Gong Xi Fa Cai! How to prepare your home for the Chinese New Year

With Chinese New Year 2022 happening on February 1, those with Chinese ethnicity and those who believe in feng shui have started spring cleaning houses, even redecorating them, so as to attract money and good fortune to flow into their homes and lives.  

Feng shui is a multi-millennial old Chinese art of arranging spaces, structures and objects for the purpose of creating balance and harmony between people, places and the environment. The Chinese words “feng” and “shui” literally mean “wind” and “water” and denote energy and calmness, respectively. Despite criticisms that feng shui has no factual and measurable effect on people, this age-old tradition has a wide following among the Chinese, Filipino-Chinese and other groups of people.

Basics

Qi” or energy and how it moves around a house, spaces and the environment are crucial in feng shui because it can affect the residents positively or negatively. Positive energy is referred to as “yang” while negative energy is called “yin.” Believers are always cautioned against incorrectly laying out furniture or objects that disrupt qi in order not to elicit potential harmful outcomes.  

Four good directions

Chinese traditional housing has evolved as a result of these influences across history dating back to the dynasties. In feng shui, how the eight areas of the bagua are laid out affects the family, “ba” meaning eight, and “gua” meaning area.  However, since it is difficult to cover all possible beneficial spaces, there is a need to concentrate on four good directions as it relates to love and partnership; health and wellness; knowledge and career; fame and wealth.  Knowing the correct placements stimulate qi and improves the well-being of members of the family.

Attracting money and fortune 

Feng shui’s use has expanded to contemporary applications. However, it is most popular in its local usage like in houses and offices.

The door is one of the most important parts of the house.  It is symbolically the mouth and responsible for the entry of qi. Making the door inviting allows positive energy to enter the house. Where possible, paint the door red as it is an auspicious color which offers protection and transforms negative energy to positive. 

The orientation of the corridor to and from the door is equally essential as qi is directed by the passageway as it moves around the house.  Mirrors should not be placed opposite the door as qi will be reflected back as it enters the house.  

Add a fountain or create a water element near the door or entrance of the house. The flow of water is said to activate good energy and represents the flow of finances and abundance into the home. Alternatively, consider getting an aquarium as it amplifies good energy, in addition to it being beautiful. 

On the other hand, repair problematic plumbing within the house, as clogged pipes denote obstructions in the flow of energy.

   Invest in wealth symbols like citrine crystals, wealth jars, money frogs and Chinese-shaped coins.  

Citrine crystals have a vibrant but clear color, representing purity. They hold no negative energy. A wealth vase or jar filled with valuable objects represents cherished treasures and prosperity. A money frog with coins in its mouth invites prosperity and abundance while representing longevity and wisdom. Chinese-shaped coins strung together are considered lucky charms, representing vitality and protection and are said to attract more money. All these elements encourage good health, create optimism, confidence, and opportunities for the family. 

Pay particular attention to the kitchen and the stove. The stove denotes wealth and is the symbol of resource and prosperity, as cooking nourishes the body. Keeping the stove and kitchen clean and in good working condition attracts fire energy.

The work space

Create good working space within the house, especially in this time of the pandemic and work-from-home (WFH) arrangement. It allows for better qi flow and opportunities to spread around the area. Add plants to improve the mood of the occupants, to inspire productivity and money. Choose the right plants like Jade Plant and Money Tree, two of the more popular plants used locally.

Furniture sizes should match the space’s scale while its layout should not cause any disorder. Mess and clutter should be cleansed, tidied and put in order. Check for any broken objects and repair them. Keeping them in good shape reinforces good energy.

Rearrange the bed as it should not be aligned with the bedroom door for it resembles a “coffin” position. Negative symbolisms should be corrected immediately, if not totally removed.

For more practical tips, check out references widely available on print and online. Better still, seek the assistance and services of a feng shui master.

Xin Nian Kuai Le, Gong Xi Fa Cai, Happy Chinese New Year to all! I wish you all more wealth and good fortune.  

* * *Henry L. Yap is an Architect, Environmental Planner, Real Estate Practitioner and former Professorial Lecturer.

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