福禄寿 fú lù shòu
Happiness, Prosperity, Longevity (click to listen in Chinese)
This is my wish to you this Friday the 31st of January as I celebrate
2014 Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is just days away, people in China have been preparing for sometime. Originally Chinese New Year started out of the belief that a mythical creature called Nain(seen left here) would come on the first day of the year and destroy crops and harm livestock, possibly even villagers. For protection the ancient one’s would put out food for offerings in hope that Nian would eat the feast and be satisfied. Red was found auspicious to wear on this day and used to decorate as it was believed that this creature was once scared away by a child wearing red. Firecrackers were lit as well to keep the beast away. With these yearly practices Nian would never visit villages again and was later captured by Hongjun Laozu a Taoist monk. Ancient one’s lived harmoniously close to nature therefore Chinese New Year falls on a different day each year, usually the second new moon after Winter Solstice. If you would like to partake in celebrating the Chinese New Year this Friday as so many do… here are some common practices to guide you along.
~Clean house: top to bottom or do the best you can but no cleaning on Friday as it is said that you will sweep away good fortune
~Gather fruit and offerings: Tradition is to use gold trays and fill with fresh fruit like oranges, tangerines and pineapple. Or you can put out whatever you love in your favorite dish or platter. Gold coins, american coins, or cash can be displayed for attracting wealth, incense, crystals whatever you desire and feel called to present makes it personal and full of abundant Chi
~Write out your New Year wishes: Use red paper, origami paper, or pretty stationary to express simply what is you are wanting to accomplish in the coming year like Peace, Health, or Prosperity. You can also say a prayer or simply meditate on what you are wanting to attract this year
~Place fresh flowers : Visit your local florist and select fresh flowers in the colors of yellow and gold to represent gold coins, or choose your favorite arrangement to enliven and uplift the Chi in your space
~ Light firecrackers: a Yang expression to cleanse out old stuck Chi, you can also ring a bell or blow a horn
~Serve Dried fruits and sweets: Traditionally 8 (lucky) varieties are served to enjoy and represent a sweet life ahead
~The Feast: Chinese New Year is celebrated with a large variety of food cooked on New Year’s Eve. Most auspicious is Dumplings(pot stickers) considered good luck as one lucky person eating them would find a gold coin hidden inside by the cook, long noodles to represent a long life, and fish (presented whole is best) for wealth. There is a variety of recipes available on the web, or you can do as I will this year and order from a Chinese restaurant…don’t forget the pot stickers
I value honoring the traditions of the ancient one’s. However like my practice of Feng Shui occasionally it has a more western flair as I believe our personal Chi is the most auspicious. Pictured here is my offering last year for The Year of the Snake. We had just made our big move up North to a rental so I simply put together what sang to me. Some flowers from my local florist Petals & Vines, fresh fruit, and a beautiful smelling candle along with a heartfelt spoken mantra. Traditionally white is not used in Chinese New Year celebration but to me it was elegant and simple and in retrospect brought us good fortune as I now sit gratefully writing this in our new home just a year later.
Celebrating the Chinese New Year here in the West is an exciting and fun way to practice a little Feng Shui by setting your intentions for the year ahead. The ancient one’s wanted a thriving crop(wealth) and to live in peace. Placing flowers(wealth) and fruit(good health) with good intentions creates a sacred place to focus in on what it is you are wanting this year. Essentially the same as Chinese New Year practices many, many years ago.
fú lù shòu
Will be spoken for you this Chinese New Year as we welcome in 2014
Good Fortune Awaits~ S.G.
Celebrating Chinese New Year? I would love to see your pictures!
Send them in and I will post them on my blog next week as I bring you insight on 2014 The Year of the Wood Horse.
* Don’t miss a post!!! Subscribe to my page to get me in your inbox, I do not sell email addresses and handle all networking myself
* WANT MORE CHINESE NEW YEAR INSIGHT: Here are just some of the taboo NO NO’s for the Chinese New Year that are fun to read or share with friends…choose some, leave others *
No arguing with each other
On New Years Day women shouldn’t use a knife in the kitchen, which indicates evil, anger, danger and cutting out the luck. As a result, women don’t cook new dishes on this day, people eat meals from the leftover. (I like that…no cooking Friday for me hence the take out)
Breaking a dish, plate, bowel or cup means bad money luck coming. In case it does happens, then the tradition is too put all broken pieces in a round container for the coming trash day
Sweeping the floor or dumping the trash will take away the wealth and luck from the house, do this on the Eve instead or after New Years
Don’t nap at noon, otherwise people may be lazy all year-long
Do not wash your hair on New Years Day or you will wash your good luck
Don’t wear black or white, because black and white are funeral color in China…red is lucky (this one is hard for me, my two favorite colors, I will wear a red blouse)
Don’t wake up people by calling their names, otherwise they will need to be pushed to get things done all year-long
Don’t eat unnecessary medicine, otherwise you will become unhealthy this year
Don’t do laundry (I’m liking this are you?), because New Year’s Day is the birthday of the god of Water
If someone owes you money, do not ask for the money back on New Years, otherwise you ask for money often the rest of the year
Don’t let people take anything away from your pocket or purse, because that’s a sign of money loss in the year (kids and spouses, stay out of the wallet and purses)
~Thank you wikipedia,steamykitchen.com,and jandjoutofthecomfortzone.blogspot.com for some of the pictures ~
Sharing my Chinese New Year photos with you friends~ We had a wonderful evening, my children received homemade red envelopes with gold coins inside. We all had 2 helpings of yummy food to symbolize a bountiful year ahead. We visited, laughed,and read our fortune cookies to one another. A fortune that stands out was ” You will take a chance in the near future, and win.” Perfect for the coming Year of the Horse.
Good Fortune awaits~ S.G.
Gratitude for Abundance~
Noodles,Dumplings, and Sweet Chicken for Longevity, Luck, & A Sweet Life