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Addiction to your Devices may be Harming your Kids

By Posted on 3 m read

The addictive usage of technological devices, like the compulsive checking of social media on your smart phone can cause behavioural problems in your children.

 

Research this month by Brandon Mc Daniel, a  professor at Illinois State University has indicated that parents who aren’t able to regulate their time spent staring phones, tablets and other technological devices  have children who exhibit more behavioural problems than those who are able to present in the moment with their kids. “We need to critically examine our device use,” said Brandon McDaniel, family and consumer sciences assistant professor and author of the study that has uncovered these findings, “Let’s be mindful of how phones can influence us, so that we can be the master of our phones instead of our phones being the master of us.

Technology Impacts the way we Communicate

In a study which is among the first of its kind Mc Daniel has investigated the impact of technology on our relationships. McDaniel surveyed 170 parents across the U.S. The parents he chose to observe and analyse were all married couples or in long term relationship on how technology impacts the communication between the parents and their kids.

 

A Wakeup Call

Results showed that the parents who experience addictive use of technology – constant checking, seeking companionship on the phone rather than in real life, and feeling lost and confused when without their phones, have children that are more prone to crying, turning inward or exhibiting aggressive behaviour.

While these findings might not be surprising to many they will serve as a wakeup call for some whose relationships with their kids are being interrupted daily. Smartphone addiction or “nomophobia” (fear of being without a mobile phone), is often an Internet overuse problem or Internet addiction disorder. It is  rarely the phone or tablet itself that creates the compulsion, but rather the online worlds it connects us to, in many ways we feel we are inhabiting a space in the internet in much the same way we inhabit place in real life.

Jason Shiers – A Psychotherapist with www.recovery.org.uk says that working with clients who may be suffering with internet/technology addiction is much the same as working with substance addicts and that the nature of addiction means that when one member of the family is an addict there will undoubtedly be consequences for everyone.

 

We are Being Inherently Changed by Technology

McDaniel has stated that it is not his aim is not to make parents feel guilty about their habits, but rather to help the public be mindful of the way technology is impacting our lives. Technology is changing us, the way we think, the way we bond with our families and our skill sets in ways which were never imagined before – not even in the realm of science fiction – we are not just the same as we ever were but with a greater array technology at our finger tips, we are being changed by the technology that we have created, we are thinking differently, our memories are being impacted, the way we relate to each other is too, it is important to be mindful of this, so we can make choices that are positive ones for us and our families.

” These devices are designed to absorb our attention,” McDaniel says, “Yes, you’re going to be distracted sometimes, but we need to try to minimize those distractions, realizing that your children are not always going to be little.”

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6 Food Trends To Try In Your Restaurant

By Posted on 3 m read

Any industry seems to fluctuate from fantastic and innovative to bizarre and disgusting – and the food industry is no different. 2017 has seen the rise of a number of food trends and we have put together a list of six of the most interesting ones. It is up to you to decide whether they mark historic highs or historic lows for food.

Freakshakes

The latest trend to dominate Instagram feeds – the freakshake – has travelled from one side of the world to the other. The monstrous creation originates from Australia’s capital Canberra, and, in recent months, everywhere from Liverpool to London has adopted the trend. Whilst you may be disappointed if you were expecting your freakshake to emerge from a laboratory fridge in a haze of smoke and neon lights, we can confirm that they are however suitably monstrous creations. Essentially a hybrid of a drink and a dessert, it is a milkshake packed with cream, cake, and cookies engulfed in sauce and sweets.

Tacos

While tacos are unlikely to be something you are completely unfamiliar with, they have experienced a dramatic uptick in sales in the first half of 2017. Taquieras, or taco stands for the uninitiated, have been popping up all over the UK this year and numerous foodies have certified them as a genuinely enjoyable treat that should be welcomed with open arms. For those who are unfamiliar with tacos, here’s a brief summary – they are Mexican in origin and consist of a corn or wheat tortilla folded around a filling. Salsa, chilli pepper, guacamole, avocado, coriander, tomato, onions and lettuce are all typical taco fare.

Credit: By William Neuheisel (Flickr: Tacos al Pastor) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Credit: By William Neuheisel (Flickr: Tacos al Pastor) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Mediterranean invasion

Lisbon has become the de facto food capital of the world in 2017. The popularity of delightfully light Portuguese custard tarts has already begun to blossom in London and other Portuguese classics are set to follow. The pre-eminence of Portugal is part of a wider invasion of Mediterranean cuisine that is slated to continue to grow. The increased prevalence of the olive -another staple of the Mediterranean diet – is testament to its growing reach.

