Celebrate the Lunar New Year With 18 Feng Shui–Approved Items
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On February 1, billions of people around the world will be celebrating the Year of the Tiger. Not limited to just China, Asians around the world will be partaking in many cultural activities and carrying on century-old traditions for a fruitful and prosperous year ahead. Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, marks the start of spring and, more importantly, a fresh start for all those who want to say goodbye to misfortune in the past year. Traditions vary slightly, depending on countries and even subregions within Asia, but overall, the goal is to bring more luck, good fortune, and prosperity to friends and family in celebration of the festival. Activities like cleaning the house, going to the temple, and eating auspicious foods are encouraged and enjoyed—making sure everyone starts the year in a positive way.
Encouraging good feng shui is also an important part of ringing in the Lunar New Year. I remember coming home from school and watching my mom rearrange our living room furniture before jumping back into the kitchen to cook our New Year’s Eve feast with hot pot, dumplings, and another dozen or so dishes spread beautifully on a lucky red table cloth. Though Chinese New Year is perceived as a superstitious time by some, the holiday and its traditions are something that I wholeheartedly love. Here are some of my personal favorite items and traditions to bring positivity, good fortune, and prosperity to your home. Happy New Year! Year of the Tiger
The lunar calendar includes 12 auspicious animals, representing the Chinese zodiacs which are denoted by the year that you were born. This year, 2022, marks the Year of the Tiger and, with the animal being strong and fearsome in character, the year promises to be a highly prosperous one, where ambitions are high and goals are within reach. All around the Asian diaspora you will find houses decorated with red scrolls and couplets to dispel evil spirits from entering, as well as paper cuttings to draw in good fortune and prosperity. Anything marked with the tiger is a symbol of good luck.
Spring Cleaning for Positive Energy. From the 24th day of the 12th lunar month, families start their annual spring cleaning with great force and vigor. Removing dust is thought to remove any negative energy from the house and drive away any bad luck from the previous year. After a year of fighting the aftermath of the pandemic, I think we all need an extra-large bin to get clutter out of the way, and I am relying on my new favorite Totem compact waste and recycling bin by Joseph Joseph to do the job.
No Sweeping to Keep Your Luck Indoors. If one of your new year’s resolutions is to be more tidy, a sneaky way to help you reach this goal might just be investing in a new vacuum cleaner. According to the Chinese, spring cleaning should be done before the first day of the year, but more importantly, no sweeping or cleaning should be done within the first three days of the new year. I am more than happy to let the iRobot Roomba do all the hard work in keeping up with traditions, of course!
Daffodils for Wealth. Daffodils are seen as an unofficial symbol of the Chinese New Year, with the flower in full bloom during the Spring Festival period in China. Early blooming daffodils are yellow with white flowers, symbolizing gold (money) and wealth for the household. The color red is a very lucky color for the Chinese, and so, a new red vase to hold your wealth-promoting daffodils makes for a perfect pair, don’t you think?
Oranges for New Life and Prosperity. Oranges are a symbol of good health, luck, and prosperity for the Lunar New Year. Families purchase oranges for the house, offer them to ancestors at the temple, and also buy them as gifts for friends to help spread New Year joy. The orange-scented diffuser offers a fresh scent to your Lunar New Year–approved home. To bring even more luck, make sure you have an even number of scent sticks and definitely not four, with the number four being extremely bad luck and meaning “death” in Chinese.
New Attire for a Fresh Start. To celebrate the Lunar New Year, parents buy their kids new clothes for a promising and fresh start to the year. As kids get older, the tradition continues, and so, shopping is a mandatory activity for a happy and successful Chinese New Year—there you have my approval! Anything with the color red is considered good luck and will bring good fortune in the upcoming year. Where better to hang your new hat, coat, and scarf than on this lucky bamboo-made coat and hat stand?
Hot Pot for Unity. Although a lot of snacks are eaten in the lead-up to February 1, the big feast officially takes place on New Year’s Eve, with friends and families gathering around a huge table as the countdown to midnight begins. One of the most important dishes is the hot pot, a bubbling cauldron akin to a fondue, but with more heft and excitement given the amount of ingredients are more than just dried cubes of bread. The meal represents unity and togetherness, with family and friends gathering together to eat without any qualms of fighting for their food.
Red Anything. The color red is considered very auspicious, so, during the Chinese New Year celebrations, anything red (symbolizing new life and prosperity) is considered extremely lucky. Legend has it that the Chinese New Year beast, Nian, is afraid of the color red, so, red decorations around the house will stop the beast from entering. The fiery color also symbolizes happiness and joy, so buying clothes and even red stationary to write down your goals for the year will bring more positivity to your life.
Gold for Wealth. Though red is a very lucky color for the Chinese, gold is even better. Many of the Chinese New Year decorations are either red or gold, with the two colors symbolizing good fortune and prosperity. One of the greatest activities Chinese kids look forward to during the new year is collecting red envelopes filled with money (hóngbāo)—another Lunar New Year tradition I love and enjoy doing. This golden knot pillow brightens up any home for the new year and should be placed away from the window so ‘money’ does not flow out but in.
Round Items for A Wholesome Life. Anything round or circular in shape is considered good luck for Chinese New Year celebrations, with oranges, apples, and round fish balls (that you put in your hot pot) being the most popular ingredients during the holiday. The word for pineapple loosely translates to “good fortune,” so for extra luck this year, put all your lucky fruit in a red round fruit bowl, which also represents wholesomeness and an abundant life ahead.
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