Chinese New Year is just around the corner, bringing in the year of the Dragon on January 23, 2012. In Chinese tradition the dragon is a highly regarded being. It’s believed to stand for power, luck, success and happiness, but it’s also thought of as mysterious and unpredictable, bringing unexpected happenings throughout the year.
If you’re superstitious, your luck will depend on your zodiac sign and how it fairs with the Dragon. No matter what, 2012 is looking like a very exciting year in real estate, but I know I can always use a little more luck along the way.
In preparation for Chinese New Year, here are certain superstitions that are supposed to help bring luck to you during the rest of the year.
Cleaning out the Old
Cleaning the entire house before New Year’s Eve is very important. The act represents the clearing out of the old to make room for the new. This ensures that the old misfortunes are cleared out to allow for a clean start to a new year. This means every inch and corner of a home is dusted, washed and wiped down.
All cleaning materials are put away on New Year’s Eve and should not be used at all on New Year’s Day. At the stroke of midnight, windows and doors are opened to allow the old year to escape. There is no cleaning on New Year’s Day so put up your feet and relax. Chinese superstitions believed that cleaning your home will sweep away the good luck of the family, especially if you sweep things out your front door.
Decorating for Luck
Homes are decorated with symbols of luck and good fortune. Bright reds and golds are often used, symbolizing wealth and happiness. Tangerines (with the leaves intact), persimmons, and oranges are placed in the home along with red packets of candy.
Family members gather for a feast on New Year’s Eve. They’ll often eat foods that play on words of wealth and fortune. For example, the word for “dried oysters” in Chinese sounds like “good tidings” and black moss seaweed represents wealth.
If you’re in the Chinatowns across Canada during this time, you’ll most likely hear firecrackers being set off. It is believed the loud noise scares the bad spirits away so that you can start a clean slate in the New Year.
During the 15 days of celebration, people are encouraged to visit one another and put aside past grudges. Children will receive red packets from their elders to bring them luck and prosperity. Other gifts include fresh flowers, representing rebirth and new growth.
Chinese New Year is a time to celebrate change so enjoy the ride ahead. May the year of the dragon bring you great luck and prosperity.