Unicorns and mermaids

More of a fad than a legitimate trend, supposed unicorn (or mermaid) foods have been spreading like wildfire. Lattes, bagels and ice cream have all been victims of unicorn makeovers. The only feature that appears to separate unicorn food from normal food is the presence of pinks, blues and purples interspersed with rainbow sprinkles. The gimmick may sell a few more ice creams and coffees but don’t expect to see unicorn foods revolutionise the food market any time soon.

Credit : @flossiebakes Instagram

Credit : @flossiebakes Instagram

Cronuts

Cronuts are another experimental hybrid whose components are far easier to guess than the freakshake. An amalgamation of a croissant and a donut, the cronut was invented by New York pastry chef Dominique Ansel in 2013. They were so highly sought after for a while that a black market quickly developed where $5 cronuts were being sold for upwards of $100. If that isn’t enough to convince you of their brilliance, TIME Magazine named the cronut one of the best inventions of 2013. In 2017, the cronut shows no signs of letting up.

Poké

Poke is a Hawaiian dish that is emblematic of the wider trends in eating in 2017. As the healthy eating community became more and more exasperated in its search for ever more nutritious alternatives, poke is the latest craze to emerge. Typically composed of raw tuna or octopus with soy sauce, green onions and sesame oil and crushed chilli, poké is fundamentally a raw fish salad.

Do any of these trends appeal to you? Or maybe, a better question to ask is – do they horrify you? Either way, let us know what you think!

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New Experiences to Enjoy Online

By Posted on 2 m read

Since technology has advanced and the Internet has become more accessible to people around the world, people are moving online to conduct business transactions, for entertainment, for shopping and more. The world has opened up to each individual who has access to the internet, with a wealth of new experiences and conveniences available. Past experiences that were once only available through a single physical option, can now be enjoyed virtually, with the many benefits that offers. Here we will look at four experiences that have become popular online.

 

Online Courses 

Online courses are available from top universities. You can expand your horizons or get a degree, all online through a reputable university. Shorter courses are ideal if you have some free time, but if you are looking for a change in career or for ways to start your career without physically attending a university, this can work well.

 

Casino Games

You no longer need to visit a physical land-based casino in order to enjoy top casino games. International casinos, such as Insta Casino are available online, offering all the benefits of a top gaming experience. You can now find your favourite casino games, bonuses and promotions, and tournaments and prizes all online.

 

Online Shopping 

Online shopping is a growing industry that allows consumers to shop around for the products they need or want without leaving home. You can now browse between different stores and compare prices without even leaving home. According to Fortune.com, by the middle of last year, for the first time, consumers were turning to the web to do most of their shopping.

 

News Online 

Much fewer people buy newspapers today than ever before. This is not because people are no longer interested in the news, but rather because people are turning to online news sites. Online sites offer unique content with dynamic news that stays up to date and relevant to the moment. People can skip between news sites, comparing the latest news and gaining additional information. This advantage makes online news appealing to more and more people.

 

As the world moves online, more and more experiences are becoming available through online channels, making more options available to more people.

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Solo travelling – the five best destinations

By Posted on 3 m read

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Solo travelling is on the up. A survey carried out by travel experts Destination2.co.uk recently revealed that over 55 per cent of Brits have gone on holiday on their own at least once in their lifetimes.

This got us thinking about travelling solo. The idea of jetting off to a place where we have complete autonomy – about plans, timings, where to eat and where to stay – really appeals, but how difficult is it to do? Will we feel lonely? And what are the best destinations in the world to travel to?

For expert advice, we sat down with travel expert, Neil Latham from Destination2.co.uk who gave us five of the most popular places for people to travel to and relax on their own.

 

Thailand

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Thailand is the perfect solo travel destination. It is busy, transient, awe-inspiring with lots to do, and lots of islands to visit. Arrive in Bangkok and absorb the buzz and excitement of one of Asia’s biggest cities.

Visit the temples and skyscrapers, try the legendary street food, meet the friendliest people in the world (it’s not called the Land of Smiles for nothing) and when you fancy a change of scenery, you have hundreds of islands in the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand to choose from.

