Rituals of a new year
No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow - Proverb.
For the past few weeks a lady in my building gets into the elevator carrying an ornate bowl of green sprouting flower bulbs carefully wrapped in tissue and held in water.
She takes them outside everyday to an open space where they can get the sunlight they need and the fresh air to grow.
When I first stepped into the elevator with her a couple of weeks ago and asked about the bowl of green shoots, she told me they're a special kind of lily flower, grown and carefully cut, to bloom just in time for the Lunar New Year.
She gives me an update on their progress every time I see her and, apparently, they're all set to flower just in time for this weekend.
In Hong Kong and other parts of Asia we're fortunate to get a 'second chance' at a New Year and one that feels more in tune with the season and how nature changes around us. Chinese New Year, or the Lunar New Year, marks the second New Moon after the winter solstice and it's customary for families to have living blooms at home, which symbolise rebirth and new growth.
Starting this weekend, the Lunar New Year traditions, rituals and celebrations, also known as the Spring festival, actually run for 15 days.
Another ritual is to fully clean, dust, and clear out the home (known as Da Sao Chu) in order to sweep out any bad luck from the previous year and welcome in the new.
I love this notion.
Our rhythms and rituals should be more in tune with nature's. The weather has started to warm in Hong Kong and the sunlight feels brighter. A much more natural time to fire up those new year intentions, clear out the old, let go of what's no longer serving you...and blossom.
Kung Hei Fat Choi / Happy New Year!
This piece was taken from my newsletter Lunar New Year in January 2017.