“Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.”
The Five Fold Happiness
4000 years of celebrations deepen a culture and create a legacy of endurance. Chinese Feng Shui customs honor Chinese Lunar New Year, also known as Spring Festival. They represent more than throwing a big party, putting up colorful calligraphy, setting off fireworks and eating fantastic food that are puns for good fortune and prosperity. What underlies this two week celebration, which ends with the Lantern Festival on the full moon, is a fresh start, a new beginning. It is hope and the promise for something better. It is the belief that dreams come true. In the west we focus on achievement but success doesn’t happen “in spite of” but “because of” the people who are in your life. The success of the individual is because of Yuan–family unity. Chinese Lunar New Year is the most celebrated festival of the year and the most supreme time to gather family together. And so the image of the circle, which you see in many of their food dishes like fish balls and oranges, is associated with family. This creates unity, support and continuity. Yuan means roundness and it suggests the attainment of the Five Fold Happiness and those qualities are luck, prosperity, longevity, happiness and wealth. These celebrations, symbols and motifs ensure the timeless wishes for harmony and goodwill among all.
Here are folkloric customs to celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year’s Eve.
Sweep Away the Old The New Year provides an opportunity to send away misfortune that has accumulated and to start fresh. The 20th day of the Twelfth Moon is set aside for the annual housecleaning and clearing the dust of the past year. Every corner of the house must be swept and cleaned.
Display Good Luck Fruit The Chinese love their play on words. Tangerines are symbolic of good luck. Oranges are symbolic of wealth. Orange “sounds” like gold. Pomelo means “to have.” Pineapple sounds like wealth but its real strength is it means luck and excellent fortune. You can display the fruit at the front entry, the dining room, even the kitchen.
Bloom Good Luck Enliven your Ch’i through the sense of smell. The Chinese believe daffodil and Narcissus bulbs when in bloom during the New Year, bring good fortune and luck to a home. This kind of adjustment calms the nervous system and gives you a sense of well being.
Avoid Cutting the Luck of the Year On the last day of the old year, prepare your food for the next two days so that all sharp instruments, such as knives and scissors, are placed in the drawer to avoid cutting the “luck” of the New Year. The kitchen is not to be disturbed on the first day of the Year.
Stay Away From The Barber Don’t schedule your hair to be trimmed on New Year’s Day or the day after.
Honor The New Year With Foods Of Good Fortune New Year’s eve dinner is called the family reunion feast. Not only the family is united, Heaven and Earth are honored, the gods of the household and the family ancestors. Everyone’s speech is peppered with auspicious words. Almost every dish has a symbolic meaning that sounds like the Chinese characters for fortune, happiness, longevity and prosperity. KATU AMNW Foods of Good Fortune
Sleepless In The New Year The Chinese stay up for 12:01 a.m. The sound of Sleepiness in Chinese is similar to Trouble. Sleepless means no trouble for the coming year.
Hand Out, Hong Bao, Lucky Red Envelopes The custom arose that children were easily susceptible to harm during the changing of the year and that money would protect them from evil spirits. This lucky money also serve to bring good fortune for the coming year. During New Year, coins or notes, are placed in red envelopes, hong bao. Children and unmarried adults receive the red packets from elders or married friends. The red envelopes are a wish for good health, good fortune, peace and safety for the coming year.
The following is a very precious cure from the BSTB School of Feng Shui. If you do nothing else, this is the adjustment to perform. It comes from His Holiness, Grandmaster Lin Yun and it’s a great secret to a successful life: perform a good deed every day. By helping another person, you shift, not only their reality, but yours as well. A kind deed will improve your luck, circumstances and income. Kindness is the antidote to the economic down turn. With your sincerity you will find the most exquisite reception for the year.
Gong Xi Fa Cai! May you experience supreme good health, boundless good luck and infinite wealth!