It’s perfect for solo travellers – you can be left alone to chill out on the beach, or easily make friends with other travellers out and about. Either way, you’ll never feel lonely.

 

Cuba

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Cuba is the new ‘in’ place since U.S. embargos have been lifted. The tourist industry has been re-invigorated and there is an increase in visitors, which is no surprise as this is still one of the coolest looking countries on the globe. Traverse the country, explore the jungles, soak up the rays on the beautiful beaches of Varadero, go sightseeing in the ancient town of Trinidad, enjoy rum cocktails and music in Havana – in short, Cuba is half a Technicolor Europe, half tropical island with something for everyone.

 

Kuala Lumpur

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In terms of cities, Kuala Lumpur is the perfect solo traveller destination. You will never be short of things to do, places to visit and things to see. With so many elements: the ancient, the futuristic, the spiritual, the gastronomic, the architectural, the culturally diverse, it’s a city that has a thousand faces.

Solo travellers are made welcome in KL. Bring a camera, as there is a photo opportunity around every corner. Whether you’re happy in the hustle and bustle of the central market, or prefer the idea of taking a ride on the jungle railway out of the city, you’ll be able to find your own comfort zone amid the madness!

 

Maldives

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Solo travelling may seem too daunting for some people, but the feeling after you come back from somewhere on your own takes some beating. To ease into your solo holiday, it’s a good idea to choose a retreat. These are places geared for solo travellers, where you will still feel in your comfort zone but enjoy all the benefits of looking after your wellbeing.

Visit the Maldives and you will be whisked away to rejuvenate mind, body and soul through a series of treatments, meditation classes and training sessions. This is ultimate pampering, but why not – you deserve it!

 

Dubai

dubai

 

In Dubai, you have glitz, you have glamour and you have a lot of things to see and do. For solo travellers, especially women, we recommend you wear appropriate clothing. Anything outside of the beach should cover the shoulders and knees. Trips to see any holy places like mosques are a bit stricter. However, in terms of safety, Dubai is extremely friendly, relaxed and fun to wander around solo.

For an escapade outside of the city, we’d recommend a trip to the Hajar Mountains, where you can experience treks with jaw dropping sights, see the beautiful oasis town of Hatta and go on a 4wd off road adventure.

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7 simple tips to Feng Shui your home

By Posted on 3 m read

Feng shui, literally translated as wind-water, is an ancient Chinese school of thought that dictates that spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to flow of energy (or qi) can have positive and negative effects. In other words, your surroundings determine whether you will have good or bad fortune. This applies nowhere more strongly than in your own home.

But don’t worry; the transition to a more Feng Shui home is not necessarily a difficult one – so here are some top tips to get started!

Clear the clutter

Freeing your house from the burden of clutter is fundamental to creating a good energy in the home. In a general sense, Feng Shui teaches that your home is an outward expression of your life at that present time. For example, if your house is messy, it is more likely that your life is in a state of disarray. Similarly, if you live in a tidy, cosy home, your position in life is strong.

Natural light and plants

Natural light is instrumental in transforming any area of your house from a place of stale, stagnant energy to a living, breathing environment full of life. Coordinating the arrival of natural light with plants is a sure-fire way to enrich your home with positive energy.

Reflect positivity

Feng Shui places a large degree of importance on mirrors, purely because they can be used to transfer positive energy from one part of a room to another.

Stop runaway qi

As well as encouraging the flow of energy around your home, it is also important to prevent positive energy from leaving your home. Rugs, furniture and decorative objects can all be used to impede the loss of positive energy. Foremost amongst the concerns regarding Feng Shui, is the worry of wealth and success being ‘flushed away’ down the toilet. In order to prevent this, keep the bathroom door closed as much as possible.

Free your bedroom from distractions

The bedroom is the most important room in the whole house according to Feng Shui. As a sanctuary and a centre of relaxation, as well as the place in the house where we spend the most time, it is essential for the bedroom to be organised in relation to the laws of Feng Shui.

This even applies to family photos. Family photos can be a reminder of obligations that will preoccupy you with stress in what should be a room free from distractions.

Keep windows clean

Windows are personified by Feng Shui practitioners as the eyes with which we view the world. To guarantee your sight is clear, it is imperative that windows are kept clean at all times. This can be achieved relatively easily by using an old newspaper, a bottle of vinegar and some water.

