"Oh, but I'm not superstitious!" My Chinese friend had noticed the red bracelet on my wrist and had pointed out only superstitious people would wear such a thing.
When my friends and neighbors found out that the pig was my zodiac sign they told me, "Oh you have to wear red this year." Why? Well, some said it was a tradition and wearing red would bring me good luck. However, others seemed to think that if it's your animal year then it's not good and you should absolutely wear red to keep away bad luck.
Also, this year is not just any year but the Year of the 'Golden' Pig and it just happens to be personally very important for my work. Now I would normally say that I am a very rational person. When I first came to China, I was surprised to hear about the various superstitious beliefs. However, not wanting to tempt fate I decided I should do something but what as I don't really like wearing the color of red. A friend suggested I should buy some red pants. Red pants?! Eureka! Yes, I'd always wonder why there were so many pairs of red pants being sold in the men's underwear section. Is this a case of Chinese men showing their romantic side? Maybe, but now I understand there's a slightly different reason－keeping misfortune at bay.
The next day, in the department store's underwear section, I picked out one pair from the dozens available and began to wonder if this particular tradition of wearing red wasn't started by underwear manufacturers. Later my friends laughed when they learned about my purchase but added that "you should wear red everyday." Wonderful! But fortunately no need to buy a dozen more pairs of underwear, a simple red bracelet it seems would suffice. However, while browsing in Hefang Street I managed to end up buying several more charms. One tip: don't bother asking, "Will it bring me luck?" Sensing a sale, the salespeople always reply with a resounding, "Of course, very lucky!" Hopefully, now I can look forward to a year free of mishaps. I'm not superstitious but better be safe than sorry.
By Arthur J from England
Source: City Express
Editor: Guo Changdong