Out with the Old, In with the New
Chinese New Year TraditionsThe arrival of the New Year according to the Solar Calendar - corresponding with the movement of the sun, usually should be around February 4th. each year. If it is according to the Lunar Calendar - corresponding with the movement of the moon, then it falls on the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice, which could be any day within January or February according to the Gregorian calendar.
The Chinese traditionally views everything from the San Cai perspective - the concept of Tian , Di and Ren ; or Heaven, Earth and Man/Human as being “San Cai Zhi Dao” - the Dao/Path of the Three Abilities or Powers. For everything to be auspicious, the qi/energy between these three aspects has to be flowing harmoniously at all times.
Before the arrival of the New Year, several rituals will be carried out by taking all these three aspects into consideration:
- Heaven (Tian Cai ) - The impact of time on our destiny. We are all born with our own unique pattern of qi/energy, which goes through time being subjected to the impact of different types of qi/energy - especially the change in the new qi/energy being brought on by the New Year. It is always a good idea to have a look at your own destiny chart at this time of the year, to see what kind of luck or challenges the New Year will bring.
- Earth (Di Cai ) - The impact of time on our space/environment. This is done through the study of Feng Shui of our own home and place of work. When a building is finished, it has incorporated the essence of Heaven, Earth and Man/Human qi/energy, thus acquired its own unique pattern of qi/energy, which also goes through time being subjected to the impact of different types of qi/energy, and from the change in the new qi/energy being brought on by the New Year. This is a good time to find out what kind of indications are there for possible fortunes or misfortunes for the people, who resides and works within the various spaces.
- Man/Human (Ren Cai ) - This is the most important aspect out of the three, as this is the major role you play in terms of how everything in your life will play out, by making the correct decisions and informed choices, and by taking the appropriate action at the right time and place.
- Clear the air - Reconcile with friends, colleagues and family members over grievances, arguments and disagreements, so everyone welcomes the New Year with a clean slate
- Clean the house and work place - The Chinese believes dust, dirt and garbage harbors bad qi/energy. A good thorough cleaning from top to bottom, inside and out is of the utmost importance. This is a very good time to get rid of any items that are unusable, and give away or recycle items not used or worn for over two years. It is very important to get rid of any garbage before the New Year arrives. No sweeping or cleaning is done for the first 3 days of the New Year, so the new qi/energy can stay and benefit the people within the space.
- Clear the debts - Pay off any debts incurred before the New Year arrives. From ancient China even to the present day, a pair of red lanterns is displayed outside the front door prior to New Year's Eve, an indication that the household is debt-free and creditors are paid off.
- New personal items - Everyone in the household will have their hair cut, (men) shaved and well groomed prior to the arrival of New Year's Day. New clothes, socks and shoes are bought for the occasion, especially for the children, preferably something in red, which is considered an auspicious color that attracts good qi/energy.
- Auspicious symbols - Decorate the space with fresh flowers, e.g. narcissus, azalea, plum blossoms, kumquat plants, orchids, Lucky Bamboo, etc. Hang up new red and gold papercuts and couplets with “Happiness”, “Longevity”, “Good Health”, “Good Fortunes”... auspicious sayings and symbols.
- New Year's Eve - Family reunion for feasting together and having a good time until the New Year arrives. Very important time to make offerings to the higher beings and ancestors, thanking them for past good fortunes, and their blessings for the coming year.
- New Year's Day - Open the front door to welcome in the New Year. The Lion Dance is very popular at the places of business for activating the auspicious qi/energy of the New Year.
The following is a very popular image used for the New Year decoration, and a write-up with the details behind the image of the Five Bats, which phonetically sounds the same as Wu Fu - Five Blessings:
Wu Fu Lin Men
The term Wu Fu Five Blessings originated from the classics Shujing and Hongfan - The Shangshu "Documents of the elder", also called Shujing "Book of documents", is one of the five ancient Confucian classics (Wujing ) http://www.chinaknowledge.de/Literature/Classics/shangshu.html
The 5 Blessings Are:
- - Longevity with no sudden demise
- - Wealthy with good social status
- - Good health with inner peace
- - Kind nature and good karma
- - Ripe old age and peaceful death
“One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate
the morals. If one is not simple and frugal, one's ambition will not sparkle.
If one is not calm and serene, one will not reach far.” - Zhugeliang
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