Keep your arteries clear

In a similar fashion, hallways are personified as the veins and arteries of the house and in the same way that the arteries and veins are responsible for transporting blood to and away from the heart, hallways are responsible for transporting favourable and unfavourable effects to and away from the home.

Whatever your attitude towards Feng Shui, there is no doubt that fundamentally, Feng Shui promotes the features everyone wants from their home. From cleanliness to positivity, there is at least one aspect of Feng Shui that will resonate with you. If you are feeling inspired to make changes to your home, https://www.taskersonline.com/ should be your first stop.

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Technology in Teaching: Could iPads Replace Teachers?

By Posted on 2 m read

Many of us remember the days when technology in schools meant a portacabin with about four old PCs. Therefore, it may look strange to see textbooks gradually being replaced by laptops and blackboards with interactive computerised whiteboards. As children become ever more technology savvy and the internet presents an infinite learning resource, will the role of teachers dwindle in classrooms?

Dedicated researchers, like Dr Cross and Dr Prescott of the Student Led Technology, Enhanced Learning and Teaching project at the University of Bolton are increasingly exploring these very issues.

At first glance, the teaching potential of technology seems endless. During an interactive experiment, Telegraph writer Sophie Curtis found creative use of technology wasn’t necessarily more educational than a traditional lesson, but she did find it far more engaging.

In the experiment, Curtis sat through two English lessons. One involved a textbook and a teacher talking for an hour which, although informative, could get a little boring. The other explored Romeo and Juliet via numerous differing film adaptations, and then encouraged students to use online research to type up an essay response. The multi-media approach proved far more engaging for students, therefore helping them to remain more alert and responsive to learning.

So, technology can potentially make the classroom more engaging and help students pay more attention in class – but are there any downsides?

In many cases the downsides come from teachers not understanding the technology well enough. In the USA, Stanford University professor Larry Cuban found teachers have been very slow to adapt. Teachers who’ve gone through traditional schooling and training, and have been teaching in traditional ways, have struggled to engage pupils in the potential of utilising technology creatively. Instead, many just take their same old fashioned lectures and present them through Powerpoint slides instead of a chalkboard.

These problems could, controversially, be solved by the technology itself. One possibility for futuristic education could be the “Super Teacher”. A single expert teacher who can prepare a range of multi-media presentations and resources that will beam out to multiple schools, and even communicate with many classrooms instantly via live online video links. This approach could bypass that skills gap and transform education. It could, however, leave the remaining teachers as little more than IT facilitators.

So, could teachers end up becoming redundant? As technology changes so radically over time: only time will tell.

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5 Unforgettable Mountain Biking Destinations in the UK

By Posted on 3 m read

Whether you got a new Giant mountain bike for Christmas, are planning on getting something similar in the sales or are just ready to cut loose and kick off 2017 with an exhilarating, adrenalin-fuelled, off-road ride, you are spoilt for choice in Britain.

Here are 5 unforgettable mountain biking destinations in the UK that prove you never have to go far to go all out:

Fort William Downhill

Home to the downhill leg of the UCI Mountain Biking World Championships, Fort William is one destination every mountain biker should hit up at least once in their lifetime.

This challenging descent (served mercifully by a gondola) drops 525m over more than 2.5km and can take four or five minutes for experienced riders going at a fair lick to complete. One for the Bravehearted not the faint-hearted, though plenty of other tracks and terrains are available too.

(Image source: www.bikemag.com)

(Image source: www.bikemag.com)

Forest of Dean Bike Trail

There’s loads of first-class bike trail centres in the UK. Each one gives you a chance to get the adrenalin fix you need on a choice of ascents, descents, berms and jumps which suit your skill level, along with rapid access to first aid if you need it and a few creature comforts too.

Get your fill of the hills in the Forest of Dean. There are miles and miles of tracks for every kind of rider and when you’re done or need a breather, you can grab a burger in the café, get a shower, clean your bike or pick up souvenirs in the site shop.

(Image source: www.moredirt.com)

(Image source: www.moredirt.com)

Mary Towneley Loop

Located in the Peak District, the stunning 47-mile Mary Towneley Loop can be accessed from a variety of points anywhere along the route. (You can download a map of the circuit here.)

This trail is more about endurance and admiring the view than cutting up descents at a pace but it’s not without its challenges. Sharp ascents and rough terrains await you as you take in rural villages like Waterfoot and Hebden Bridge and the open moors and peaks of the region.

