On February 8th, we are leaving the year of the introspective Yin Wood Sheep, blasting forward to the expansive Yang year of the Fire Monkey! From all that I have read, this is a going to be a year of big shifts. Energy is shifting from yin to yang, from small and internal to the large and outdoors. This, coupled with the expansive movement of the Fire element in bold Yang form to that shift, it becomes an even bigger transition.
I’m not an astrologer, but one nice blog with a great summary of the upcoming year is from the Western School of Feng Shui. Here, the the author writes: “We will now move through two years of the passionate and generous realm of heart-centered Fire. Wood feeds Fire in the nurturing cycle of the Five Elements, so any new choices or decisions made in the past two years will ripen and bear their fruits in 2016 and 2017. If we allowed our True Selves to make those choices, the harvest will be delightful to us, and the generous nature of Fire will encourage us to share the abundance of whatever we manifest.” Sounds exciting, right?
Because Yin and Yang every always want to strike a balance, I’d advise you to create quiet time to nurture the yin to help balance the energy you’ll feel swirling around you this year.
Dumplings-Traditionally prepared as a family and eaten at midnight on Lunar New Year’s Eve, dumplings are filled with meat or vegetables and shaped to mimic the form of a Chinese currency used in China until the 20th century–to symbolize wealth. It is believed that as the dumplings cook, they recover family wishes of generations past.
Tangerines and Oranges: Displayed as decorations and given as gifts, the tangerine is said to represent wealth and the orange brings good luck. While their bright vibrant colors lend themselves to the spirit of the day, their associations with wealth and luck originate in how similar the Cantonese word for tangerine is to wealth, and the Cantonese word for orange is to luck.
Long Noodles: Also enjoyed on New Year’s Day in Western culture, a dish of unbroken noodles is said to represent longevity. Those looking to live long, healthy lives should aim to eat at least one noodle whole – don’t break it!
Niangao: A gelatinous, glutinous rice cake is served to help garner wealth or a higher salary in the coming year. “Niangao” in Mandarin literally means “sticky cake” but is identical to the Mandarin pronunciation for the words “year high” or “year tall.”
Whole Fish: Pronounced “yu” in Mandarin, the word for fish is similar to that of abundance. The fish should be served whole, to represent a complete, healthy year.
Pomelos: The giant Chinese grapefruit is symbolic of prosperity.
Pomegranates: Filled with bright red jewels, this vibrant fruit is a symbol of happiness, fertility, and is said to ward off evil spirits.