Invite luck into your life in the Year of the Water Rabbit

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UNSPLASH/ KHLOE ARLEDGE PEARS bring prosperity.

One of the most important things to do as the New Lunar Year starts is to prepare one’s home for the Year of the Water Rabbit.

This invites into our home a fresh new chi (energy) and good luck, applying the principle of feng shui which is the art of placement so we can live in harmony with good health and good relationships.

Feng shui is neither a cult nor a religion. When applied properly, it helps each one of us prepare for the year ahead, reap great rewards, and take away misfortune.

Let us now welcome the Year of Water Rabbit with expectations of good luck, good health, and prosperity. Kung hei fat choi (Here’s wishing you become rich)! Choy wan hang tong (Wealth comes from everywhere)!

BROOMING is only allowed on the fourth day of the Chinese New Year celebration. (PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UNSPLASH/SMALL town korea)

What to do in the next 15 days

The Lunar New Year begins on 22 January at 12:15 a.m. and will last for 15 days. Spring cleaning should begin a month before.

Since this is a time of renewal, sweeping out the old is considered lucky. Start the New Year by considering that everything in life is fresh. Clean and decorate your home with red color. Buy new red-colored clothes and slippers to be worn on 22 January.

Everyone should get a haircut between 16, 17, 19, 20 and 21 January to symbolize that all the bad things that happened in the past year will not be carried over.

Take a pomelo bath before 11 p.m. on 22 January.

Sprinkle glitter at your doorstep to attract good fortune into your home, and throw some candies outside to offer to spirits so they won’t bother you for the year. Hang kiat-kiat (small oranges) on the door for a prosperous new year.

Prepare on your dining table the following offering and place them in the center.

1  pineapple (for swerte)
3 pears (dumarating)
1 pomelo or suha (umaapaw)
Place one cup of uncooked rice (bigas), one cup of water, and one cup of rock salt on the table.

The Chinese New Year should be welcomed with a large gathering. According to Chinese custom and feng shui practice, “being in a large gathering at the stroke of midnight (signaling the beginning of a new year) brings good and strong chi and signifies good luck to those present.”

You may visit a temple or church and/or attend a windmill parade. Those who will attend the annual windmill parade should wear red clothes.

POMELOS symbolize abundance. (PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UNSPLASH/ aliona gumeniuk)

15 DAYS OF CELEBRATION
DAY 1 (22 January 2023, Sunday) New Year’s Day
• Greet everyone by saying Kung hei fat choi (Here’s wishing you become rich)! It is believed that appearance and attitudes during the New Year will influence fortunes for the entire year.
• Please do not wash your hair on this day as good fortune will be depleted.
• Wear new red panty underwear, accessories, or clothing that is red in color, since this is considered most auspicious.
• Refrain from losing one’s temper.
• Offer flowers and fruits at the altar.
• Light incense or candle and pray between 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. — the Rabbit and Dragon Time.
• Attend a gathering in the evening. Have a dinner party with family and friends. Just observe health protocols.
• Give lai-see envelope or Ang-Pao, good luck money wrapped in red envelope, as a symbol of blessing.
• Don’t sweep the floor on New Year’s Day, to prevent sweeping away the good fortune accumulated. No brooming.
• Do not use knives or scissors on New Year‘s Day as this may cut off fortune.
• Activities good for the day are getting married, ground-breaking, meeting friends, moving house, and signing contracts.
• Avoid renovations and long travel.

DAY 2 (23 January 2023, Monday)
• Traditionally called “Beginning of the Year” or Kai Nian, this is the time when married daughters visit their birth parents, relatives and friends.
• This is also seen as the “common birthday of dogs” as it is believed to be the day the goddess Nuwa created this creature. As such, treats are given to your pet dog.
• Pray to your ancestor as well to God.
• It is a good day to visit your in-laws, extended family and friends.
• No brooming of floors.

DAY 3 (24 January 2023, Tuesday)
•  This is the day to have family bonding. It is also referred to as the “Day of the Horse” since the animal is considered a symbol of good fortune in Chinese culture.
•  Visit friends, in-laws, and relatives.
• Good activities to do include starting a new business, getting married, groundbreaking, signing contracts, traveling, renovations, and moving home.
• No brooming of floors.

