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Ushering luck in the Year of the Earth Dog

/ 05:25 AM February 10, 2018

Dog lanterns at the Yu Garden in Shanghai, China, for the Lunar New Year –AFP

Gong xi fa cai! Own 2018 by preparing for the Chinese New Year, which falls on Feb. 16.

Follow these basic practices from feng shui expert Princess Lim Fernandez to enhance your luck in the coming Year of the Earth Dog. These are general preparations for the home that can be done by any animal sign.

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For specific forecasts, Fernandez will be giving the talk “The Golden Path to Luck in the Year of the Earth Dog,” on Feb. 15, 10:30 p.m., at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Bonifacio Global City.

8 feng shui tips

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1 Clean up. Ideally, one should start spring cleaning 15 days before the Chinese New Year. But there’s still enough time to give your house a thorough tidying. Start with the altar and kitchen, then make sure the specific areas such as walls, windows, ceiling, and the roof are dusted off.

2 Declutter. If it’s busted, toss it. Discard chipped plates, broken electronics, or anything defective beyond repair. Give away stuff you haven’t used for a while to people who can better benefit from them.

3 Repaint, if possible. Fumigate your home, and finish all the necessary maintenance work.

4Place “cures” in unlucky directions. Put a feng shui brass gong at the North side of the home, and Longevity Peach at the West side.

5 Gather the lucky charms. Clean the metal ones, wash the jade items, and polish the bronze pieces. Hang a new pair of Door Guards by the front door.

6 Celebrate “Cake Day” on Feb. 11. The most popular Chinese sweet cakes are nian-gao and fa-gao. In the Philippines, family and friends can instead eat glutinous rice cakes such as biko, sweet suman, or tikoy, which are said to represent togetherness.

7 Be bright. Wear festive colors such as red, orange, pink, peach, and yellow throughout the Spring Festival . Avoid wearing all black or all white outfits.

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8 Get a haircut. Today, Feb. 10, is an auspicious day for a new ’do.

(Bonus: On Chinese New Year proper, Feb. 16, avoid using knives, scissors or any sharp objects. Avoid sweeping and vacuuming the floor too.)

8 things to do on Chinese New Year’s Eve

1 Fill your home with flowers and blooming plants, except in the North and West directions.

2 Before setting the table for Chinese New Year’s Eve feast, fill your rice bin to the brim.

On top of it, place the following: an ang pao (red envelope) containing P168 in mixed denominations, celery, spring onion, two carrots, lotus roo, and two more ang pao. These are said to signify abundance and family harmony.

3 Make sure the dining table has a fruit platter consisting of pomelo, pineapple, orange, apple, and grapes (except pear). Add peanuts, pistachios, watermelon seeds, sweet candies, “tikoy,” cake, radish cake, ang pao, flowers, and a Multi-Fortune Wealth Catcher.

4 For the home altar, offer two candles, incense, four pieces of fruits, huat ke or mamon, candy, flowers and tikoy.

5 Bathe in pomelo water to remove bad luck (we need all the good luck we can get!), and then dress up in everything new, down to the underwear. All red, of course.

6 Gather the family at midnight and share auspicious food namely suckling pig, chicken, shrimp, scallops, noodles, tikoy, dumplings, and a whole fish—but don’t finish the fish. Leave a bit on the plate to symbolize abundance of food in the coming year.

7 Get a “general” lucky charm. Among the charms recommended for all signs are the Health Medallion, Longevity Peach and Magical Amber.

8 Greet everyone a happy Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai is Mandarin; Kiong Hee Huat Tsai is Fookienese; and Kong Hei Fat Choi is Cantonese.

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