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New Straits Times - Monday January 26, 2009
|The auspicious Chinese New Year decorations (from left) the Nine Dragon windchime, Rotating Wealth Bowl, Ox Bringing Gold and the crystal ball.|
How does Lillian Too, the famous feng shui queen, welcome Chinese New Year?
Too says that at the stroke of midnight, she would put on Buddhist chants and prayers to fill the air with divine energy. She and her family would then light up sandalwood incense sticks to welcome the God of Wealth before calling it a night at 2am.
“I believe in starting the Lunar year right. It is also important for my family to be dressed in the compulsory red colour during the celebrations.
“Red signifies fire energy and promotes inner strength. No one should be in ragged or torn clothes. This is one way to respect the day,” said Too.
The compulsory Chinese New Year eve reunion dinner last night also saw Too, her husband Too Wan Jin, and her daughter Jennifer, spending the evening with their immediate family members.
‘We had a table filled with auspicious food and I believe in eating meat which is the food of substance. I also serve food that signifies growth - sang.
They had yee sang, fa sang (ground nuts), herbal soup, Chinese sausages, waxed duck and ginger pork leg. The dinner ended with tong yuen, (sweet dumpling) to welcome the year.
Having made Kuala Lumpur her home despite being born in Penang, Too said she would be spending Chinese New Year here with friends and family.
The feng shui queen had her jade necklace, ring and bangle on, which she said she has been wearing even before the Chinese New Year.
“The Sanskrit syllable of Om holds this jade necklace and it is for prosperity and harmony and of course, it is a good stone to wear this year.
“I also have a 9 Eye Dzi choker which is a gold enameled piece lined with diamonds to enhance the power of the number nine. It is a powerful digit this year and the choker will ensure good fortune,” she said.
Too’s spacious living room is filled with decorative items namely the Rotating Ingot Ball lights that are placed at the corner of the room to create the flow of Yang (good) energy.
There is also a Nine Dragon wind chime which comes with intricate designs of dragons to activate the power of the number nine as it is good for her animal sign, the Rooster. There is also a crystal ball.
Placed on the main table of the living room is a Rotating Wealth Bowl. She has been filling the bowl with gold ingots at the start of every Chinese New Year for several years.
Every year, she drops in 12 gold ingots to represent each month and animal signs.
“I also have a decorative item called Ruyi which has a gold finish. It represents the symbol of power and success. I add green emeralds to this each year.
“I also have a brass Ox Bringing Gold item. I put gold ingots in it for good fortune,” she said.
As a Rooster, Too’s analysis showed that those born under the zodiac sign may become ill. To minimise this effect, Too offers prayers to the Goddess of Longevity, Ushnisha Vijaya. The altar is placed in front of a mini pond that has 100 gold fish.
A row of glass figurines of the Eight Immortals line the pool which is at the entrance of Too’s double-storey house in Taman Bukit Pantai, Bangsar. These figurines are said to bring good fortune.
The hive of activities in Too’s house in anticipation of the Chinese New Year started more than three weeks ago with a thorough cleaning session. Too also replaced non functional light bulbs and painted the house.
“We also cleaned the gutters and ensured the plumbing of the fish pond ran smoothly. It is one way of getting rid of any obstruction. For example, it takes one blown light bulb to indicate bad luck,” she stressed.
The practice of feng shui is important, said Too, as it helps to move the Chi flow in the house. It can be done by rearranging the furniture or putting new ones or by simply cleaning the area, where the furniture was kept.
“This year, I replaced a sofa in the living room with another,” she added.
Numerous protective figurines such as guardian lion statues and phoenixes in Too’s house was blessed by Taoist monks who had recited prayers and tied auspicious red ribbons around them.
Even her garden is in pristine condition. Too’s entertainment-cum-guest house is surrounded by various flowers - layered, pussy willow, orchid and peonies, among others.