MANILA, Philippines - When it comes to starting a new year, we all want to make sure we start it right.
On Sunday, February 10, the Chinese New Year begins. Filipino-Chinese families in the Philippines prepare for the New Year differently but there are some things that are intertwined with their celebrations. And these don't always involve fireworks or expensive crystals.
Apart from knowing your fortune for the coming Lunar year, there are do's and dont's to ensure you benefit fully from every good fortune that comes your way in the Year of the Water Snake.
Rappler spoke to internationally-known expert Marites Allen and here are her tips and reminders to those who believe in feng shui:
1. Clean your house.
This will make it easier for good fortune to enter your home. But Allen said nobody should mop the floor or do any form of house cleaning beyond 9 pm on Saturday, February 9.
2. Don't cut your hair.
If you plan to don a new do, you've missed your chance. Allen said cutting one's hair should have been done no later than February 7. She said you can only cut your hair after the new year.
3. Throw away chipped or broken items.
Keeping chipped plates or glasses is bad luck, even if you intend to piece them back together. Allen said this is because anything that is chipped symbolizes poverty, so you definitely don't want them to keep them in your home.
4. Think green in 2013 BUT wear red on the new year.
Allen said that the color of 2013 is green but on Chinese New Year's Day, wear red which is a happy and lucky color.
5. Wear something new.
Wearing something new also symbolizes good fortune.
6. Have breakfast with the family on February 11.
Allen said families should wake up between 5 am to 7 am. She said fathers should call the members of the family to the dining table to have breakfast. Normally, Allen said, families should eat something sweet first for breakfast to help ensure that the family will only have "sweet" words to say to each other during the year.
7. Do not curse and fight.
Allen said starting the year with harsh words and fights will only bring negative vibes to you this year.
8. Forget the past.
Allen said the Year of the Water Snake is like a "Reset" button. This means that you have the opportunity to start something new and leave the past behind — for good. Carrying old grudges will not be beneficial to you, especially on a year of new beginnings.
9. Write your wishes.
If your year is a challenging one (as indicated by your Chinese zodiac) you can write your wishes and release these wishes to the heavens. This will "erase" challenges that you may encounter throughout the year.
10. Eat noodles.
This will help you live a longer and healthier life. You can also add to your New Year menu whole fish dishes which symbolizes abundance and a fertility duck for those who would like to have children this year.