DAY 4 (25 January 2023, Wednesday) is called Poo Woo
• This is the day traditionally known as the “Day of the Sheep.”
• People are encouraged to clean their toilets as the God of Toilet (Ce Shen) is believed to return on this day to inspect your sanitation.
• You can start cleaning your home.
• You can sweep the floors.
• Good activities include starting a new business, ground-breaking, meeting friends, moving house, signing contracts, renovations, and traveling.
• Avoid getting married on this day.

DAY 5 (26 January 2023, Thursday)
• An excellent day to open a business and go back to work.
• This is the day to welcome the God of Wealth and Prosperity (Cai-Sen).
• People usually get up early and welcome the God of Fortune to their home by offering incense or candles and wishes.
• Everyone writes their wishes to the God of Wealth in a wishing FU paper (composed of three pages): first page for good health, second page for good harmony, and last page for good fortune wishes. Then burn the paper in your altar.
• This is the best time to throw kiat-kiat or oranges into your home or business place.
• It is a good time to go to the bank, open an account, or deposit cash or check to your name or business name. Wear red color.

DAY 6 (27 January 2023, Friday)
• It’s love and marriage day. You can pray for a happy married life. For singles who want to have a partner, go to church and pray or make a wish.
• Light incense or candles and offer pink flowers.
• Continue to visit friends and relatives.

DAY 7 (28 January 2023, Saturday)
Everybody’s birthday
• Everyone is considered one year older as of this date.
• It is a day of feasting and eating.
• It is a good day to invite friends, business partners, and clients over for a sumptuous lunch or dinner. This will ensure abundance of food to eat.
• Noodles are eaten to promote longevity and fish for success.

DAY 8 (29 January 2023, Sunday)
Emperor’s birthday
• In Chinese tradition, this is celebrated as the “Birthday of Millet,” a staple food during ancient times. Folklore says that if this day is bright and clear, the harvest will be good throughout the whole year. If it is cloudy or rainy, the entire year’s harvest will be poor.
• Pray to the God of Heaven or God the Father.
• This is an auspicious day for businessmen and owners to host a party. They can invite friends and clients to an auspicious dinner.
• Activities for the day include starting a new business, ground-breaking, renovation, meeting friends, and signing contracts.
• Avoid getting married, moving house, or traveling on this day.

DAY 9 (30 January 2023, Monday)
Jade Emperor’s Birthday
• The Jade Emperor is the one in charge for the entire year.
• Make offerings to the Jade Emperor by lighting an incense or candle and offering some flowers and seven kinds of fruits.
• Traditional belief says that if you wake up in the morning of the ninth day and see a clear sky, it means a year of big profits for you, But if you see a cloudy sky and rain, that means there may be financial loss.

DAY 10 (31 January 2023, Tuesday)
• The 10th day is considered the birthday of the “God of Stone.” As such, it is forbidden to move any object made of stone in order to avoid unpleasant incidents.
• It’s family bonding time, so spend more time with family members.
• Visit friends or relatives.

DAY 11 (1 February 2023, Wednesday)
• According to tradition, this day is for fathers-in-law to entertain their sons-in-law.
• It is also the day the Dragon Dance Festival is celebrated.

DAY 12 (2 February 2023, Thursday) Vegetarian Day
• As the feasts eaten throughout the festive days are rich, fatty, and greasy, eat vegetables today.
• Chinese people normally begin observing lighter diets meant to eliminate heat and clear their bowels on this day.
• Simple rice congee (lugaw) can be eaten to cleanse our body.
• Take a break from all the drinking and feasting.

DAY 13 (3 February 2023, Friday)
• This day is dedicated to General Guan Yu, and this is when most businesses and organizations will pay tribute to the deity.

DAY 14 (4 February 2023, Saturday) Eve of the Lantern Festival
• Prepare for the Lantern Festival.
• Decorate your home with red color.

DAY 15 (5 February 2023, Sunday) Lantern Festival
• Each family may put Chinese lanterns or anything red in color in front of their door or window to catch the attention of the Prosperity God.
• Light a candle in front of your home from 7 to 9 p.m.
• For singles, time to pray for a partner.
• Have a get-together dinner at home, and invite friends and relatives.
• Make a wish-fulfilling balloon instead of using the customary lantern; write wishes and release the balloon into the air.

Luck is within us, but we have to grab opportunities that come our way to do better and improve our lives. This is a good time for us to build our dreams and make them happen. Believe in yourself and the magic will follow. There is magic in believing.


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