THINGS TO DO TO PREPARE FOR THE CHINESE NEW YEAR
(1) Get your hair cut before the new year. It's lucky to do so and a busy time for hair salons in Chinatown. There are tons of new trendy boutique hair salons to try out. My favorite however is an old school classic Mian Tian Hair Salon which is a walk up on Canal street. They give a theraputic hair wash and cut for about $30. 170 Canal Street 2nd floor.
(2) Clean your house- Clean up before the New Year so you won't need to do a heavy cleaning during the holiday. Superstition says that you may sweep away your luck!
(3)Buy red envelopes (hong bows). There are tons of vendors on the street that are selling them right now. My neighbor to CICF a few doors down sells tons of Chinese New Year decorations at very inexpensive prices and lots of variety. I love how the came out with Hello Kitty themed hongbow.
Superstition says that when you give more money, you will get back more during the New Year. You only need to give if you are married and/or have a business though this is changing.
(3) Shop for lucky things:
Tangerines with Stems attached; oranges, pomelos.
Flowers- Peonies, plum branches, carnations and other flowers symbolize luck. Chinese people like a lot of red.
You can buy all of these things from street vendors along Canal Street.
GUNG HAY FAT CHOI! HAPPY NEW YEAR!