Chinese New Year falls on January 22nd 2023. This day is the most important day, a day when tradition is best observed as faithfully as possible to ensure that abundance and prosperity follows you all through the year.
Chinese New Year is so important that preparations begin as early as a month before the new moon appears – new clothes to buy, food to prepare, home repairs to do, flowers to order and altars to clean – everything just to make sure that the house gets a thorough spring-cleaning, and if possible, to bring in some NEW furniture for the year.
The house should also be decorated with fruiting lime trees, as well as flowering plants before January 16th in order to introduce excellent growth energy, and to invite in fresh new opportunities for wealth and career progress to all at home.
Auspicious sonnets, especially with the Chinese word “Fuk (Chinese word for Good Fortune)” are commonly strung up at the entrance of the home, along with some red lanterns to add more auspicious energy and good luck to your home.
THINGS TO GET DONE BEFORE CHINESE NEW YEAR
1. Make Repairs
Families should start checking their homes for any defects and ensure that everything works well in the home prior to Chinese New Year. Repairs must be made to leaking toilets, broken faucets, broken roof tiles, leaking ceilings and so forth. Leaking water implies loss of wealth as well as loss of health. Anything that affects the kitchen or dining room can have a nasty impact on your rice bowl. Other areas that are critical to repair is the area around the main door, as well as your bedroom. Cracked walls and broken doorways can cause serious problems when carried into the New Year.
If you can, you should also give your home a fresh coat of paint every 4 – 5 years in order to start the year with a clean slate and to bring you many new opportunities for improvements.You must focus on spring-cleaning and this means removing last year’s “rubbish”. This includes old newspapers, magazines, books, plastic bags, broken containers and clothes you want to throw out. Allowing clutter to build up aggravates problems of challenges that you face.
Also check your cutlery, plates, cups, bowls and serving dishes and dispose those that are chipped, cracked or that show signs of damage. Damaged utensils are a sign of broken luck, and they bring the home Bad Feng Shui. This affects the prosperity of the family.
Check your beds for damage. Sleeping on damaged or broken beds will bring obstacles and blockages to everything you do. Success will be afflicted when the bed frame is damaged. This also creates a rift in your marriage.
Inspect cupboards and drawers and get rid of mismatched socks, torn or thread worn undergarments, shirts, pants and damaged shoes. Dispose of clothes that you have not worn in more than a year. Clearing the cupboard symbolizes removing negative energies and creates space for NEW things to come to you.
2. Restock your Kitchen.
You must enter the New Year with a completely restocked kitchen. Start with your storage cupboards and refrigerator. Remove and dispose of any expired food stuff. Clean out your rice urn, wash and dry it, then place a red packet with 3 dynasty coins tied with red thread at the base, and fill it to the brim with new rice. Keep your rice urn at least three quarters full throughout the 15 days of Chinese New Year. Next, stock up the refrigerator for the Chinese New Year, as it is important there is food in the home to last the 15 days.
3. Update the Feng Shui of your home
You should update the Feng Shui of your home after December 21st 2021(Winter Solstice) and before February 4th 2022, which is the start of the solar year. Indeed, many observe the traditional method, which is to start doing this after the Winter Solstice as this marks the changing of the Tai Sui. The annual 3 Killings are also believed to take effect from this date as well.
As for the annual Lo Shu numbers, they take effect on February 4th, which is Lap Chun. If you are planning to re-use your Feng Shui cures, you need to wipe them clean with a damp cloth soaked in cleansing water. BUT IT IS ALWAYS BEST TO USE NEW CURES. The enhancers can be reused twice but do realize that remedies work by absorbing bad energies from the past year, which needs cleansing before reuse. Once you have completed updating the Feng Shui of your home, you should perform the space-cleansing ritual.
