Wed, March 17, 2010
Lifestyle > Culture

Get hair cut for good luck on "dragon lifting head"

2010-03-17 12:21:44 GMT2010-03-17 20:21:44 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

People have their hair cut at a barbershop in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, March 17, 2010. March 17 is the second day of the second month of the traditional Chinese lunar calendar this year. Folklore addresses it as "dragon lifting head", meaning the spring awakens after winter hibernation, when people have their hair cut to bring good luck. (Xinhua/Zhang Wenkui)

A baby has a haircut at a barbershop in Huaibei, east China's Anhui Province, March 17, 2010. March 17 is the second day of the second month of the traditional Chinese lunar calendar this year. Folklore addresses it as "dragon lifting head", meaning the spring awakens after winter hibernation, when people have their hair cut to bring good luck. (Xinhua/Wang Wen)

Two babies have haircuts at a barbershop in Huaibei, east China's Anhui Province, March 17, 2010. March 17 is the second day of the second month of the traditional Chinese lunar calendar this year. Folklore addresses it as "dragon lifting head", meaning the spring awakens after winter hibernation, when people have their hair cut to bring good luck. (Xinhua/Li Xin)

BEIJING, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Just a month after the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations began, here comes another tradition, to have a haircut on the second day of the second month, or Er Yue Er, to hope for good luck for the whole year.

China's barber shops are seeing one of their busiest days of the year Wednesday, Er Yue Er, also known as Longtaitou (dragon raises head) day on the lunar calendar this year.

Many Chinese hold the superstitious belief that getting a haircut when the "dragon also raises its head" means they will have a vigorous start to the new year, but if a person has a haircut during the first month of the lunar year, his maternal uncle will die.

As a result, barbershops stay open almost 18 hours a day in the pre-Lunar New Year rush for haircuts that lasts for at least two weeks.

While women like to spruce up for the holiday, even men with short hair like to get a trim up before the new year begins lest their hair grows too long before their next haircut, scheduled on the second day of the second lunar month.

A Chinese legend goes that a poor barber loved his uncle dearly but could not afford a decent new year's gift for him. So he gave his uncle a nice haircut that made the old man look many years younger. His uncle said it was the best gift he had ever had and wished to get a haircut every year from him.

After his uncle died, the barber missed him very much and cried every new year. Over the years, his "thinking of his uncle" (si jiu) was interpreted as "death of uncle" because in Chinese, their pronunciations are almost the same.

Cao Baoming, vice chief of China Society for the Study of Folk Literature and Art says the lucky haircut tradition comes from the Chinese's worship of the dragon, as people believe it symbolizes luck.

"The lucky tradition which goes back thousands of years reflects people's wish to have a happy life," Cao said.

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