Chinese New Year starts on February 14 and lasts for 15 days. This is China’s most colorful and important event of the year. This year it is named “The Year of the Golden Tiger.” There are a total of 12 animals and they rotate throughout the years.
There are many activities that happen during this time. On the first night of the celebration, there are fireworks to let go of the old and bring in the new, just like we do here in the US. Also, on this night, they open all the windows and all of the doors in the house to allow the old year to go out! They have large parades and the lion dancing sways back and forth to the beat of the drummers.
On the 5th day of the New Year is the Chinese Lantern Festival and it is very colorful and beautiful. You will see paper lanterns made of the animal of the year and also huge large lanterns that are displayed in their parades
To prepare for the New Year:
- Clean your house well in advance of the New Year. Do not sweep or clean on New Year’s Day or it will represent you sending your wealth out the door. All brooms need to be placed in closets.
- Wear red since it is believed to be a happy color and symbolizes a bright future.
- Give red envelopes filed with crisp dollar bills to children.
- Decorate your home with nuts and sweets on a beautiful tray. You can also add chocolate gold coins to this mix as well.
- Entertain your friends and laugh and enjoy the evening.
- Open every door and every window on the stroke of midnight to let out the old year.
- Clear your mind of “clutter” this day and keep your thoughts bright and optimistic for the coming New Year.
- Don’t scold your children or cry on this day for if you do, it will symbolize what your coming year will play out for you.
- Postpone washing your hair this day as you will be washing out your good luck.
- Display large bowls of oranges on the tables to give to your friends and family as gifts. Lillian Too, who has shared her traditions with students and followers of Feng Shui during her training sessions, has told them that early in the morning of the New Year, she brings in a truck full of oranges and she rolls them from the front door straight through her whole house. She is creating her own luck by following this ancient tradition.
By Yvonne Phillips, FSII
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