4. How to prepare cleansing water
Flower petals from 5 kinds of flowers (best if you can get flowers representing the 5 elements – Blue (Water), Yellow (Earth), Green (Wood), Red (Fire), and White (Metal)) and leaves from the Kaffir lime (you can use fresh limes or lemons if you cannot get the Kaffir leaves) and add 1 tablespoon of sea salt. Soak the above in a bowl of water and place them in the sun for 10 minutes before using. Rinse your cleaning cloth in the mixture, squeeze dry, then wipe all of your remedies, enhancers and auspicious good luck charms, as well as all symbols of good fortune in your home. You can also use this water to clean your home altar and any statues and figurines.
5. How to do space-cleansing ritual
Open all your windows and doors, and switch on all the lights. It is best to do this in the daytime. Light sandalwood incense with Kemenyen, plus 1 tablespoon of Purifying Incense Powder in an incense burner.
Chant “NAMA SARVA TATHAGATA AVALOKITE OM SAMBHARA SAMBHARA HUM” when you walk around each room 7 times in a clockwise direction, while visualizing the negative energy coming off your walls.
You can also ring the 7 metals ringing bell or stroke singing bowls for added and enhanced effects.
Leave the doors and windows open for at least 1 hour after the ritual for bad energy to exit the home, and to allow good luck energies to permeate the home as the incense dissolves and removes any negativity within the home.
IMPORTANT REMINDERS FOR THE FIRST 15 DAYS OF CHINESE NEW YEAR
Eve of Chinese New Year (21st January 2023)
Prepare a welcome tray of togetherness today. This is a special box filled with an assortment of sweets, biscuits, melon seed, candies and oranges, for anyone who might drop by during the 15 days of the New Year.
A typical REUNION DINNER must have a minimum of 8 dishes and comprise of the following ingredients, because of their symbolic meanings:-
- Luo Han Zhai (Buddha’s Delight) – is a vegetarian dish made with “Fatt Choy” (a type of black hair fungus – means prosperity), Bamboo shoots (brings wealth), Day Lily Buds (“Kan Cham Ku – means golden needles), “Napa Cabbage (Pao Choy – guaranteed success) and other assorted vegetables. This dish is to serve notice to members of the family of purity of mind and togetherness in good karma.
- A Fish Dish – usually steamed fish as fish carries the meaning of Lin Lin Yao Yue – this means that your ENTIRE year will be filled with an abundance of good fortune.
- A Chicken Dish – indicates happiness and a happy marriage, while having a Duck dish means marital fidelity and good children.
- Big Prawns or better still a Lobster (indicates the Sea Dragon) – this carries the meaning of “Ha Ha Tai Siew” – means there will always be big laughter in your home.
- Abalone, Scallops, Clams, and Dried Oysters – indicates a bountiful harvest in your business. Good profits and excellent sales.
- Braised Pork with Sticky Rice – this dish indicates that you family will always be together and share their success and good fortune with each other.
- Long Life Noodles – indicates long life for all in the family.
- A Sweet Dessert – such as those made with peanuts, or red beans is served with a simple dumpling “Jiaozi” means that your family will always have good endings to every endeavor.
- Fruits such as Pomelo, Grapes and Oranges are a must, as these fruit symbolize prosperity and abundance of wealth and opportunity.
Taboo of the day
- No sweeping of the floor after 10.00 pm
- Avoid getting angry or raising your voice at others.
- Avoid using vulgarities or insulting others.
- Avoid saying anything negative or crying.
- All the lights of your home should be switched on before sundown and all windows should be open. After reunion dinner, it is important that the family spend time together, and be united until the stroke of midnight. Members of the family should greet each other with auspicious greetings and good luck wishes. You should also keep the main door open so as to greet in the luck of the New Year.
- Firecrackers are traditionally set off at this time to welcome the New Year with as much noise as possible, to scare away any bad luck, and to create plenty of prosperous chi.
- Prayers to the God of Heaven should be performed, and after the prayers are done, the Wealth Lock Coin Plaque should be placed on the altar table as well as underneath the pillows of every member of the family so as to ensure that the family prospers together.
- A plate of charcoal as well as a plate of roasted Garlic is a must-have for your home altar on this day. Charcoal represents support for your business, while roasted garlic represents plenty of business opportunities.
