Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year and Spring Festival, begins January 22nd. This year is the Year of the Rabbit, which embodies yin elements, including relaxation, quietness, and contemplation, according to The Japan Times.
The holiday, which lasts for 15 days, marks the beginning of spring on the lunar calendar and is one of the most important celebrations in Asian culture, especially Chinese culture, says Anjie Cho, feng shui and meditation teacher in New York City, feng shui expert at The Spruce, and co-host of the Holistic Spaces podcast. “It’s very similar to how we look at our regular New Year on January 1,” she says.
Cleaning and decorating for Chinese Year
To get ready for Chinese New Year, many people sweep, clean, and decorate their homes before the holiday begins. The goal is to create the optimal feng shui to enjoy good luck, health, and prosperity all year long.
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice. It involves arranging the pieces in your home in such a way as to create harmony between your energy and the energy within your surroundings.
Below, Cho explains how you can use feng shui to usher in the Lunar New Year.
Feng shui tips to celebrate Chinese New Year
Start the new year on the right foot with these simple feng shui techniques.
Open all your windows and doors
Because Chinese New Year is the first day of spring on the lunar calendar, think about what the changing of the seasons means. “Winter is a time of planning, quietness, and internal work,” says Cho. “But when we have the first day of spring on the lunar calendar, it’s about starting to be out in the world.”
One way you can prep for spring is to open all the windows and doors in your home for nine minutes. (Cho explains that nine is one of the most auspicious numbers in Chinese culture.) “Let the fresh air flow through,” says Cho. “You want to allow any stagnant energy that’s collected to go and to let new energies come in.”
Clean your front door area
“Whether you live in an apartment or house, you have some version of a front door,” says Cho. “The front door represents what we call ‘the mouth of chi,’ which is life force energy.” That’s where all the energy comes into your life and your space.
But the front door often gets neglected, says Cho, and when it does, you can’t welcome in new energy. “Your front door is kind of like your face to the world,” adds Cho. “So you want to spend some time freshening it up.”
The most obvious thing you can do is sweep the area. Cho also suggests shaking out your welcome mat, cleaning the door jambs, fixing any squeaks, and cleaning the door number. “Pay attention to all the areas you probably haven’t even looked at in a whole year,” she says.
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Refresh your mattress and bedding
“Think about how much time you spend lying in bed—and when you’re in bed, you’re in a passive state,” says Cho. “So you’re susceptible to all the energies around you much more than when you’re awake.”
That’s why Cho says this is a good time to refresh your mattress and bed linens. She recommends switching these products out for ones made from nontoxic, ethically-sourced materials. You want to sleep on the highest-quality mattress and bedding because they affect your body and your energy, says Cho.
Decorate with oranges
“The orange is a really popular fruit in Asia, and it’s very important in Chinese culture,” says Cho. Because of their bright gold color, oranges are a symbol of good fortune.
Place a bowl of oranges on your table to reap the benefits. “Having nine fresh oranges brings in this feeling of wealth, abundance, and freshness,” says Cho. “You’re bringing great joy and happiness into your space.”
You can also use orange essential oil to boost your mood and relax you. “Essential oils are great to use around the home for Chinese New Year,” says Cho. “Orange essential oil will reinvigorate you without preventing you from falling asleep.”
Declutter your bedroom
Physically, clutter is always there, even when you close your eyes, says Cho. And all that clutter can make it hard to get a good night’s sleep, with research showing it increases stress.
Clutter also works on an invisible level. “Energetically, when you have a lot of excess material, it stops the flow of energy, and it creates heaviness in your home,” says Cho.
To improve your sleep and allow the proper flow of energy, declutter your bedroom. Keep a few items on display that bring you joy and relaxation and put everything else away.
What should you avoid doing on Chinese New Year?
You’ll want to avoid cleaning on the first day of the new year so you don’t sweep away any good luck that’s found its way into your home. Make sure to get all your cleaning done the day before the new year starts.
What are three traditions for Chinese New Year?
There are many traditions for Chinese New Year. Three popular traditions are cleaning your home before the new year, decorating your home with red, and sharing a meal with family.
How do I prepare my house for Chinese New Year?
You can utilize the principles of feng shui to prepare your house for Chinese New Year. Open all your windows and doors, clean your front door areas, declutter, set out a bowl of oranges (they’re a symbol of good fortune!), and consider refreshing your mattress and bedding to make your bedroom as comfortable as possible.
For more decluttering advice, follow these expert tips for using the KonMari method.