Kung Hei Fat Choi!

It is Chinese New Year and for the first time in four years I have decked my home for the occasion. I have missed doing so and having my daughter here with me to share it is an auspicious beginning to the Year of the Earth Pig.

The health and wealth corners of my home have been decorated with abundance, inviting in the prosperity that the Year of the Pig brings with it, as well as the peace it promises. Following Feng Shui to a tee, the Abundance Table contains the green prosperity candles, money cats sitting in a prosperity bowl that contains jade, Citrine, salt, whole pepper corns, cinnamon sticks, and rice. The round fruits are mandatory, as is the symbol of this year’s zodiac, the pig. Why the frogs? Aside from the fact that I love them and they are my spirit animal, I include them on the abundance table for stability, good luck, and success. A bit of fun and creativity was thrown in this set-up, and all topped with joy and hope.

Abundance ©MTHerzog

Naturally, in the main Feng Shui wealth corner (southeast), the traditional rules were enhanced: the waving cat, two types of money plants – jade and devil’s ivy (the irony of the name!), nine money frogs (most with a coin in the mouth and one jade frog), full containers representing abundance – flour, rice, oil, sugar, salt and sweets. These items are also the first one traditionally brings into a new home, and as far as I can remember, I don´t think I have ever been remiss about this particular ceremony. You will also note the prominence of red here – it is because the money frogs need to be “activated” in the wealth corner. Many people overlook this feature about the money frogs and simply position them there. In order for a money frog to do its job and attract the wealth, it has to sit on a red surface and/or be tied with a red ribbon.

Prosperity©MTHerzog

It is not just a matter of superstition. Celebrating Chinese New Year is my way of paying homage to the Chinese side of my mother’s family, and if you knew my mother, there was absolutely no denying her heritage. This is, however, one of the more subdued Chinese New Years I have celebrated. I am used to living in countries where today would have been declared a holiday, and the entire city or country celebrates, with red and gold flying all over the place. Our celebration was very personal and intimate, just the two of us, with the occasional sound of firecrackers in the distance from a Chinese community.

The wonderful thing about having my daughter around is that she ensures that we both remain positive in our affirmations in spite of the instability. We have each other, can afford three meals a day, raise three wonderful cats, and have work. These are wonderful reasons to be grateful and remain grounded. The rest will fall into place.