Traditionally, the second day of the New Year is known as the son-in-law day as husbands are required to escort their wives back to her family home, bearing New Year’s gifts for the woman’s parents. There may be practical reasons for this custom: wives would be required to stay home to receive and serve the deluge of guests that would come new year visiting. Furthermore, if every married woman returns her mother home on the 2nd lunar day, then the husband’s house would be left without women to entertain his married sisters who return home, as well as other guests. Therefore, some married women return home on the third lunar day.
An old Chinese superstition offers another explanation: it is believed that a woman who left her house on the first day of the New Year would be plagued with bad lack for the rest of the year ahead. In addition, married daughters were not allowed to visit the home of her parents as this would bring them bad luck and cause them to become poorer. It is not known how these superstitions arose.
All Rights Reserved. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2009
Title: Exploring traditional Chinese festivals in China
Author: Gai, Guoliang
Call No.: 394.26951 GAI
Title: Disappearing Customs of China
Author: Qi, Dongye
Call No.: English 394.26951 QI