In today’s note, “Little Year” falls on February 4th this year, and officially kicks off the Spring Festival season. There are two main activities taking place: honoring the kitchen god, and preparing your home.
First, you need to tidy your home and declutter it of items you no longer need. Cleaning now is intended so that you do not have to clean in the first days of the new year (Feb. 12th), to not “sweep away” your good luck.
After you have tidied your home, you will want to decorate with symbols to usher in blessings for you and your family. (Also, apologies… as we go, I’ll be taking some phrases directly from the note card and paraphrasing others. All my info I got from Cynthia, so she gets all credit. 🙂 )
For our Day 2 gift, we received some posters to help decorate our homes. The Fortune poster is supposed to be hung upside-down because the word for upside-down in Chinese sounds like “arrival,” so it signifies that Fortune is on its way to you! I put mine on my front door, so Fortune can come right in like a favorite guest. 🙂
The other poster says “Year of the Ox.” I put this one in the dining area, so it can be seen from the kitchen and the living room (and the office, if you leave the door open).
After some friends shared that one of their favorite winter celebrations was Lunar New Year, I was intrigued to find out more about this holiday. As it turns out, Wonton in a Million was selling her Lunar New Year Advent Calendars (for the second year) and mentioned that she learned a lot about her own culture while she was putting them together.
So I snagged one of the last kits available and will be sharing my journey here. 🙂
The Advent Calendar comes with 15 presents and Cynthia has labeled them with the day that you are to open them. Most of the gifts will be planner-related, since that’s the typical demographic for Wonton in a Million. There are little cards inside explaining something about that day’s gift.
Day 1 was marked to be opened any day (as soon as you got the kit in the mail, if you wanted!), since it contained a lot of items that could be used to decorate your planner, and – in general – planners like to pre-plan!
I opened my Day 1 as soon as the box arrived, but since I didn’t want to spoil anyone, I waited until now to post (Day 2 is marked for Feb 4th, so I figure the latest for Day 1 would be Feb 3rd). my intention is to post the morning after the day, so I don’t ruin it for others. E.g. I technically will open Day 2 (Feb. 4) today, but I’ll set the post for tomorrow morning.
The notes for Day 1 let me know that the Lunar New Year is celebrate by over one-fourth of the world’s population! It’s considered to be good luck to decorate your home (and planner!) in advance of the New Year (officially February 12th this year). This year is the Year of the Ox, according to the Chinese Zodiac.
Cynthia included a game to play with friends/family: a Dimsum bingo! To play, you order a dimsum feast and invite people to eat with you. The first person to eat all the items in a row to make a bingo wins! (Or really, you all win, because Yum!)