Chinese New Year 2019, also known as the Spring Festival, falls on a Tuesday, on the 5th day of February, marking the beginning of the year of the Earth Pig.
Before Chinese New Year, people have grown to have a custom they follow. So we asked around the Filipino-Chinese Community how to properly prepare and boost your luck as we welcome the year of the Pig.
1. Time to declutter
Out with the old and in with the new. Include your home in your pursuit of a new start. You don’t need to have Marie Kondo visit your place for you to finally have a reason to throw away stuff that don’t “spark joy” in you anymore. It’s time to throw out those gadgets that don’t work any longer so they stop taking up space and accumulating dust.
Every corner of the house, even the walls, and floors need to be scrubbed to ward off bad luck. However, do the general cleaning a week before Chinese New Year and not on the actual New Year’s Day. Store the cleaning materials such as brooms out of sight to welcome in the positive spirits. Do not clean on an actual day for the reason that you might “sweep off the good luck.”
2. New Year, New you
Chinese people believe that purchasing brand new items symbolizes welcoming a new start. Treat yourself with a good retail therapy session and buy a new pair of shoes and clothes for the New Year, preferably brightly colored ones.
Starting anew obviously calls for a new haircut as well whether just a trim or a total chop-off. However, you can’t snip it off again until a month later, or you’ll be cutting away your prosperity with it.
3. Decorate the house
Red and gold displays will not only give your home that festive look, it is said that it will also attract good fortune into your lives.
While you’re decorating, also check the Feng Shui of your home and make sure it’s all aligned to divert money through your door by rearranging your furniture. “Our family would decorate doors with red paper diamonds with the “Fu” Character written on it which means fortune,” said Jerome Ng, a Filipino-Chinese. You can buy this printed on paper from your local Chinese merchandiser.
4. Give out ang pao
Did you know that giving ang pao or lai see (red packets with money) gives good luck to both the giver and the receiver? It is also a great honor to give one to your relatives. Make sure though that the money is an even number as odd ones are considered to give off misfortune. But whatever you do, do not give any amount with a 4 in it. That’s just wishing them bad luck.
5. Spend time with your family
Just like Noche Buena in the Philippines, Chinese New Year’s Eve Dinner is considered to be one of the most important meals of the year, according to Chinese traditions. Hang out with your family and give thanks to the finished year for the blessings it gave you by having a sumptuous reunion meal together.
6. Eat lucky food
New Year’s Day isn’t the time for your diet schemes so consider this time a major cheat day. Get your fill of food that are considered lucky this 2019. Prepare apples, mandarin oranges, bananas, watermelon, papaya, pineapples, and pomelo for your celebration as they symbolize prosperity. You must also gorge on delicacies such as dumplings, tikoy, uncut noodles, and different kinds of sweets. Food like fish, especially carp or catfish are the lucky meals you should eat in New Year’s Eve for they are believed to increase your prosperity in the coming days.
“We prepare 12 kinds of fruits on our table each year, each one symbolizing a kind of fortune for the 12 months of the year.”
7. Let off some firecrackers
Scare away all the bad spirits and negative energy around you by loud merrymaking through firecrackers, or by simply playing loud music if firecrackers are not allowed in your area. Most probably, there’s a local Chinatown near you so go watch a lion dance or a fireworks display.
No matter what your religion is, take a little bit of your time to give thanks for the blessings and lessons you have received in the past year. Another tip for a lucky year is to have fun at the start of it to attract all the positivity and luck you need for this year.