With so much attention focused on the actual dates of Chinese New Year (CNY) some other important areas can be missed altogether - definitely something we need to chat about!
In the month leading up to CNY, there are some key actions you can do to help ensure your home is ready to welcome in the prosperous new energy.
1. Clean Your House
It is considered inauspicious to clean around CNY, as that can be seen as sweeping away the prosperous energy (Qi) trying to settle into your home. Take the time in the weeks leading up to CNY to:
- Clean the carpets
- Organise cupboards
- Wash windows
- Clean entrance to your home - inside and outside
These actions will help you clear out the old Qi that has settled in your home, and make room for the new Qi to enter and assimilate. It is most important not to clean for 3 days after CNY, so preparation is key here!
2. Pay Those Bills!
In today's modern world, it is hard to clear every bill you may have, but look to the ones you can clear, and pay them ahead of the due date if you can.
You can also try collecting monies owed to you, which is both helpful to the other person, and very helpful to you!
Starting the New Year with a clean financial slate is always a good idea, and helps you set a good intention for the year to come.
After all, they do say financial freedom is priceless....
3. Get a Haircut
A good haircut before the celebrations is considered auspicious and timely. This is a good time to cleanse your body, and put some zip back into your step, somewhat like a fresh new you! Some Chinese traditions speak to not cutting the hair for at least a month following CNY... I think you are probably safe to wait one week.
4. Jazz up your Wardrobe
As important as your Graduation or Wedding Day, it is considered auspicious to welcome the New Year with new clothes bought especially for the occasion. Why not enjoy the January sales, and buy yourself some new bits and bobs, possibly some red if you can (even red underwear can work) The important aspect here, is to have the new items ready, but not worn before CNY. Please wear them for the first day of the New Year, and make a grand entrance for all to admire - you deserve it!
5. That Famous Red Envelope...
A lovely tradition to be ready for, is that of a gift to family members inside a red envelope.
Called hongbao in Mandarin, and lai see in Cantonese, these are small red envelopes often decorated with gold symbols and intricate designs, given by married people to younger family members.
Crisp new bank notes will be carefully sought and placed in the envelope, and gifted by grandparents / parents to their unmarried children.
It is considered impolite to open the envelope in front of the giver, and some traditions speak to waiting 7 days before opening the envelope...
For my children... they are not so great at waiting the 7 days...!
Whatever traditions resonate with you, are the ones that you are wise to follow.
From my own experience, I do all of these tips shared with you, and particularly love watching my children accept their red envelopes, most often bringing a big smile to their face.
There are special foods you can serve at Chinese Lunar New Year, and I found this great resource for you HERE ~ Enjoy!
When it comes to that famous red item, I like to have a little fun with my husband and I always keep him guessing over what particular piece of clothing is red.... some things a gal simply has to keep as a surprise... ;)