Photo Credit: Lauza Loistl,

If you already celebrate Chinese New Year, you’re hip to its power rituals. My husband Kevin and I were schooled on the day’s essentials by dear friends a few years ago–and they’re keepers (yes, the friends and the rituals).

The following are my favorites so far:

Clean house—literally clean house—to prep for the New Year.

This practice is both pragmatic and symbolic. It really is great to start the New Year with everything tidy, right? And this particular round of cleaning brings inspiring new meaning to the never-ending house-cleaning grind that I still resist from childhood.

However–and this is crucial–clean before the New Year ensues. Once it does, cleaning and sweeping are taboo for a few days. Because you don’t want to whisk away any good luck that’s busy forming. And of course, the beauty of this taboo is the layer of relaxation that it brings to your chill Chinese New Year’s Day. Relax and enjoy. In doing so, you’re creating good fortune.

Give red envelopes with monetary gifts to younger family members and friends.

This power ritual has a couple of fundamental purposes. One’s to attract prosperity through sharing it: paying it forward to create openings for additional blessings. The other’s to transfer good fortune between generations. This works between bosses and employees, too. Sounds win-win, right? Simple. Positive. How beautiful. I’m in.

Consider what to do—and not do—on the first day of the year.

This foundational ritual treats day one as an indication of how the year will go. So do things you want to be doing! Things that suit the you who you want and aspire to be. Seriously. And don’t go coming up with all the reasons why not.

Get creative. Have fun. Do something deeply meaningful to you. Who do you want to spend it with? Make it happen–or enjoy trying–while keeping it peaceful, restful, conflict-free, whatever you want your year to be. You’re ushering it by intentionally creating a beautiful Chinese New Year’s Day.

Speak positive words and phrases. Avoid the negative.

Words with negative connotations are forbidden on Chinese New Year. The reasoning’s the same as above. You want to create the positive rather than the negative through the words you speak and the energy behind them.

Get set to check yourself whenever your language veers into less than positive territory. Experiment with the power behind this Chinese New Year ritual. Then just keep it going.

Relax. Rest. Enjoy. Eat and drink well. Go home to family.

Don’t you love how ancient traditions re-school us on so much that we thought we–or some recent generation–invented? Because these Chinese New Year rituals are really all about our approach–our attitude–about how what we think and what we intend creates our experiences. Definitely, a juncture where celebration and fun meet serious intention. And where the individual and personal meet what’s communal and timeless.

Also, for those of us who love what we do and routinely over-work, Chinese New Year’s a moment to consider how hard we’re at it all. Really. As in how our day goes in terms of straight-up intensity, thus goes our year. Take that challenge and own it. Gear down. Enjoy a New Year’s Day with a pace you aspire to these days. You can do it. In fact, you may find you’re even more productive as you slow your sprint to a stroll.

So here’s to an auspicious Chinese New Year celebration for you and yours, as you relax and appreciate all the fascinating life around you. Clean house. Prepare gifts, no matter how small. It’s the symbol that counts. Then eat, play, dance, laugh, love, and rest well.

Aren’t you jazzed by the idea that in the process, you’re sketching the form of your next beautiful year? And as you reflect in relaxed fashion on what matters most to you in that respect, reach out for the expert support you deserve. Meanwhile, Happy New Year!


Photo Credit: Lauza Loistl,