If you’re like most of us and you haven’t followed up with any of your goals and resolutions, or this year has been off to a rough start, then consider January your “trial month,” because us Asians got you covered! The Lunar New Year will be on Saturday January 25th and no, you don’t have to be Asian to celebrate, but there are some do’s and don’ts you will want to follow. I want all of you to have the most prosperous and successful year to date so I will list 9 simple and easy things to consider and avoid. Take what resonates with you and apply all the things you can!
While most Westerners celebrate New Year on January 1st, the Lunar New Year has no fixed date as it is just the second new moon after the winter solstice (which fluctuates between the end of Jan. and beginning of Feb). This new moon and the 15 days following up to the full moon are celebrated as the beginning of a new year for people of Asian origin and descent.
I personally love new moons in general. For the past year, I have been writing down what I want to manifest during every new moon and have gotten some great rewards, however, that is for a different blog post. New moons are always associated with new energies and beginnings so luckily we have one every month. Following moon cycles are a great way to set goals and to reap their benefits. Astrologers believe that our energy awakens during the new moon, then peaks two weeks later at the full moon. In many cultures, farmers have planted during the new moon and reaped their harvest 2 weeks later during the full moon. Therefore, we can “plant our seeds” aka our dreams and wishes, and then take steps towards tending to them and hopefully we can see a reward from the fruits of our labor during the full moon.
A couple of years ago, I randomly picked up a book on Feng Shui called Make This Your Lucky Day by Ellen Whitehurst and it completely changed my life and I want to share with you some things that have really worked well for me.
1. Clean your home as much as possible and don’t forget to declutter!
There’s really no better feeling than having a clean home, but it is especially important to have a super clean home before New Year’s. Make sure to throw out broken things or things that no longer work. If you don’t have time to clean before Saturday, just focus on the kitchen since that is the area that is associated with wealth, health, and happiness. However, a major no-no is that you should NOT clean on the day of New Years. It is considered a taboo to sweep since “you will sweep out your good fortune.” If you must clean, just avoid sweeping for now.
2. Move 27 things around your house
The Feng Shui gold standard is to move 27 things around your house to circulate new energies so you can “watch fortune and luck invade life from every direction.” You might think moving 27 things around is difficult but even switching your salt and pepper shakers around can count as 1 move. The object here is just to change things up. I have found this to be so powerful. Anytime I feel stagnant, I just switch up 27 little things around my home (with the intention of getting some new energy to flow through) and I automatically feel a lot better. Fun fact: I used to work as a sales rep for a jewelry tradeshow and whenever I would go a few hours without making any sales, I would move 27 things around my set and I would instantly get a new sale. It was kind of eerie but I did it multiple times throughout the day when it would get slow and it never once failed me.
3. Decorate your house with vibrant colors
The colors associated with good fortune are red, orange, and yellow so buy an arrangement of real flowers (make sure to get rid of dying plants), fill up your fruit bowls with mandarin oranges or regular oranges, lemons, and any bright fruit you can think of and also have bowls of nuts and candies to guarantee a sweet year ahead.
4. Wear vibrant colors
Wear preferably new clothes or nothing super old, with rips and holes, etc. Focus on colors that are red, orange, yellow (even bright blues, greens, and royal purple) or really just wear anything that makes you feel rich. However, don’t wear black or white as it is associated with mourning.
5. Open up the windows for 5 minutes
Even if it’s freezing out, just do it for at least 5 minutes. This will kick all of the old energies of last year out and bring in some fresh air for the new year.
6. Give out Li Xi (money in red envelopes)
It is considered to be lucky when you give money away (since you have so much abundance to give) that this will in return, add to your bottom line.. Even if you don’t have a lot to give, you can just put $1 inside a red envelope and give it to some kids. You can find these at most Asian supermarkets.
7. Eat a lucky meal
Certain foods are associated with being lucky and bringing good fortune. For example, fish are associated with intelligence. Since it is not good luck to use sharp things such as knives or scissors, use fish that you could cut with a spoon or fork like salmon. You could pair it with a spinach salad topped with mandarin oranges!
8. In the next 15 days, it is good to attend joyful events such as weddings, birthday parties, or any event around family and friends. Try to avoid visiting hospitals and funerals.
9. Finally, just like how we create resolutions, there is an Eastern custom where people write down their wishes with red ink, put it in a red envelope, and on the full moon, burn it so your smoke can signal to the sky gods that it will be a phenomenal year. There is also a lantern festival that they do.
Okay, now that that’s all done, here’s a quick list of things you should not do. Asians are really superstitious and can take things quite literally so don’t ask me why some of these things are taboo.
1. No sweeping (you will sweep out your good luck)
2. No breaking dishes
3. No crying (and avoid crying children)
4. Never refer of anything in the past, only speak of hopes and dreams for the future. Make sure you speak of only positive things! (no debt/death, etc)
5. Don’t cut your hair or use knives or scissors. No washing hair either or clothes (you might wash your good fortune away)
6. Don’t wear black or white clothes (associated with mourning)
7. No lending or borrowing money
8. Don’t take medicine or visit the hospital
9. No needle work (like knitting or sewing)
I hope these tips and tricks help bring you a very happy, healthy, and prosperous new year! In Mandarin, the phrase to wish happy new year is “gong xi fa cai” (pronounced gong she fa tsai). which literally means “I hope you get rich!” (JK, it means wishing you great happiness and prosperity, so almost the same thing, but that’s what Ronny Chieng said in his Netflix special, which I highly recommend.) Leave a comment below on your thoughts or what you will try to do, and come back and tell me how it worked out for you! I can’t wait to see all the great things 2020 will bring for us all.