1st day of Chinese New Year (22nd January 2023)
Wake up early today, preferably before sunrise, and after cleaning up, put on a new set of clothes. Make sure you wear something red to wish your family members a happy Chinese New Year, and offer them a cup of sweet tea. This practice ensures that relationships with your family members will always be on good terms, and that you will only hear good news from their lips throughout the whole year.
8 Treasures Sweet Tea
- 50 grams Sweet dry winter melon
- 3 pieces Dried Kum Kuats
- 50 grams Dried Longan
- 3 pieces Lo Hon Ko
- 8 pieces Red Dates
- 8 pieces Black Dates
- 8 pieces Lin Jee
- 50 grams Pak Hap
Boil the above with 8 glasses of water, and let it boil for 10 minutes on medium heat, Strain cool, and serve.
Taboo of the Day – Must not get angry, must not cry, and must not sweep the floor.
It is best to be vegetarian today (at least till the hour of the Sheep 1.00pm – 3.00 pm) It is also a good day to visit the temple and to offer prayers.
Married couples should give red packets to younger unmarried people that they meet today. Many people observe this practice for all 15 days of the New Year. It is believed that the more red packets you give out, the more money the year brings to you.
As this day falls on the day of the Dragon, all those born Earth animal signs – Dragon, Dog, Ox and Sheep – must avoid eating meat (preferably be vegetarian for the day) and avoid antagonizing or quarrelling with people born under the Rabbit, Horse, Rooster or Rat signs.
Homes with main doors opening to the East, Northeast or Northwest are deemed very auspicious, and they should host home parties on this day to maximize their luck. Good hours to start your open house / party today will be from 9.00am – 11.00am, and 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Homes with main doors opening to the West, or Southeast must avoid any celebration today.
2nd day of Chinese new year (23rd January 2023)
This day is known as ‘Hoi Nian’ – Being the 2nd day of the year, it is beneficial for businessmen to offer at their home altar, a grass carp with its head wrapped with Red Paper and 2 pieces of Lime on the right side, and a bunch of Fresh Lettuce (Shang Choi). This carries the meaning of “Tai Kat Tai Lei” – an auspicious and smooth year and continuous growth of wealth.
It is also customary to offer visiting friends and business partners a slice of steamed “Lian Quo” coated with grated coconut (to cement profitable partnerships and friendships).
Today is an average day to start work except for those born in the year of the Dog.
Today is also a good day to pay respects to your ancestors. This is also traditionally a day when married children visit their paternal parents.
3rd day of Chinese New Year (24th January 2023)
Today is the Birthday of the Argument God (Chi Gou – God of Blazing Wrath). If you go out today, you are likely to get into an argument or fight. Those born in years of the Rat, Rooster and Horse should stay home to avoid getting into fights or arguments. Place the Trinity of Apples or Magical Cosmic Apple in the Southeast and West corners of your living and dining rooms to strengthen peace in the household.
Make generous offerings on your altar today. Suitable items to be offered include Green Bananas, Dried Mushroom, Spring Onions, White Cabbage, Garlic Bulbs, Pineapples, Peanuts, Apples, Pears, Oranges, Apricots, Plums, Flowers, and Candy
4th day of Chinese New Year (25th January 2023)
This is an excellent day to perform prayers for your children. Taoists pray to Lord Wen Chang aka Wen Chang Di Jun, one of 5 Deities that take care of all academic issues for students. Place the Brush with 3 Peaks or Wen Chang Pagoda on your children’s study table to ensure a successful academic year.
Average day to start work except for those born in the year of the Ox.
5th day of Chinese New Year (26th January 2023)
Today is a good day to do good deeds as well as to make prayers in the temple. This is the day of the Monkey, and for business owners, it is a good day for having a Lion Dance, along with prosperity rituals such as the ‘rolling in of oranges’. This is also a good day for businesses in competitive markets to invite in an image of General Kuan Kung Riding a Horse.
