It’s undoubtedly a red-letter day when families gather around a festive table to welcome Chinese New Year in their homes with good food and good vibes. Which brings us to the role of the dining room and kitchen in feng shui in the 2020 Year of the Golden Rat. For starters, feng shui is an ancient art and science that’s 3,000 years old. Literally, feng means wind and shui means water. Feng shui links the destiny of man to his environment and ensures people live in harmony with their surroundings. How ideal life would be if we were to live in sync with the environment around us!
The heart — and belly — of the home
There’s no denying the fact that the kitchen is the heart (and belly?) of the home. “The kitchen and dining room are extremely important rooms in feng shui,” says Patrick Lim Fernandez, who learned feng shui at a young age under the tutelage of his late sister Princesse Lim Fernandez. Through Patrick, the legacy of the well-loved-and-missed Princesse and their mom Arleen Lim Fernandez lives on.
Get to know more of this young feng shui master: Patrick trained in Asia and North America, becoming an advocate of the classical schools of feng shui and Chinese metaphysics. He combines his background in finance and classical feng shui traditions to come up with analytically driven and fundamentally sound recommendations. His readings guide clients in achieving success in money and business luck.
Of course, you and I know how important the kitchen is. “The kitchen provides nourishment and nutrition for the family and thus regenerates the ch’i in life energy for everyone in the household,” Patrick zeroes in on the kitchen.
Because the kitchen is where we cook and prepare our meals day after day (unless you’d rather live on food delivery), it is an invaluable part of our lives, sustaining us and supporting our health and well-being.
For its part, the dining room, says Patrick, “is an important gathering place as Filipinos and Chinese often center their lives on food and meals. Therefore, it is important to have good feng shui in this room of the house to promote good yang (active, strong) energy for members of the household.”
These rooms, Patrick adds, “will continue to play important roles in 2020 and serve their aforementioned roles.”
Lucky, not-so-lucky directions
For 2020, Patrick notes the lucky and not-so-lucky directions. Beware of the following:
- East — disaster and calamity energy, having activities in this direction will promote not-so-good luck in all aspects, such as wealth, career, relationships, and health.
- South — sickness and backstabbing energy, promoting bad health and accidents. Do not put red objects or moving objects such as clocks, water fountains or electric fans.
- North — conflict energy, which has the potential to create quarrels and clashes between family members. Avoid putting plants in this area.
- Center — robbery energy, which could cause loss of material (money, finances, assets) and immaterial (reputation, friends, trust) things that you have. Avoid putting metal objects in this area.
On the other hand, here are the lucky sectors that promote good health, good wealth, abundance, prosperity.
- Northwest — wealth energy, provides abundance and good money luck for all members of the household.
- West — prosperity energy, promotes prosperity in all aspects of life for the family.
- Southwest — career and academic energy, provides luck for the professional career and businesses of the home’s occupants; and luck in studies and academic pursuits for those in school.
- Northeast — romance energy, promotes luck in love relationship and familial energy.
- Southeast — travel and fame energy, promotes rise in status and reputation in your career and business, as well as travel prospects.
Round or square table?
So, what sort of table should you have in the dining room, given that you and your family (and maybe friends) spend a lot of time together here? Round or square or rectangle?
“If possible, try to have a round dining table,” Patrick recommends. “This promotes equality and harmony among members of the family eating together. “
Patrick adds the following don’ts:
- Do not put the dining table against a wall as this will restrict the flow of ch’i.
- Do not situate the dining table underneath exposed overhead beams as this oppresses the ch’i of those who are dining.
- Do not locate the dining table between two doors. In addition, try not to have anyone sit with his/her back towards a door.
- Have an even number of dining chairs. For the Chinese, even numbers signify balance (that is, yin and yang).
- If possible, do not locate the dining table in any of the negative sectors of the dining room as mentioned above, especially north, east, or south.
- Try not to have any dining chair facing north (0 degree) this year.
Now, this hot question: Where should we put the stove/oven to ensure abundance?
With a glow in his eyes, Patrick replies, “The stove and oven are two most important feng shui items in the home as they promote the cooking of food, which regenerates ch’i for the whole family. Thus, the position of the stove should coincide with the lucky facing direction of the mother or elder female member of the household. Best to consult with a feng shui expert as there are detailed calculations involved.
Will families find more time to bond over food in 2020?
Patrick gives us a mouthful, “The Year of the Golden Rat will have a lot of new and creative energy associated with it, as it is the beginning of a new 12-year zodiac cycle. However, this also brings with it the tendency to be very active and action-oriented, and people may often be out and about, and may miss meals at home. Because a mealtime is an important bonding time for families, make a conscious effort to have meals together to promote harmony and quality time with the family.”
If we were to renovate/repaint our kitchen/dining room, what are the lucky colors for 2020?
“The lucky colors for 2020 are red, red tones (orange, peach, salmon, pink) and green,” Patrick asserts.
But did you know that blue curbs hunger and is a smart choice for family members who are battling the bulge and trying to lose weight?
Of course, make sure your dining room is nice enough to stimulate the appetite, comfy and calm enough, so as not to invite indigestion. And it won’t hurt to always be nice and polite at the table.
What are the lucky foods that we should eat on New Year’s Eve?
In the first place, we should be thankful that we have food on our table, be it ever so humble. As for the lucky dishes we can have during New Year’s Eve on Jan, 24 and the rest of the Spring Festival ending on Feb. 8, these include the ubiquitous noodles, shrimps, a whole fish, roasted pig, chicken or duck, dumplings, cakes that rise (with yeast), and tikoy, but of course! This year, the lucky flavors are sour and bitter to promote sweet fortune.
If you can, have your table ready with a platter of fruits (for a fruitful 2020?): two pieces pomelo, two pieces pineapple, four oranges, four apples, two dragon fruits, peanuts with shell, sweet candies, cake, tikoy, flowers, and a Double Double Catcher.
And So, To Bed
After all that binging, you must be ready to call it a day (what a day!). Which brings us to the bedroom, your private, quiet space for sleeping. But what if, for some couples, the bedroom is a veritable war zone, especially when marital bliss turns to blister?
“Enhance the northeast sector of your home and bedroom as this has the romantic energy,” Patrick shares a sure-fire romantic tip. “For a happy sex life, enhance your bedroom with a water feature, the color blue, and lucky feng shui items.”
Sexperts also advise couples to keep a tidy bedroom because a messy one can bring an unstable relationship. To keep a third party at bay, married couples should not put their bed too close to the window (as an illicit love affair may suddenly creep in). To avoid an extramarital affair, keep the bathroom door closed in an ensuite bedroom or put a screen outside the door. Likewise, thou shalt not have your bed facing a mirror as this may invite a third party.
How else to prevent infidelity?
“Put brass Mandarin ducks in the northeast sector of your bedroom,” Patrick shares a marriage-saving tip. “Mandarin ducks are symbols of fidelity and loyalty, as they are known to mate for life.”
Surely, New Year is a happy time to create heartwarming memories, whether around the family dining table or in the confines of the bedroom.
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All lucky roads lead to the Grand Ballroom of New World Makati Hotel for the annual celebration of Chinese New Year today, Jan. 24. For more details on the Year of the Dashing Golden Rat, call 8752-5882 or 8811-6888 local 3066 or (0917) 989-2294; or email [email protected]. Yin & Yang Shop of Harmony is located at Shoppes at the Lagoon, New World Makati Hotel.