'Lucky' ways to welcome the Chinese New Year
|Ampao, or red money envelopes, are said to bring good luck.|
MANILA, Philippines - With only a few days left before the Year of the Water Dragon, the Chinese (and other believers of Chinese superstition) are making preparations at home, from cleaning their bedrooms to buying so-called lucky charms and items.
Hong Kong-based feng shui master Joseph Chau Kam Ching, who has been practicing feng shui for over 30 years, predicted that the Philippines will have "good luck" in the Year of the Water Dragon, which will start on Monday.
Citing a computation based on the country's independence day (June 12, 1898), he said the Philippines, which has "many fire elements," will be "in harmony with the water that this year will bring."
There are plenty of ways to welcome the Lunar New Year, Chau told ABS-CBNNews.com. He said, however, that the following are the most popular ways to attract good luck, prosperity and positive energy:
- Clean your house thoroughly. Throw away old and unused items. When sweeping the floor, the direction should be inward.
- Take a bath in "dragon water," which is prepared by putting pomelo leaves in boiling water.
- Wear new underwear, pajamas and slippers to get rid of negative energy.
- Stomp on the ground as hard as you could. This is said to drive away backstabbers.
- Keep two pieces of ampao (red money envelope) with money in your pocket and let it stay there until the next day to "make your money grow."
- Serve "lucky" dishes -- fish-shaped food items, radish cake, noodles, etc.
- Place a tray containing peanuts, pistachios and chocolate coins on the table. Add two pieces of ampao with money.
- Do not get mad at anyone during the whole day. Let children do what they want -- do not scold them.
- Parents should give their children an ampao at the start of the new lunar year. Kids, for their part, should greet their parents and treat them with respect.
The Year of the Water Dragon will begin on January 23 and will end on February 3, 2013. Feng shui experts have stressed that while it is good to rely on ancient Chinese beliefs, one must still work hard to get ahead in life.