This is a proper ride so pack for the weather, you’ll be there a while, and don’t forget your camera.

idonohoe

(Image source:www.idonohoe.com)

North Downs

Confusingly located in the South East, the North Downs spoils mountain bikers for choice.

Take your pick from well-defined singletracks or carve out your own path as you make your way along the mind-boggling selection of sandy, rooty terrains, go up and down through dense forest and over countless drop-offs, berms and twists. Go for the day or go for weeks. There’s a lot to explore.

(Image source: www.worryandpeace.com)

(Image source: www.worryandpeace.com)

Brecon Beacons

This is pure escapism. Pack up your mountain bike and your camping kit and head off into the Brecon Beacons in South Wales. Home to the Black Mountain and the Great Forest, this national park attracts bikers from all over the world.

Covering more than 500 square miles it’s a place where you can truly get away from it all and scratch that itch for adventure.

Routes are graded from Yellow, suitable for anyone who’s just about given up their stabilisers, right through to Black which, according to their own advice, include sections that should ‘be considered totally unrideable for the majority of people’. Awesome.

But, if you really want to ride the big boy tracks but lack some of the vital skills or confidence necessary to take them on without maiming yourself or your bike, head to the OnePlanet Adventure centre in the Coed Llandegla forest of north wales.

As you might expect, there’s a choice of trails, a quality shop to hire or buy kit from and a café where you can rest up and get a bite to eat, but there’s also a load of skills courses on offer.

Catering for everyone from beginners to seasoned riders who want to master jumps and drops, and even those who want to learn mountainside first aid in group or 1-2-1 coaching sessions, these courses are designed for any mountain biker who’s ready to up their game.

(Image source: www.wild-rides.co.uk)

(Image source: www.wild-rides.co.uk)

Wherever you decide to go, plan ahead, some of these unforgettable destinations are breathtaking and brutal in equal measure.

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6 infinity pools you have to add to your bucket list!

Infinity pools blur the boundary between illusion and reality and provide a welcome distraction from what is already considered an escape from the everyday stresses of life – a holiday. The ability to create a sense of escape within an escape is testament to the power of infinity pools.

Because of their precarious nature, a complex combination of architectural design and planning goes into their creation. Integral to this design are the pumps that maintain the continuous flow of water. Because of the steep angle of the ‘infinite edge,’ a catch basin is required. From there, the water is pumped back into the pool to seamless effect.

In order to make the illusion of visiting an infinity pool a reality, we have compiled a list of places around the world that you simply have to visit before you die. If you are lucky enough to have your own pool, regular suction cleaning is a must, take a look at the 10 best suction cleaners here: https://www.globosurfer.com/best-suction-pool-cleaners/ 

Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti – Tanzania

Located within the heart of Tanzania’s Serengeti national park, this infinity pool proves a surreal sight. Situated on the edge of a pool frequented by elephants, giraffes and zebras, this is possibly the most relaxing way to experience the majesty of the animal kingdom in their natural habitat. With an on-site bar to boot, you won’t feel completely out of touch with humankind.

Image Source: pursuitist.com

Image Source: pursuitist.com

Marina Bay Sands Sky Park – Singapore

The world’s largest rooftop infinity pool is also one of the world’s most spectacular. Over 191 metres above ground, you will be able to swim in the clouds and stare at Singapore’s stunning skyline. The resort is equipped with the world’s largest atrium casino for those of you looking for something a bit riskier.

Image Source: tistory.com

Image Source: tistory.com

The Cambrian Hotel, Adelboden – Switzerland

Adelboden, which is German for ‘noble ground,’ houses an outdoor thermal pool that will make you feel as though you really are nobility. Encircled by the Swiss Alps, it is difficult to discover a more theatrical location to take a dip. Complete with a spa offering a range of treatments, it is impossible not to feel relaxed.

Image Source: travliving.com

Image Source: travliving.com

Tat Kuang Si Falls – Laos

The only naturally occurring infinity pool on the list, Tat Kuang Si Falls is certainly something to marvel at. One of many pools that combine to form a cascading waterfall, sunlight flickers through the surrounding trees to create a reflective surface of countless bodies of glimmering blue-green water. Kuang Si Falls is also fortunate enough to play host to a bear sanctuary, which cares for 23 endangered Asiatic black bears.

