Chinese New Year Guide

The Chinese New Year of 2024 is set to dawn on February 10th, and it's more than just a date. It's a pivotal time when new preheaven energies usher in, marking the start of a fresh chapter in our lives. While traditional Chinese practices involve red packets, special foods, and festive decorations, it's crucial to discern what truly matters from mere customs.

As Taoists, our actions are driven by significance, not superstition. Blindly following traditions without understanding their essence is a futile exercise. In this guide, we'll focus on the meaningful practices that align with Taoist principles.

Preparation Period (Lunar Dec 24th-28th)

Starting from Lunar December 24th, it's time to wrap up the year and embark on a cleansing ritual. This process should be completed by the 28th, followed by a two-day rest before the New Year begins.

Here's what you should do:

  1. House Cleaning: Use this time for a thorough clean-up. The key is to remove items you no longer need or want in your life - things connected to past relationships, negative influences, or even forgotten acquaintances. Discarding these objects severs their ties to you, preventing them from draining your new year's energy.
  1. Declutter: This is also the perfect time to part with old, unused items like clothes, shoes, or kitchenware. Clearing these out helps the new year’s energy focus on what truly matters to you. Remember, it's better to discard these items rather than donating them.
  1. Limit External Influences: During this period, avoid hosting guests. This is about keeping your space clear of external energies and focusing on your own. The goal is to isolate your home as much as possible, creating a clean slate for the energies of the new year.

By following these guidelines, you're not just participating in a tradition; you're actively shaping the energy and potential of your upcoming year in alignment with Taoist practices.

Chinese New Year Period (15 Days)

The first 15 days of the Chinese New Year are not just a festive period; they're a crucial time that sets the tone for your luck throughout the year. Picture your annual luck as a stock market chart, fluctuating over time. These 15 days act as a mini-graph that overlays your yearly one, influencing the overall pattern of your fortunes. Thus, it's essential to ensure this mini graph remains positive and stable to ward off bad luck and misfortunes.

Avoiding Negativity: During these 15 days, steer clear of conflicts, arguments, and anything that could sour your mood. Remember, you're still crafting your luck's "graph" for the entire year.

Selecting Guests Wisely: While it's a tradition for many, especially older generations, to host guests, it's crucial to be selective. Some relatives or acquaintances may harbor negative feelings like jealousy or resentment. Allowing them into your home out of obligation can adversely affect your home's energy, impacting your luck for the entire year. If you're aware of their true sentiments, it might be wise to rethink their invitation.

Decorations and Intentions: The purpose of decorations like lucky banners isn't just for show; they're tools for communicating with your home's energy. These decorations help convey your wishes for the year to the energy of your house. Make sure the phrases on these banners are meaningful to you. For example, "In and Out Safe!" for the door, "Healthy All Year" for the kitchen, and "Efficient, Productive, and Fruitful!" for the workspace. Whether in Chinese or English, the intention is what matters. Red banners are traditional, with black text used to amplify existing aspects and gold text to initiate new beginnings.

Handling Red Packets: Receiving red packets is a common practice, but be cautious. The giver's intentions and energies can attach to the money. To counter this, store received red packets in a box until after CNY, then spend the money on non-essential, consumable items instead of saving it. When giving red packets, ensure your intentions are genuinely positive and not out of mere obligation.

Post-15th Day: Once the initial 15 days of CNY are over, your luck pattern for the year is set, and you can resume normal activities, including hosting guests without concern for their impact on your luck. However, since it's still early in the year, a degree of caution is advisable for a little while longer.

By following these guidelines, you align yourself with the energies of the new year, shaping a more prosperous and harmonious path ahead.

Don't forget to check out our post on Fan Tai Sui 犯太歳 which is a very common topic of the CNY too!