Feb 2, 2011 , the day before the Lunar New Year is as important a Chinese holiday as the day itself – as important as Thanksgiving is in the US for families getting together sharing an important meal together. Here is a list of wonderful ways to celebrate and prepare for the change of energy in the renewal of the coming Spring and the new Rabbit cycle of 2011. As many of these as you can do will heighten your appreciation and your luck in this cycle:
1. In the afternoon, set time aside to have a prayer of gratitude to the protection and blessings of the previous year regardless of any challenge you had to face. Pray for continuous or increased blessings. A grateful heart is at peace which can channel positive energy in the coming year more easily.
2. Prepare a tray with treats that consists of candies and other sweets to consume throughout the new year period.
3. Keep your environment neat
4. Have a reunion dinner with family, loved ones. Close friends with whom you feel good can substitute if your blood relatives are too far away or if you don’t get along with family well. This food should be a celebratory abundance of many things and traditionally consisting of fish as saying “having fish” in Chinese is a homonym (sounds the same as) “having abundant harvest.”
5. During dinner, the young pays respect to the elders to conclude the last cycle by wishing the elders good health, long life and fortune in the new year.
6. Married elders would give a red envelope with money to the singles in the group or everyone for a more joyous all-inclusive fun. Everyone who receives the red envelope places it under their pillow through the night symbolizing good luck & increased fortune carried over into the new year.
7. Before 11pm, do a bathing ritual to release the old energy of the waning Tiger year. Use your altar or a quiet spot in your home that you could connect with the divine energy to have a prayer of gratitude to the last cycle that is about to complete. Pray and/or visualize the pressure and negative energy would be cleansed away during the bath.
8. Prepare the bath with natural sea salt and 3 different vibrant colors of flower petals and submerge yourself from head to toe into the tub holding your breath for a few seconds at a time and repeat this step a few times, consciously releasing all the emotional, energetic, intellectual and physical challenges you have experienced throughout the Tiger year.
9. Right before 11pm when the Lunar New Year about to begin (not midnight), light red candles at good luck positions according to Feng Shui to kick off the new year. Traditionally, this red candle is then used to set off firecrackers which is hardly legal anymore in most cities – but the candles at the positive meridians in your home bring the good fortune as well.
Additional red candles can also be lit at lower energy spots of the space to lift the overall energy. (Tip 1: Place the red candle centered in a hurricane glass candle shade to protect from drafts. Follow Fire Department suggestions about never leaving candles unattended, and make sure to extinguish them before you go to bed.
(Tip 2, for added positive energy, at least three days prior to February 1st, place the new unlit candles where the sun can shine on them, sprinkle drops of Blessed Holy Water from church or other methods in your spiritual belief system that can program positive energy into this new light which initiates a new cycle for you and your family).
The noise of the firecrackers represents Yang Chi that flushes out old, stagnant energy with a new boost of vibrant energy to receive the new year. Nowadays, you could substitute this with ringing wind chime or banging a gong throughout your environment as you walk around making noise with it. These objects should be of metal substance that has a high pitch with vibration that radiates.
10. For those around you, say well wishes to them like “wishing you good health, happiness, wealth, good grades or whatever you know is good for the person receiving the blessings”.
11- Conclude the night with a prayer of gratitude for the divine blessings that enabled you to do this cleansing ritual and start fresh and blessed. This could be at the altar or the quiet, positive energy spot of your home in accordance with Feng Shui. Ideally, at this altar space, fresh vibrant color flowers, fruits and other offerings is already placed.
Our thoughts are powerful – as a person thinks so he or she becomes. This belief or way of being is especially important in the Lunar new year.
12- Wear a new set of pajamas to bed on this night.