Wednesday, January 26, 2011

After 60 years, Jack (the Metal Rabbit) is Back

February 3, 2011 will be the first day of the Chinese New Year, the year of the Metal Rabbit, leaving the 2010 year of the Tiger behind us.  One of the great things for us Westerners about having the Chinese New Year fall in late January or early February is that you have some recovery time from the Thanksgiving/Christmas hustle and bustle and now is another great time to throw a party.  So if you want to celebrate Chinese New Year, New Year's Eve  is February 2, 2011. 

You'll be happy to know that the year of the Rabbit is traditionally associated with home and family, artistic pursuits, diplomacy, and keeping the peace. Therefore, 2011 is very likely to be a relatively calmer one than the tumultuous Tiger year of 2010, both on the world scene, as well as on a personal level.  I don't know about you, but I feel a bit beat up (being a Monkey, the Tiger's arch enemy, 2011 was an exceptionally difficult year and I admit, the Tiger got the best of me in the end).  I could benefit greatly this year from some peace, some calm, some friends and family time, a bit of self-reflection and the never ending attempts at self-improvement!

But I am not taking any chances, I am going to abide by the Chinese superstition and traditions that go along with the new year.  So, just in case, I thought I'd share with you some tips to make sure you bring in the Chinese New Year on the right foot too.  Hopefully that will be the "lucky rabbits foot" we can carry with us all year long.

   Chinese New Year Tips:

Welcome in the year of the Metal Rabbit with traditions to create good fortune.  First of all, do a thorough house cleaning before Chinese New Year's Eve (February 2, 2011) to let go of the past.  An exceptionally clean home will be beneficial to attract positive energy of the New Year!   This is a great time to let go of clutter.  Out with the old, ready to welcome in new energy and new opportunities.  But do not clean or sweep on New Years Day,  as it is believed that you will sweep or wash all good fortune away.  For New Years Day, (February 3, 2011) bring fresh fragrant flowers into your home, especially in your living room.  This will welcome in vibrant new energy.  Flowers are a reminder of the sweetness of life.  Peony is great for business fortunes.  Orchids are wonderful for relationships.  Lilies are very fragrant which adds more positive chi.  You can use any type of flowers that you like, but it is best to go for higher quality for this special occasion. 

The first person one meets and the first words heard are significant as to what the fortunes would be for the entire year.  Make sure you greet everyone with a positive attitude and cheery disposition.  Try not to speak negatively about anyone or anything on this first day of the year.  (I know, difficult, but it's for one day, you can do it!) It is a good omen to see or hear songbirds or red-colored birds or swallows.  Pay attention to these little signs.  It is fortunate to wear red clothing as it sets the tone for a bright future.  Carry an attitude of what you wish for the coming year on this ancient day of celebration.  
On Chinese New Year Day abstain from eating red meat.  Don't eat any food from a chipped or cracked plate or bowl and do not drink from a chipped glass or cup.  Avoid fresh bean curd and tofu as it is white and considered unlucky.  Don't lend items on this day, or you may be lending all year long or it may not be returned.  Give children and single people crisp dollar bills inside red envelopes for good fortune. 

Eat for good fortune.  Eat fish and long noodles for long life.  Eat dates for prosperity.  Melon seeds for proliferation.  Oranges and tangerines are for wealth and good fortune.  Black moss seaweed is for wealth.  Dried bean curd is for happiness and wealth. Bamboo shoots are for general well being.   Of course, Chinese take out is usually what I do, simple and always a treat.

Do not use knives or scissors on New Year's Day for it may cut off fortune. Do not mention death or dying on this day. Avoid references to the past year as you have already turned into the New Year and you are moving forward.     
So, as we transition into 2011 with the gentle yet persistent energy of the Rabbit, I wish you all a healthy, prosperous, relaxing and very happy new year.







1 comment:

  1. Ahhhh....It's good to see you back bloggin'!
    Happy Chinese New Year to you too!
    Let's plan a quick get-away soon :) Really miss you....