I got a call this afternoon from my mother to say that I have to dust when I get home tonight since it's the 28th day of the last month of the lunar year. According to Chinese tradition, the house has to be cleaned from top to bottom to symbolize a fresh start for the new year. It must be done by New Year's Eve which is this Saturday, otherwise you risk sweeping away any New Year's luck.
I dillydallied for most of the night and only just got around to dusting at 10pm. She arrived home soon after from her dinner party and started doing the laundry. If I had known that dirty laundry was included in the no-no list, I would have done it earlier and saved myself a shower with low water pressure.
My mother also bought fresh flowers - which she's never done before - for the front hall table. Since CNY is close to spring on the lunar calendar, fresh flowers signify the hope a new year and season will bring.
I'm rather looking forward to the good eats and of course, the lycee, or red envelopes stuffed with lucky money - Christians have Christmas, the Chinese have the lunar new year!