Welcome the year of the Rat!  The rat is the first of all zodiac signs and is a sign that a new day is upon, a fresh start, a new beginning!  “According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived at the finish line, the Rat jumped down and landed ahead of the Ox, becoming first.”

The Energy of the Year

Rats are clever, resourceful, quick thinkers, they also love quiet and peaceful environments.  Rats can take unlucky events and turn them into financial gain.  They are also good for fertility!

So, how to create some luck in the New Year?

This is my personal New Year and I take (almost) all of the following to heart, especially the “whatever you do on New Year’s Day is what you’ll be doing all year”, so choose wisely, celebrate, have fun, connect with friends and family… at the very least wear red undergarments next Saturday!

By Chinese New Year’s Eve, you should have done the following:

  • Clean the entire home to get rid of all the things that are associated with the old year.
  • Put away all brooms and brushes.
  • Pay debts.
  • Resolve differences with family members, friends, neighbors and business associates.
  • Buy oranges (good health and long life), tangerines (long relationships, fruitful and multiply for having children or persimmons (happiness and wealth).
  • Fresh flowers, if a flower blooms on New Year’s Day this is a sign of prosperity all year.
  • Get together with close family members for the “reunion” dinner the night before.
  • Open every door and window in your home at midnight of New Year’s Eve to let go of the old year.

On Chinese New Year’s Day…

  • What you do today is what you’ll be doing ALL year long, choose wisely!
  • Do not lend any money, otherwise you’ll be lending all year.
  • Do not use foul language or unlucky words, like the word ‘four” which is the word for death, do not talk about death or ghosts on this day.
  • Do not reference the past year or things in the past, only speak of the coming year.
  • Wear new clothes or shoes, especially bright red!
  • Eat candy in the morning for luck and also fish and chicken during the day.
  • Do not wash your hair.
  • Do not cry on New Year’s Day or you will cry throughout the whole year.
  • Do not sweep the floor.  Bad luck!  Don’t touch that broom, vacuum cleaner or Swiffer!
  • Do not greet people who are in mourning.
  • Do not drop your chopsticks.
  • Do not use knives or scissors.  No cooking, go out to eat!
  • The first person you meet or first words heard are indicative of the setting of the whole year.

And for those most superstitious, before leaving the house to call on others, the Almanac should be consulted to find the best time to leave the home and the direction, which is most auspicious to head out.  (Ok, maybe a little overboard!)

Last thought…

Saturday, January 25th is the first day of the lunar new year and will actually be the year 4718.  Doesn’t that just blow your mind?

Gong Hei Fat Choy!

In Prosperity,

Christina Martin

Tao to Wellness

Berkeley, CA