Greet the Dog and bid farewell to the Rooster. The Chinese New Year of the Dog begins Friday, February 16, 2018 and ends on the Lunar New Year’s Eve, February 4, 2019. The 2017 Rooster year supported a further defining of your true self; the 2018 Dog year asks you to be reliable, sincere and loyal to your beliefs. Integrity and honesty are the values supported this year.
The Fire Rooster year was predicted to be a “wake-up” year to clarify what we wanted to manifest in 2017; it was a year to “create” or recreate ourselves. As we prepare to enter a new year, it can be helpful to take time to reflect on how, or if, that happened. Perhaps it manifested in a new business, a change in diet and exercise, studying something new or being more observant and open to new ways of thinking. The 2017 Fire Element provided the energy to support those goals.
The Earth Dog energy of 2018 creates more stability. Earth energy is nurturing. Perhaps it is time to nurture the changes we made last year and focus on how we might show up in the world with more honesty and integrity. That is certainly what the Dog year is asking of all of us, regardless of our animal sign.
This is an exciting time and, of course, is met with ceremony. Tom and I have very specific traditional Feng Shui ceremonies we perform each Chinese New Year’s Eve, but for everyone who just enjoys participating in a more general yet meaningful way, you can do so by cleaning house! What? How mundane you say? Well, a very traditional way of transitioning into the Chinese New Year is to thoroughly clean your home!
Most people don’t realize that cleaning your home is believed to help bring in good fortune for the Chinese New Year, but that’s what the Chinese believe and that’s what those of us who practice Feng Shui believe. The Chinese New Year is a powerful time to shift energies; cleaning out any old stuck or stagnant energy is a practical and symbolic way to welcome the energy of the New Year. Completely cleaning your home from top to bottom before the Chinese New Year is considered good luck for the coming year! Just think, when others are spring cleaning, your work is done! This is a great time for those “once a year” chores, such as cleaning and changing blankets and mattress covers. We took our bed apart, turned the mattress, washed the cover and thoroughly cleaned behind the bed. This is an annual “event” for us, made “fun” because of the intentional timing of it!
For more good luck in the coming year, make sure all your lights are working, replacing any that aren’t. Lights are symbolic for “illuminating” any issues; lights that aren’t working keep us in the “dark.” Also, turn on all your lights New Year’s Eve to scare away any misfortune that might compromise the luck and fortune of the New Year. Polish all mirrors to see clearly!
Cleaning provides an excellent opportunity to take inventory of the three areas of your Bagua where Earth energy is represented and is particularly intense this year: Knowledge, Health and Partnership. The Knowledge area represents both work and self-knowledge and your inner wisdom. Health is the very center of your space, which supports the physical, emotional and spiritual health of all who live there. Partnership represents a life and or business partner, partnering with yourself and partnering with a higher source. So, as you clean, take note of these areas in particular, checking to make sure no lights are burned out, everything is working efficiently and clearing any clutter.
The evening before the official arrival of the Chinese New Year, open all windows and doors for a few minutes to allow the good luck of the year to enter your clean house. Yes, even in frigid Minnesota!
Prepare, or order in, food for a special New Year’s Eve dinner, making sure there is enough to have leftovers, symbolizing money rolling into this New Year. Purchase colorful fruit for a fruitful year; oranges or tangerines represent money and wealth.
Eat sweets to ensure a sweet year and liven your home with fresh flowers or plants. Some believe that what happens on the first day of the New Year reflects the rest of the year to come, so be mindful. And, like the loyal Dog, take time for naps and play – all year long!