Happy Chinese New Year of the Dog

Bodhi Me Chinese New Year 2018 Kobé
Happy New Year from Kobé

Happy Chinese New Year 2018!

Today 16th February 2018 marks the first day of the Chinese New Year of the Dog. Firstly, I want to wish all of you a very happy, abundant, prosperous and healthy new year ahead!
Just for fun, I am sharing with you some fun facts for this Chinese New Year:

Before Chinese New Year’s Day
Traditionally, most families would clean their homes from top to bottom and tidy in preparation for the God of Wealth to arrive in their homes on Chinese New Year’s Day. The God of Wealth is said to spray lots of gold all over the floors in each home so it’s important to make sure all homes are clean and tidy to welcome him. The third day before Chinese New Year’s Day is dedicated to cleaning.  Tradition has it that we should not clean our homes until at least the fourth day of Chinese New Year, and this includes throwing rubbish away too.  We don’t want to throw away all that gold that the God of Wealth has given us.

Prior to Chinese New Year’s Day, families will have done all of their food shopping and put up red notes around the house with lucky phrases. Fresh flowers and plants will be bought to welcome in the new year.

New Year’s Eve is an important night for families to get together for dinner.  After that, a lot of families would have boiled water with some special fruits’ leaves and let it cool. It’s important to use some of that water during the shower or bath on New Year’s Eve, as it is believed that all the bad luck will wash away in preparation for the new year. I did not have any of these leaves so I used Epsom salt instead which hopefully has the same effect.

Bodhi Me Chinese New Year 2018 Oreo
Happy Chinese New Year from Oreo

New Year’s Day Traditions
On the first day of a Chinese New Year, typically people wear lots of red and pink colours in new clothes and shoes and wish all of their family and friends a very happy new year. All of the well wishes are usually in 4 worded phrases which depict happiness, good health, wellness and lots of wealth and beauty. It’s a time when people visit each other’s homes for the next 2 weeks to wish them a happy new year.

Chinese New Year falls on the Chinese lunar calendar’s first new moon of the year.

Traditionally, married people give single people red pockets filled with money when they give each other new year’s wishes. It’s a good time for single people and it can an expensive time for married couples but it’s all about the happy occasion of giving and receiving of well wishes.

The first year is typically a day spent with very close family, where people visit the eldest family member’s home and we eat the most expensive food with a bit of everything. The food is also quite heavy and each of the dishes usually have well-meaning names. Typically, there will be either 6, 8, 9, 10 or 12 dishes to share, depending on how many people are around. Why these numbers?

6 sounds like continuous so that’s always a good number in Chinese
8 sounds like wealth and prosperity in Chinese
9 sounds like forever in Chinese
10 has a meaning of complete/completion in Chinese
12 is the next good number in Chinese and sounds like definitely easy in Chinese

Chinese New Year’s traditions last for 15 days. Of course, people have to return to work and get back to normality after a few days but celebrations continue until the full moon. It ends after 15 days because that will be the first full moon of the Chinese lunar calendar.

Of course, you can have too much of a good thing, including rich and heavy food. Typically, the third day of the new year is where people do not visit other people’s homes, as people might end up arguing with each other by the time they see each other day in, day out.

Bodhi Me Chinese New Year 2018This Year of the Dog

Chinese zodiac calendar has one predominant animal for each year and is it a cycle of 12 animals. 2018 is the year of the Dog and the next time it will happen again will be 2030. This year also falls in the element of earth. There are 5 elements which are wood, fire, earth, metal and water. This changes every 2 years.

Years ending in the numbers 4 or 5 depict Wood
Years ending in the numbers 6 or 7 depict Fire
Years ending in the numbers 8 or 9 depict Earth
Years ending in the numbers 0 or 1 depict Metal
Years ending in the numbers 2 or 3 depict Water

With the combination of the year of Dog and earth, it will create a grounded element and ideal for pursuing your goals with persistence and continuous effort. Dogs are peaceful animals. This year will bring good results for those that work hard towards their goals with peace and integrity.

Wishing all of you a very happy, abundant, healthy and wealthy new year! May every downward dog this year bring you more joy and vitality!  May every dog has its day.

I hope you find this blog fun to read. Please feel free to share or ask anything you wish.

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