This Friday marks a very important day celebrated by millions. It's the Lunar New Year (often known as the Chinese New Year).
Even if you are not of Chinese heritage, celebrating this celestial holiday gives us a better connection to the energy of this upcoming year, as well as honoring the moon and the new beginning it brings.
The Chinese New Year is a BIG deal. Companies in China will take two weeks off for this holiday. It isn't just celebrated on the day of the new moon, but there are customs/traditions that are acted out before and after this event.
Interested in celebrating this year? Here are some common traditions that take place during this time.
Before New Year's Day
This typically falls a week before the actual new moon. It is when people will begin a winter-cleaning of their house to sweep away the dust and old energies of the past year, making room for the energies of the new zodiac sign. House cleaning and decluttering is an important element in the new year (and Feng Shui). Find out easy tips to start this decluttering and cleaning process with our other post.
New Year's Eve
Putting Up Decorations
Paper lanterns are a must for decorating for the New Year, but so are lots of other decoration items. Banners, symbols, and fruit are even used in honoring this holiday. Here is a list of important decor items for the New Year.
Red envelopes are one of the most iconic aspects of Chinese New Year. They are filled with money and are given to family and friends during the New Year to bring good luck and fortune. Red is the color of good luck in China and also is for protection against evil/bad spirits. Find out more color symbolism and meaning with our other post.
Family is very important in Chinese culture. Often times, you will see generations living together. On the eve of New Years, it is custom for families to have reunion dinner together, where specialty dishes are prepared that have symbolic meanings for the New Year. These dishes often represent wealth and good fortune. Some of these symbolic foods include egg rolls, dumplings, clementines, and noodles.
Offerings to Ancestors
Since family is a big factor, so are the family members that have past on. It is believed in Chinese tradition that our ancestors have influence in bringing luck, good fortune, health, and other blessings into our lives from the other realm. Honoring them and having good relations with our pasted family is important in this life and the next. Some offering include lighting incense and leaving money on the altar for your past relatives.
New Year's Bell
As the clock strikes midnight, in many towns, you can hear a bell being rung. This is to ring away the bad energies. Bells are also used in Feng Shui to clear out energies, so in a way, the New Year's Bell is like a huge space clearing for the city.
New Year's Day
Just like the Bell, Firecrackers are lit to scares away evil spirits. One of the monsters/bad spirits, Nian, is said to be afraid of the noise. Like New Year's celebrated in the states, they also are used to celebrate upcoming year. The God of Wealth, Tsai Shen, is welcomed by this activity.
New Year's Greetings
The days following the New Year, people will visit relatives and friends, including extended members and those of marriages. It's a time to continue this merriment and spreading the good fortune to all those in your life.
Year of the Metal Ox
This year, we celebrate the metal ox. In Chinese astrology, not only does every year mean a new zodiac sign, but a new element as well. Both the animal and element connect to the specific energies that foreshadow the year ahead.
Metal is the element that represents simplicity, clarity, and focus. It is the qi that brings structure, as metal is hard, rigid, and stable. It is also the element of aspirations and dreams. Metal energy is strong and oriented towards achievement.
In the Chinese zodiac, the Ox is the second animal in the series. Similar to its western counterpart Taurus, the Ox is stable, grounded, and perseverance. It is a symbol of hard word and also wealth, as cattle were one of the first financial currency.
Year of the Metal Ox 2021
With this pairing of qi, 2021 is about getting a focus on your finances and creating a solid structure of material goals, whether this be money, land, or another tangible dream.
Want to understand how the year of the metal ox will play out in the Feng Shui of your home? Schedule a consultation today!