Image Source: wowamazing.com

Image Source: wowamazing.com

The Grace Hotel, Santorini – Greece

With a glorious uninterrupted view of Greece’s Aegean Sea, the Grace Hotel’s infinity pool in Santorini is arguably the most iconic. This pool is also more than likely the most deceptive on the list, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the seemingly endless body of water.

Image Source: thestylejunkies.com

Image Source: thestylejunkies.com

Hanging Gardens of Bali

The most breath-taking aspect of this resort is the double-tiered infinity pool that perches above the canopy of the rainforest. Each room has its own private infinite pool, so you will be able to meander in the water at your own leisure, completely free of distraction.

Image Source: kosovopavilion.com

Image Source: kosovopavilion.com

These are just a few of many examples of awe-inspiring infinity pools across the globe. Are there any we have missed out that can compete with the untouched nature of the Tat Kuang Si Falls in Laos, or the privacy of the Hanging Gardens in Bali? Let us know!

 

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8 weird and wonderful Chinese New Year celebrations

By Posted on 3 m read

 

Chinese New Year (which falls on Saturday 28th January this year) is a cornucopia of customs, traditions and superstitions. From the practical to the seemingly bizarre, the Chinese place great importance on the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. The new year celebrations are all based on the idea of getting rid of all the negative things of the past twelve months, and looking forward to good health, happiness and prosperity in the oncoming year.

With this in mind, we spoke to Travelbag’s China holiday experts, who rounded up the best Chinese New Year’s Eve traditions.

Food symbolism

Assorted Chinese food set. Chinese noodles, fried rice, dumplings, peking duck, dim sum, spring rolls. Famous Chinese cuisine dishes on table. Top view. Chinese restaurant concept. Asian style banquet

Assorted Chinese food set. Chinese noodles, fried rice, dumplings, peking duck, dim sum, spring rolls. Famous Chinese cuisine dishes on table. Top view. Chinese restaurant concept. Asian style banquet

With China’s rich culinary history, it’s no surprise that Chinese New Year is centred around food and feasting. Symbolism in food is very important during New Year celebrations, particularly in the southern parts of China. Oysters are enjoyed around Guangzhou as the word for this food is the same for “good business”. Clams are popular around this time of year because when the shells open up during cooking they represent the opening of new horizons. Shrimp is served as its Chinese name “ha” sounds like laughter. Over in Shanghai, egg-skin dumplings and glass noodles are eaten as they resemble nuggets of gold and silver chains.

No broom policy

According to Chinese tradition, cleaning has massive significance around New Year. Every house is cleaned thoroughly before New Year’s Day, and on New Year’s Eve all cleaning equipment is stored away. Any sweeping from then to the end of New Year’s Day is prohibited, as it is believed that good fortune will be swept away.

After this, the floor is swept and piled into the corner until the fifth day. When it is safe to do so, the sweepings and any other rubbish should be carried out by the back door.

Open windows

On the stroke of midnight, every window and door in the house needs to be open to let any last remnants of the old year out.

No crying

It is believed that your appearance and behaviour on New Year’s Day will set the tone for the rest of the year. So wearing nice clothes and being kind, considerate and helpful will benefit you for the next twelve months. Similarly, if you cry on New Year’s Day, you will be crying throughout the rest of the year. This means that on this day, children are not told off and are tolerated no matter how badly they behave.

Appease the kitchen stove god

A lot of focus is put on the kitchen during Chinese New Year. The Kitchen Stove God visits each house and reports back to the Jade Emperor about the various goings on from each home.

In order to keep him happy, Chinese families hang up poems by the entrance to the kitchen. They also cook up sugar cakes, pancakes and bean curd soup in the hope that their report would be good.

Seal the door cracks

The cracks of any doors that lead the outside are sealed up with red paper. This is to protect the house from the bad spirits of the old year coming through.

Avoid the scarlet dog

Chinese tradition states that on the third day of the new year, the god of anger will roam the streets in the form of a scarlet dog. Whoever approached the dog will have bad luck. This is why Chinese people traditionally stay at home on this day.

No laundry day

Stack of freshly laundered towels and washcloths

Stack of freshly laundered towels and washcloths

On the first day of Chinese New Year, you are not allowed to do laundry, wash, or clean. This was to avoid offending the Water God whose birthday falls on this day. The word for hair is “fa” which means “to prosper”. Washing your hair on this day is traditionally cause a cash-strapped year. Also, avoid any visits to the hairdresser – apparently cutting your hair in the first month of the lunar year will cause the death of your maternal uncle.

 

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