Teresa Hwang Feng Shui & Design

Out with the Old, In with the New

Chinese New Year Traditions

The arrival of the New Year according to the Solar Calendar - corresponding with the movement of the sun, usually should be around February 4th. each year. If it is according to the Lunar Calendar - corresponding with the movement of the moon, then it falls on the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice, which could be any day within January or February according to the Gregorian calendar.

The Chinese traditionally views everything from the San Cai San Cai perspective - the concept of Tian Tian, Di Di and Ren Ren; or Heaven, Earth and Man/Human as being “San Cai Zhi Dao” San Cai Zhi Dao - the Dao/Path of the Three Abilities or Powers. For everything to be auspicious, the qi/energy between these three aspects has to be flowing harmoniously at all times.

Before the arrival of the New Year, several rituals will be carried out by taking all these three aspects into consideration:

  1. Heaven (Tian Cai Tian Cai ) - The impact of time on our destiny. We are all born with our own unique pattern of qi/energy, which goes through time being subjected to the impact of different types of qi/energy - especially the change in the new qi/energy being brought on by the New Year. It is always a good idea to have a look at your own destiny chart at this time of the year, to see what kind of luck or challenges the New Year will bring.
  2. Earth (Di Cai Earth Di Cai) - The impact of time on our space/environment. This is done through the study of Feng Shui of our own home and place of work. When a building is finished, it has incorporated the essence of Heaven, Earth and Man/Human qi/energy, thus acquired its own unique pattern of qi/energy, which also goes through time being subjected to the impact of different types of qi/energy, and from the change in the new qi/energy being brought on by the New Year. This is a good time to find out what kind of indications are there for possible fortunes or misfortunes for the people, who resides and works within the various spaces.
  3. Man/Human (Ren Cai Man/Human Ren) - This is the most important aspect out of the three, as this is the major role you play in terms of how everything in your life will play out, by making the correct decisions and informed choices, and by taking the appropriate action at the right time and place.
Before the Chinese New Year arrives, the Chinese has a very comprehensive to-do list according to the motto “Out with the Old! In with the New!”
  • Clear the air - Reconcile with friends, colleagues and family members over grievances, arguments and disagreements, so everyone welcomes the New Year with a clean slate
  • Clean the house and work place - The Chinese believes dust, dirt and garbage harbors bad qi/energy. A good thorough cleaning from top to bottom, inside and out is of the utmost importance. This is a very good time to get rid of any items that are unusable, and give away or recycle items not used or worn for over two years. It is very important to get rid of any garbage before the New Year arrives. No sweeping or cleaning is done for the first 3 days of the New Year, so the new qi/energy can stay and benefit the people within the space.
  • Clear the debts - Pay off any debts incurred before the New Year arrives. From ancient China even to the present day, a pair of red lanterns is displayed outside the front door prior to New Year's Eve, an indication that the household is debt-free and creditors are paid off.
  • New personal items - Everyone in the household will have their hair cut, (men) shaved and well groomed prior to the arrival of New Year's Day. New clothes, socks and shoes are bought for the occasion, especially for the children, preferably something in red, which is considered an auspicious color that attracts good qi/energy.
  • Auspicious symbols - Decorate the space with fresh flowers, e.g. narcissus, azalea, plum blossoms, kumquat plants, orchids, Lucky Bamboo, etc. Hang up new red and gold papercuts and couplets with “Happiness”, “Longevity”, “Good Health”, “Good Fortunes”... auspicious sayings and symbols.
  • New Year's Eve - Family reunion for feasting together and having a good time until the New Year arrives. Very important time to make offerings to the higher beings and ancestors, thanking them for past good fortunes, and their blessings for the coming year.
  • New Year's Day - Open the front door to welcome in the New Year. The Lion Dance is very popular at the places of business for activating the auspicious qi/energy of the New Year.
Besides the National Day, the Chinese New Year celebration is the most important holiday in China. The traditions are based on thousands of years of beliefs and customs, the above mentioned is just a small part of the big picture. For the Chinese people have migrated to all parts of the world for over thousands of years, and at each area they live in, they have also incorporated some of the local customs into their Chinese New Year celebrations.

The following is a very popular image used for the New Year decoration, and a write-up with the details behind the image of the Five Bats, which phonetically sounds the same as Wu Fu Wu Fu - Five Blessings:

Wu Fu Lin Men Wu Fu Lin Men

Wu Fu Lin Men
Wu Fu Lin Men Wu Fu Link Men” means “The Arrival of the Five Blessings at the Door.”

The term Wu Fu Wu Fu Five Blessings originated from the classics Shujing Shujing and Hongfan Hongfan - The Shangshu Shangshu "Documents of the elder", also called Shujing Shujing "Book of documents",  is one of the five ancient Confucian classics (Wujing Wujing) http://www.chinaknowledge.de/Literature/Classics/shangshu.html

The 5 Blessings Are:

  1. Longevity No Sudden Demise - Longevity with no sudden demise
  2. Wealthy with good social status - Wealthy with good social status
  3. Good Health with Inner Peace - Good health with inner peace
  4. Kind Nature Good Karma - Kind nature and good karma
  5. Ripe Old Age Peaceful Death - Ripe old age and peaceful death
Five Blessings

“One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate
  the morals. If one is not simple and frugal, one's ambition will not sparkle.
  If one is not calm and serene, one will not reach far.”
- Zhugeliang

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Disclaimer & Copyright

Written by Teresa Min Yee Hwang
Certified Interior Designer
Certified Feng Shui Research Centre Feng Shui Master & Lecturer
Feng Shui design and planning in residential and commercial projects, Chinese astrology, Face Reading, Divination and Date Selection.

This article is copyrighted. You are encouraged; however, to freely copy it provided this signature block is included without modification.

Teresa Min Yee Hwang is a certified Feng Shui Master and Lecturer of Master Joseph Yu's Feng Shui Research Center. She is also a certified interior designer, with years of experience in residential and commercial projects, 4 Pillars of Destiny charts, Face Reading, Divination and Date Selection. She also teaches seminars to beginners, and professional courses to more advanced students.

Disclaimer: The above and consult recommendations are subject to your own interpretation and application. Teresa Hwang Feng Shui & Design and Associates are not responsible or liable for any loss of property, harm and personal injury resulting in above recommendations.