The Chinese celebrate all 15 days of the first full moon, with special rituals associated with specific days and adorning themselves and their homes with all the auspicious symbols of good fortune. Chinese New Year this falls on the February 12th 2021. 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 through the whole year. Chinese New Year is so important that preparations begins as early as a full 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 vital spring cleaning and if possible bringing in NEW furniture for the year. The house should also be decorated with lime trees as well as flowering plants before February the 4th in order to introduce added growth energy to the home as 2021 is a year when Chinese New Year occurs after Lap Chun.
THINGS TO DO BEFORE CHINESE NEW YEAR
1. Make Repairs
Families start ensuring everything works in the home from as early as two months prior to New Year. Making repairs to leaking toilets, broken faucets, broken roof tiles, soiled ceilings and so forth are an absolute MUST. Leaking water signifies loss of wealth; broken roof tiles allow bad luck into the home and everything 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 the Northeast, the Southwest and the Center of the home as these are the sectors that carries the Parent string combination for 2021. Cracked walls and broken doorways can cause serious problems when carried into the New Year.
If you can, you should give your home a fresh coat of paint every 4 – 5 years to ensure that good luck comes continuously after which it is a great idea to put attention to Spring cleaning and this means removing the last year’s “rubbish” and his includes old newspapers, magazines, books, plastic bags, broken containers and clothes you want to throw out.
Also give your cutlery and plates, cups, bowls and serving dishes a once over to remove and replace those that are chipped, cracked or shows signs of damage. Damaged utensils are a sign of broken luck and they bring bad Feng Shui. They affect the prosperity of the family.
Check all the beds to make sure you get a comfortable sleep each night. Sleeping on damaged or broken beds brings obstacles and blockages to everything you try to do. Success gets hindered when the bed frame is damaged. This creates a rift in your business relationships; and they are also bad for 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 Food supplies.
Ensuring your kitchen is well stocked with food and supplies, to welcome the New Year is a vital dimension to the preparation ritual. Starting with your refrigerator, throw out all food, fruits, jams, and expired food. Sift out all expired foodstuffs and clear out old canned meat and dried food. 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 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 throughout the 15 days.
UPDATE HOME FENG SHUI!
It is truly beneficial to update the feng shui of your home before Chinese New Year, indeed this year it should be before February 4th 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 reuse 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 a new CURE. The enhancers can be re used but the remedies absorb bad energies from the past year. Once you have completed updating the Feng Shui of your home, you should perform the space cleansing ritual.
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 also add sea or rock salt. Soak the above in 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, enhancer, 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 statues.
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 bells or stroke the singing bowls for added and enhanced effects. Leave the doors and windows open for at least 1 hour after the ritual 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 (11th February 2021)
Prepare a “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 should 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 “Fat 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 the members of the family or 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 Duck 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 fruits means 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 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 create plenty of prosperous chi.
Prayers to the God of Heaven should be performed and after the prayers are done, Nanbu Lock coins 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 (12th February 2021)
Wake up early today, and after cleaning up, put on a new set of clothes (make sure that 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 your relationship with your family members will always be on good terms and that you will only hear good news from their lips for the whole year.
Today is a good day to pray to the God of Happiness whose direction is Southwest.
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 – 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 Horse 11.00am – 1.00pm) It is also a good day to visit the temple and offer up 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 Rabbit, which is the secret friend of the Dog, all those born in the year of the Rooster must avoid eating Meat (preferable be vegetarian for the day) and avoid antagonizing or quarrels with the Rabbit born.
Homes that have main doors opening to the Northeast, West or South are deemed most auspicious, and they should host home parties on this day so as to maximize their luck. Good hours to have your open house today will be from 1.00 pm – 11.00 pm
2nd day of Chinese new year (13th February 2021)
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 Dai Kat Dai Lei – and 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 grated coconut – (thus cementing their profitable partnerships and friendships). Today is also a good 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 (14th February 2021)
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 the year of the Sheep, Monkey or Rat should stay home to avoid getting into fights or arguments. Place a bowl of 6 Red Apples in the center of your living and dining rooms to strengthen peace in the household.
Make generous offerings to the altar on this day. Suitable things to be offered include Green Banana, Dried Mushroom, Spring Onions, White Cabbage, Garlic Bulbs, Pineapples, Peanuts, Apples, Pears, Oranges, Apricots, Plums, Flowers, and Candy
4th day of Chinese New Year (15th February 2021)
This is an excellent day to do 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 Scholar on Dragon Carp on your children’s study table to ensure a successful academic year.
5th day of Chinese New Year (16th February 2021)
Today is a good day to do good deeds as well as to make prayers in the temple. This is the day of the Sheep and for business owners it is a good day for having Lion dance along with prosperity rituals such as the ‘rolling of oranges into the office’ is performed. This is also a good day for businesses that are in very competitive markets to invite an image of General Kuan Kung Riding a Horse into their office.
6th day of Chinese New Year (17th February 2021)
The Lo Shu of the day is 6 and this doubles all the good luck stars and favors homes that face East, South and West. This is a good day for the Snake 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 (18th February 2021)
Today is ‘Ren Re’ – everyone’s birthday. For businessmen, it is good it is a day for feasting and eating ‘Yue Sang’ with their friends, and clients. This is a lucky day for those born in the year of the Ox and Snake. Homes that face West or Northeast should have their lion dance performance today.
For the Buddhist, 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 that you will always have an abundant of food to eat.
8th day of Chinese New Year (19th February 2021)
Good day to pray to the wealth god. Excellent day to start work – conflict Dragon. Homes with main doors facing South and Southwest are especially lucky today and should invite their friends over to celebrate. It is not a good day for the Dragon born. The day benefits the Ox and Tiger who should make special prayers for enhancing their careers.
9th day of Chinese New Year (20th February 2021)
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 a good day for starting work and it is especially auspicious for the Rooster and a bad day for the Snake. Today is a good day for homes with doors that opens to the Northeast, and West to have their lion dance.
10th to 12th day of Chinese New Year (21st to 23rd February 2021)
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.
13th day of Chinese New Year (24th February 2021)
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 Soy bean milk, eaten with savory ‘Ham Chim Peng’ – (Asian fried bread).
This is a good day for those born in the year of the Rabbit.
14th day of Chinese New Year (25th February 2021)
Preparations are made for celebrating Chap Goh Meh. These include making ‘Tong Yuen’ (Rice balls) – These are sweet dumplings made from rice floor 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 (26th February 2021)
This is also known as “Yuen Xiao” – 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 in order 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 of their potential mates. This is also another good day to be vegetarian.