January 27, 2014

How to Prepare for the Lunar New Year

Don’t procrastinate your New Year preparations! Do your best, and if you can’t complete the list on time, leave the unfinished tasks until after February 14th.
A number of weeks in advance, give your home a good spring-cleaning, just like your grandmother used to. Bring new energy and flow into your life. Clear away clutter and mess to welcome in new Qi for the New Year.
Decorate your home with symbols of good fortune. If you are not a lover of Chinese knick knacks choose symbols and items that work for you, just make sure that the symbols represent growth, prosperity and happiness. Decorate with bright red for happiness, gold and orange for wealth and happiness. The color red is considered the most auspicious of colors, representing good luck because of its association with fire, the sun, brightness, and positive life energy.
Place a bowl of fruit on your table. Oranges, kumquats and tangerines symbolize good health and long life. Tangerines with leaves intact symbolize long lasting relationships and persimmons are associated with happiness and wealth.
Decorate your home with fresh flowers and plants. Bamboo, plum blossoms, and peach blossoms are considered particularly auspicious.
Purchase red banners or couplets with auspicious and prosperous New Year wishes and blessings and symbols of good fortune. Lucky slogan banners are written or purchased and hung, especially on the front door. You can buy these items at Bamboo Village or at other various locations in Chinatown.
Get a haircut and new clothes, preferably with some red, for a brand new you when the year arrives.
Start the New Year with as little debt as possible. Pay all your bills and begin the year with a clean slate.
Clear up old disputes and arguments, start the New Year moving forward.
Prepare food. Chinese New Year’s Day is a day to eat food specially prepared for the day, often with names that mean good luck, fortune and plenty of money. Ideally, vegetarian food is taken on the first day of the New Year. The most traditional dish is Loh Hon Jai, or Buddha’s Delight, a casserole prepared from a host of dried and fresh ingredients, most of them with names that have auspicious associations.
How We Celebrate Chinese New Year
On the Eve of Chinese New Year, January 30th:
Get together with close family members for a Reunion Dinner. A big, delicious dinner creates good luck for the family throughout the year, and also keeps the family close together. (Check back for a list of auspicious foods!)
Pay respect to ancestors including household gods. Acknowledge the presence of ancestors because they are responsible for the fortunes of future generations.
Open windows and doors to allow the old year to leave and the New Year to enter.
At the stroke of midnight, it is customary to use firecrackers and to engage in pot banging to scare away evil and old energies by sound. Celebrate with lots of noise and merry-making!
Watch the words you use. Use sweet words and avoid foul language. Talk about your future and dreams, focus on positive thoughts.
There is a bustle of energy circulating over the two weeks following New Years’ Day. Following these traditions will not only set you up for a prosperous New Year, but will bring positivity and good fortune to your space and those around you.
Gung Hei Fat Choy! Happy New Year!
Image ©Plengsak Chuensriwiroj/123RF.com

Marlyna Los is a master level Feng Shui Expert, Metaphysics Consultant and Spiritual teacher who shares her knowledge and insights for life and living in clear and simple ways. She has 20+ years of experience and training with 11 Feng Shui Masters including 40+ years of spiritual studies and psychology training. She was honoured with the title of Master in 2006. She is known for her ability to merge ancient metaphysical teachings with spiritual, psychological, Western thinking, and practical application.

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