(17 February 2015)
Dragon parties, grand fireworks, abundant meals, soon the time has come: the Chinese celebrate their Chinese New Year. This party is also known as the ‘Spring Festival’, the start of a new cycle, a new beginning and starts on the second new moon after the winter solstice, February 19th. With this party they deliberately close the previous year of the Horse and welcome the new year of the Goat with shine and glory.
How you can attract luxury, how you can celebrate this party, what you eat, what clothing you put on and what you do NOT do especially on this day, can be read here below:
1. God of Wealth
Every year the Chinese welcome the God of Wealth. They do this by literally carrying an image of this God in their house on Chinese New Year. They put the statue on an altar in a well-defined place in the house (this year this is the West). They offer incense, candles, Chinese coins, golden ingots (looks like a boat in gold), gold bars (real or not), vegetables, five kinds of fruit, tea, rice wine, cake, rice, flowers to this God and pray for abundance, wealth and good luck for the coming year. The time at which they do this depends on their birth year.
What can you do?
Stand or sit in the West sector of your house. Look to the East. Try to relax, breathe deeply and make your head as empty as possible. Then make a wish for the coming year around abundance and wealth while you look to the East. Then open a bottle of champagne or take something else to drink and toast to the God of Wealth. Are not you at home with Chinese New Year? No problem. Take your compass (or use the compass on your smart phone), see where the East is. Look to the east and make your wish.
2. Chickensoup with head and legs
After welcoming the God of Wealth, the Chinese celebrate an exuberant party. Of course, there is good food here. Traditionally they eat soup, seaweed, fish, chicken, egg preparations, an abundance of vegetables, fruit, nuts, noodles, rice and of course the typical lychees. Something sweet gets a place on the party table. Sweet food – like sweets – stands for togetherness according to the Chinese.
It is the tradition that no food is cut or chopped on the day of Chinese New Year. This would bring bad luck for the coming year. Most food is therefore prepared the day before Chinese New Year. Chicken soup is also on the menu. And you can take chicken soup very literally: a complete chicken with head, eyes, comb and legs still flies on its whole in the pot with broth and is served on the table.
When I was presented this at a dinner in Taiwan years ago, my mouth literally fell open and my stomach started to turn … And as a guest you are obliged to take the first bite out of politeness … Refusing is not done. My face also spoke volumes when spooning the soup …
What can you do?
Chicken soup with head and legs is not a must if you want to start your year well. Celebrating a party is a must. Invite friends and family. Decorate your dining table exuberantly with red accents. For example, use red table runners or red serviettes, red flowers, red candles, etc. And prepare delicious food. Abundance is central here. Do like the Chinese: combine many different dishes together or prepare a lot of snacks in advance. That way you do not have to stand in the kitchen all night. Takeaway Chinese is a perfect alternative if you do not have much time to cook and still want to give an Eastern touch to your dinner. Or go out for dinner.
3. Time for presents
Traditionally, the Chinese give a red envelope to the children with ‘lucky money’.
What can you do?
Buy or make your own red envelope for every guest you invite. Choose a nice card and write what you wish him or her for the new year. Decorate the envelope and the card if you wish, make it personal. Insert some (Chinese) coins or any other small gift in the envelope symbolically to wish them prosperity and luxury in the coming year.
4. What should you wear?
Red, red, red and again red. On Chinese New Year, it is traditionally the custom to wear a red garment. Red is the color of prosperity and happiness among the Chinese. Red also belongs to the Fire Element and stands for celebration, fun and passion.
What can you do?
Wear something red on Chinese New Year. Also ask your guests to wear a red garment. Also wear something new on New Year. So you don’t have anything red in your wardrobe? Then this is the ideal opportunity to quickly buy something new, even if it is a pair of red socks ;-).
5. What should you not do at all on Chinese New Year?
Wash and cut your hair. This would wash away the good luck. Go to the hairdresser just before Chinese New Year. This would bring luck again.
Brush and put bins outside. With this you would put good luck back outside. Thoroughly sweeping your house before starting Chinese New Year is a good idea. So you wipe away the old and prepare your home for new, vital energy.
Breaking something. This would bring poor luck to money. Shards do not bring good luck on that day. So pay attention when you do the dishes!
Crying. The Chinese believe that when you cry on New Year, you will spend the whole year crying. Laugh, dance and have fun, even if you feel down. Switch your mind!
Wearing black or white clothes would bring bad luck. Better wear something red! But you already knew this.
Whether or not you take these tips and taboos into account, is of course your own choice. These traditions have nothing to do with the classic Feng Shui, but are fun to do and are a reason to celebrate two New Years! Do you want to know and apply the basics of the classic Feng Shui in your own home? Then the Feng Shui Basic Workshop is ideal or start with the online workshop ‘What brings 2015 for you’.
I wish you a lot of fun and a fantastic New Year of the Goat!
Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Copyright: Feng Shui and More – An Sterken©