college students throughout examination season who wouldn’t need to danger their grades. So, possibly it’s time to maneuver that bookshelf to the lounge?

[This article was originally published in October 2019 and updated in 2023 by Catherine Pun.]

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