6th day of Chinese New Year (27th January 2023)
The Lo Shu of the day is 4 and this doubles all good and bad luck stars and favors homes that face North, South, Southwest and West. This is a good day for the Rooster and also considered a good day for celebrations as well as gambling. However, one should avoid drinking to excess on this day.
7th day of Chinese New Year (28th January 2023)
Today is ‘Ren Re’ – Everyone’s Birthday. For businessmen, it is a good day for feasting and eating ‘Yue Sang’ with their friends and clients. A lucky day for those born in the year of the Rabbit and Dog. Homes that face Northeast, North or Northwest should have their Lion Dance performance today.
For Buddhists, this is another vegetarian day. A traditional vegetarian dish to eat today combines 7 kinds of vegetable in one bowl. (Green Peas, Celery, Spinach, Broccoli, Lettuce, Grape and Chives (“Guo Choi”) in a dish eaten with plain rice porridge). This ensures you will always have an abundance of food to eat.
8th day of Chinese New Year (29th January 2023)
Good day to pray to the Wealth God. Excellent day to start work – but conflicts with Snake-born. Homes with main doors facing South and West are especially lucky today and should invite friends over to celebrate. It is not a good day for the Snake-born. This is a lucky day to start work, and benefits the Boar.
9th day of Chinese New Year (30th January 2023)
Today is the Birthday of the Jade Emperor and it is an important date for the people of Hokkien origin. Typical offerings on the midnight of the 8th day (Rat Hour) includes a pair of sugar canes, Joss sticks, 7 cups of Chinese Tea, 7 cups of Rice Wine, 7 plates of fresh fruits, a Roast Pig, 2 Bouquet of Flowers, and Gold Paper folded in the shape of an ingot is often burnt as offering.
If the morning of the 9th day is sunny with clear skies, it indicates a year of big profits, while a day of cloudy skies and rain indicates potential loss.
This is an Average day for starting work, it is especially auspicious for the Rat and a bad day for the Horse. Today is a good day for homes with doors that open to the Southeast, Northeast and Northwest to have their lion dance.
10th to 12th day of Chinese New Year (31st January – 2nd February 2023)
These 3 days are suitable for additional feasting with friends and family. It is a good time for renewing old friendships and making new contacts. This is because the early days of are reserved more for family, so friends and networking are given more priority during these 3 days.
The 10th day is a lucky day for the Dragon to start work but conflicts the Sheep.
The 12th day is another lucky day to start work. Today conflicts the Rooster born.
13th day of Chinese New Year (3rd February 2023)
After so many days of feasting and eating rich food, it is good to have vegetarian food today to cleanse the stomach. A popular vegetarian breakfast would comprise of Hot Soybean milk, eaten with savory ‘Ham Chim Peng’ – (Asian fried bread).
This is a good day for those born in the year of the Rooster or Dragon.
14th day of Chinese New Year (4th February 2023)
Today is the “Lap Chun” and so it is a good day to plant a new plant in your garden, or to bring home new potted flowers. Doing so increases growth energy for the year.
Preparations are also made for celebrating Chap Goh Meh. These include making ‘Tong Yuen’ (Rice balls). These are sweet dumplings made from rice flour rolled into the shape of marbles and filled with sweet fillings such as Sesame seeds, Lotus seeds, Peanuts, Red Bean Paste. The dumplings are served in a sweet soup cooked with ginger. It is a very good day for visiting your relatives.
Chap Goh Meh – Last day of Chinese New Year (5th February 2023)
This is also known as “Yuen Xiao”, the Chinese Peach Blossom Day to benefit all couples in love. In the past, single women would toss oranges written with descriptions of their desired partner into the river to seek a husband. However, in today’s modern practice, men are also known to practice this to find a suitable wife.
Candles are lighted in a paper lantern and hung up on the outside of the home and “Tong Yuen” is often eaten as dessert on the final celebration dinner of the year. In areas where a river is not available, Sky Lanterns written with their wishes are set free to soar into the heavens in search for potential mates. This is another good day to be vegetarian.