Welcome in the Year of the Fire Rooster!
The most important of the Chinese Holidays, the Lunar New Year, is a full 15 days of festivities beginning with the “Reunion Dinner” on January 28 and ending with the “Red Lantern Festival” on February 15.
In America, the celebrations in Chinatown’s include the “Chinese New Year Parade.” The biggest and the first parade of its kind began in San Francisco, and this year it will be held on February 11.
Fire Rooster – aka “Flaming Cockadoodledo”
If you’d like a full Four Pillar’s understanding of the Fire Rooster, check out my colleague, Yasha Jampolsky’s write up on what the year is going to bring and what’s in store for us!
In general, the Rooster year ushers in a time of Accountability.
Making the most of the Lunar New Year:
Usher in a new era:
Clean: The most important thing to do this week is to clean your space from top to bottom. The idea is to sweep out any ill-fortunes from the past year and open up to waves of prosperity in the new. Note: It’s said to be unlucky to clean on New Year’s Day.
Reunite: The “Reunion Dinner” is held the night before the New Year with friends and family. The intention is to gather and put the past behind you, forget old arguments and wish each other well. Spend some time this week releasing unsettled conflicts with others and ring in the new year free from the past!
Dress: Traditionally, on the Chinese New Year, people wear red, and ideally, something that has never been worn before. Some even suggest getting your hair cut before the big celebration so you can go into the New Year ready for exciting new beginnings.
Decorate: It is common during this time to hang paper-cuttings and artistic and poetic writings on your walls, doors and windows that inspire and direct your energies towards long-life, abundance and prosperity.
Gift with Red Envelope: Traditionally, on New Year’s Day, children are given paper red envelopes containing money or candy. While kids are thrilled to receive such, it is considered bad luck to open them in front of the giver. This year, if there’s someone special in your life, gift them a red envelope surprise!
The Legend of Nian
The Chinese New Year is also called the Spring Festival, and also called “Nian.”
Legend has it that a terrible dragon named Nian would come down and hunt humans on the New Moon, but following the advice of a wise man, the villagers banded together and beat drums and lit fires to scare away and ultimately kill the dragon.
Marking their success, the Lunar New Year Festival is a time to set off fireworks as a reminder that when people bond together, forgetting past offenses, they can defeat all the forces of evil.
The Chinese New Year tradition is to reconcile, forgive others, and wish for genuine happiness for all beings.
Year of the Sheep
The sheep is a symbol of the arts, harmony, peace. This will be a year of forces uniting for common good. The theme for this year is community. I’ve personally already felt the draw towards greater community and union with my neighbors and my fellow businesses. As you feel it, let the sheep peacefully escort you to new relationships that are deeper and more healing than ever.
The 2015 Year of the Sheep is the year of the Wood Sheep. I’m not a Chinese Astrologer, but I can confidently recommend Yasha Jampolsky for anyone interested in learning more about what the year is predicted to bring you. Yasha writes, “The Wood Sheep shyly saunters in. A gentle relief after the thunder and intensity of the Horse year.”