On the first day of the New Year the following taboos apply:
1. Medicine: It is a taboo for a person to brew herbal medicine or take medicine on the first day of the lunar year, otherwise it is believed he or she will get ill for a whole year. In some places, after the bell announcing the New Year at midnight New Year's Day, sickly people break their gallipots (medicine pots) in the belief that this custom will drive the illness away in the coming year.
2. New Year's breakfast: Porridge should not be eaten, because it is considered that only poor people have porridge for breakfast, and people don't want to start the year “poor” as this is a bad omen. Therefore people must have cooked rice for the first meal of the year, in the hope that the family will be rich for the whole coming year.
3. Besides, meat should not be eaten at this breakfast out of respect for the (Buddhist) gods (who are believed to be against killing of animals), as all gods are expected to be out meeting and wishing a happy New Year to each other.
4. People do not wash clothes on the first and second day, because these two days are celebrated as the birthday of Shuishen (水神, the Water God).
5. Needle work should not be done. The use of knives and scissors is to be avoided for any accident, whether harming a person or tool, is thought to lead to inauspicious things and the depletion of wealth in the coming year.
6. A woman may not leave her house; otherwise she will be plagued with bad luck for the entire coming year.
7. A married daughter is not allowed to visit the house of her parents, as this is believed to bring bad luck to the parents, causing economic hardship for the family.
8. The act of sweeping on this day is associated with sweeping wealth away.
9. Hair must not be washed on the first day of the lunar year. In Chinese language, hair (发) has the same pronunciation (and indeed is the same character) as fa in facai (发财), which means ’to become wealthy’. Therefore, it is seen as not a good thing to “wash one’s fortune away” at the beginning of the New Year.