Anyone and everyone can celebrate Chinese New Year. image: britannica.com
We are officially 6 days away from Chinese New Year.
Since today is Friday the 13th, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about rituals to help prepare for Chinese New Year.
It’s not that I’m superstitious, but there’s lots that goes into preparing for Chinese New Year if you are a “real” Chinese person.
What I mean by “real” is a Chinese person who knows and adheres to Chinese traditions. I was not born in Asia and grew up in the States, so could I be considered “really” Chinese?
My parents have fiercely held onto Chinese tradition especially since they had left China at an early age and whether I liked it or not, these traditions stuck (ahem, I am a Feng Shui Consultant).
Preparations for Chinese New Year are steeped in years of tradition.
For Chinese New Year, I practice very sacred and pride-worthy rituals that I imagine my great-grandfather also performed – he was a Feng Shui Master in China.
Here are some guidelines to prepare for a healthy and prosperous Year of the Goat:
1) Toss out the old - Declutter or clean up the part of your home that is nagging you. I know, I’m hearing a lot of groans. Don’t let this first task deter you. Set a timer for 30 minutes, tackle, take a break and repeat. The trick here is to find the balance between letting go of objects that don’t work (symbolic) and being gentle with yourself (OCD peeps, I’m talking to you).
2) Settle old debts - Do you owe someone money or do they owe you? Do your best to pay back any loans or give back things you have borrowed. Someone owes you money and you haven’t been able to get reimbursed? If you’re able, forgive the loan and wish this person prosperity in the new year. That’s the best energy you could wish for this person and yourself to allow you both to move forward.
3) Bring out Mr. Clean - Once you’re done letting go of the old, thoroughly clean your home and sweep your floors BEFORE 2/19, Chinese New Year day. Sweep every corner, dust every nook and scrub every surface (without being too OCD of course). A fresh and new beginning is represented by a clean home. Again, do it before the New Year not on the day, since the Chinese believe that you can sweep away your wealth.
4) Hang up red things – Red in Feng Shui and Chinese tradition signifies luck, prosperity and all good things. Get yourself some traditional Chinese lanterns or be creative and just switch out artwork or pillows to add lucky accents to your space.
Buy your red lanterns here. image: getdomainvids
Need some ideas? Check out this guy for some quirky fun.
5) Decorate with nature - During this week before Chinese new year, fill your space with fresh flower and fauna. Red or pink colors are best. Just avoid white as it is an unlucky new year’s color. Tie red envelopes to the stems or branches to signify an offering to the Wealth God for a prosperous year. Evergreens are orchids are wonderful choices.
6) Buy new clothes - I know you are loving this one. The Chinese believe that the best way to welcome in the new year is in your best garb. If you can’t afford a whole outfit, wear your best outfit – no holes or loose hems please – and purchase a small item that is new. A new scarf or socks perhaps? Just be sure they are clean, pressed and worn with joy. Oh and be sure not to wear black or white but red to signify – you guessed it – luck and fortune!
Want to take prepping for Chinese New Year one step further and optimize the Year of the Goat?