By Samantha Pennala
In 2018, Feb. 16 begins the New Year for the Chinese calendar, also called the Lunar New Year because it depends on the moon cycle. The celebration of New Year, also called The Spring Festival, lasts for 15 days and the New Year is on the second New Moon of the year. This year is the Year of the Earth Dog.
According to travelchinaguide.com, “Dog is the eleventh in the 12-year cycle. A dog is man’s good friend who can understand the human’s spirit and obey its master, whether he is wealthy or not. The Chinese regard it as an auspicious animal. If a dog happens to come to a house, it symbolizes the coming of fortune.
Here are some tips which are done in the Chinese culture to help bring in an auspicious new year.
The first thing you should do is Clean, Clean, Clean! This not only gets rid of the negative energy that may have accumulated during the year but it also makes sure your home is clear and fresh and ready to receive all the positive energy for the new year. Be sure you finish this before the first day of the new year.
Next, you need to decorate your home in its best décor. Use lucky red color objects with gold inscriptions with symbols of Happiness, Longevity, Prosperity, Health etc. Use various flowers, according to their meaning, see below. Add in live plants, soothing music, prosperous aromas and all the traditional foods that are served because of their meaning and association with specific energies and on specific days of the long celebration. Some foods you may include are sweet dishes to bring in sweetness into the New Year. Mandarin oranges are essential as they are a symbol of good luck and prosperity. Place a bowl of 9 oranges in your kitchen during this holiday to bring in prosperity and good luck.
You can also decorate Yourself! Getting new clothes honors the new energy of the new year. Choose colors and symbols that honor the zodiac sign of the New Year’s Animal or are representative of good fortune.
Here are some lucky items that I found on feng-shui.lovetoknow.com that you may want to consider.
Lotus: Long life, grows from the mud into great beauty.
Peach Blossom: symbol of immortality
Lilies: “happy union for a hundred years.”
Orchids: For couples, they mean happiness and also presents the wealth and great luck in fortunes.
Peonies: A Powerful symbol of love and marriage.
Red: Good Luck
Gold: Wealth (often used with red)
Black: Water and Career luck
White: A mourning color—never worn at weddings.
8 – sounds like prosper in Chinese
9 – sounds like sufficient in Chinese
4 – sounds like the Chinese word for death and should be avoided.
Food and Drink
Noodles: auspicious of a long life
Oranges: symbol of gold & represents blessings & prosperity
Whole Chicken and fish: serve whole & symbolizes family unity
Spring Rolls: symbols of gold ingots
Tea: Serving a visitor tea is the social sign the visit is coming to an end
Another custom is to give children and friends a red envelope with a bit of money in it. Small gifts are also exchanged between family members and friends.
You could also take part in the traditional Lion Dance. The Lion Dance is to remove and neutralize all negative energy from the past. This is also the purpose for the firecrackers during this celebration, to get rid of evil spirits.
On the 15th day, which is the Full Moon, is “The Festival of the Lanterns”. This is the final day of the Chinese New Year celebration. People usually light lanterns throughout the streets to bring in good fortune for the new year.
Never clean, cry, argue or do negative things on the New Year day as it may set the tone for the whole new year. Be careful to speak to friends and loved ones to set a positive tone for the year and not to negative people.
Adorn your home, your workplace and your self in all these lucky and auspicious colors and foods to bring in health, wealth and abundance to your new year. Notice that the Chinese New Year is all about sharing, family unity, friends, and giving. Use these tips from the ancient art of Feng Shui will help bring in the energies for a prosperous year ahead. And if you like, you can do it twice! Do it in January AND in February!!! I know I will, you can’t get too much good luck!
May you and yours have an awesome and prosperous 2018.
SAMANTHA is President and CEO of Astara ~ A Place of Light. You can reach her by phone at Astara, 909-948-7412 or by email at email@example.com Visit her on the website www.astara.org on the blog & in “The Feng Shui Corner” in “The Voice” newsletter and see other helpful tips from our Lessons.