First, the title of this post is not entirely correct because when ushering in the Chinese New Year using Feng Shui, you eventually do Taoist and Buddhist rituals as well. You might be asking why Taoist and Buddhist rituals? That is because Chinese, without directly meaning to do it, has really mixed both religions. But that’s something I’ll discuss further on a another post.
For now, suffice to say, that a lot of us are greeting each other ‘Kung Hei Fat Choi’. You’ll hear this either from Filipinos or Filipino-Chinese. Most non-Chinese believes that this is actually Happy New Year in Chinese, but the truth is its – WISHING YOU PROSPERITY AND WEALTH!
Every year there are rituals done by Chinese to usher in the Chinese New Year. This is basically standard practice but may vary a little from time to time depending on the elements of the year. For example, this year the Water Dragon Four Pillars or Bazi chart is extremely lucking of the fire element, thus we need to add more fire into the ritual.
1. If you have had an extremely bad 2011 Year of the Metal Rabbit, it would be good to get an haircut 2 to 3 days before we usher in the Year of the Water Dragon w/c is the day of the Chinese New Year. For this year, we usher in the Chinese New Year on January 23. 2012.
2. It’s important that you a create an atmosphere of positive energy. You do this by doing a Spring Cleaning. Throw away all things that you don’t need. Don’t be attached to useless worldly things. Take note, that Spring Cleaning is not only done at home. Do this at home, office, stores, even your car.
3. A day before Chinese New Year, gather all your Feng Shui charms at home, clean them, and place them in front on your altar. If you don’t have an altar take them out for about an hour and expose them to sunlight.
4. On the 2nd day of Chinese New Year (January 24, 2012) gather all your Feng Shui charms that are in front of the altar and ‘re-energize’ them by tying a new, clean red ribbon around them. Then place the charm in the locations where they’re needed for the year of the Water Dragon. Please check the Flying Star of the Year.
5. Make sure that all the lights in your house are turned on. Do this from the eve of Water Dragon to the day of the Chinese New Year. Basically, from Jan. 22, 2012 to Jan. 23, 2012. While this is done this year, for this year, it would be great if you can extend this to Jan. 24, 2012 noon time. This is because the four pillars / bazi / paht chee chart of the year shows that there is no fire and light represents fire. By keeping our lights on, we ensure that we usher in the element of fire.
6. Make sure all the door and windows of the house are open. Unless, it faces SouthEast. This is because the Flying Star #5 (aka 5 Yellow Star which brings extreme bad luck) and the Tai Sui (also spelled as Tai Suey) God of the year is in the SouthEast.
7. If possible, go to a Buddhist or Taoist temple and light an incense between 11pm (Jan. 22, 2012) and 1am (Jan. 23, 2012). If this is not possible, the next best time to go is between 7am and 9am of Jan. 23, 2012. However, if it’s not possible for you to go out, every member of your family should light three red incense on your altar. For Catholics, you can light a candle. Just make sure you don’t burn anything.
8. VERY IMPORTANT: ALL PEOPLE BORN UNDER THE SIGN OF THE DOG MUST STAY INSIDE THE HOUSE ON THE EVE OF CHINESE NEW YEAR. BUT PLEASE DO GO TO A TEMPLE OR A CHURCH BETWEEN 7AM AND 9AM THE FOLLOWING DAY.
9. On Jan. 22, 2012 prepare the following:
Get 1 liter of water, put it on a basin or jar and put three different flowers in it. Make sure that the flower has no thorns. Put the jar or basin in front of your altar. If you don’t have an altar please put it on Northeast corner of your house. Sprinkle your house with this flower essence water between 7am and 9am of Jan. 23, 2012.
Get a tikoy, three pieces each of nine different fruits, onion leaks with roots (if possible), Chinese Cabbage or Pechay with roots (if possible), 1 RED bowl of rice grains, 1 RED bowl of salt, 1 Red bowl of sugar, 1 RED bowl of cooking oil, three bottles of beer or three shot glasses of liquor, 3 whole garlic with roots (if possible), 28 pieces of sweet candy (please make sure its not mentholated or has mint or eucalyptus flavor). Put these items on your dining table and leave it there for three days.
10. On Jan. 23, 2012 the whole family should all try to wear red and enjoy a meal together before 9am.
11. Please also try to light a candle on the eve of the Chinese New Year. This is again to make sure that you simulate the fire element which is totally missing from the Bazi Chart of the 2012 Year of the Water Dragon.
12. The eldest or the head of the house should give out Ang Pao or Red Envelopes with money to all the people in the house. It need not be a big amount.
13. On the fifth day of the Chinese New Year, it will be great if you can offer incense and fruits to a deity and ask for wealth blessing. Because this is the first wealth day of the year. It will also be good to invite a new wealth deity this into the house. Some of the Wealth Deities are Tua Peh Kong, Kuan Kong (also spelled as Guan Gong), Sun Wukong (Monkey God), Dzambhala (also spelled as Jambhala), or Maitreya Buddha (better known as the Happy Fat Buddha).
14. On the ninth day of the Chinese New Year, we celebrate the Jade Emperor’s Day (more about the Jade Emperor on future posts). Chinese Buddhist or Taoist people should go to the temple and light some incense and offer fruits. Rooster and Rabbit born people whose Feng Shui forecasts for this year is not very positive should go to the temple and asks for the Jade Emperor’s blessings and protection. For Catholics, you can go to church and pray to an image of Christ the King.
15. The fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year is also termed as Chap Goh Meh. A lot of Taoist priest will be doing their Tai Sui Blessing on this day. It will also be nice to donate blood on this day to help clean out your negative or bad karma. People born under the sign of the Dog and Dragon will also greatly benefit if you donate blood or attend a Tai Sui blessing.