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Chinese New Year-Year of the Earth Pig

 

2019-The Year of the Earth Boar-Chinese New Year Do’s & Don’ts 

The Chinese New Year is the beginnings of celebrations to welcome the awakening of both the new year and the emerging Springtime with its blessing of abundance and prosperity.  Chinese New Year is celebrated in most Asian countries but also in countries with big Chinese communities; Europe, Australia, New Zeeland, America, and Canada.

While this is a time of great celebration it is also a time of ceremony with strict rules and regulations.  Unlike our yearly 365 days, Gregorian calendar the Chinese follow a Lunar calendar around January 21-February 20, New Moon. This year’s New Year is on February 5th until the full moon on the 20th.

Listed here are a few common do’s and don’ts that should be observed during the New Years celebration.

  1. Arguing or Negativity (includes scolding of children)

Words that are perceived as angry or negative are forbidden during this time. This is to prevent jinxing yourself or bringing misfortunes to yourself or your loved ones.

Words meaning death, sickness, emptiness, pain, ghosts, being poor, breaking (emotional or physical), killing, etc.. are forbidden. Kindness and forgiveness are key.

  1. Sharp Objects

Do not use knives, scissors, needles, or sharp objects. These are seen as objects associated with anger, danger and the cutting off success and good fortune.

  1. Cleaning

All cleaning and decluttering should be done before the New Year’s new moon. During the 1st day of New Year do not sweep your floors or throw out your trash as this discards your wealth and good fortune from the home. If you must sweep start at outer perimeter and work to center. Bag garbage and discard on the 5th day of New year.

  1. Breaking Objects

Breaking glass, porcelain, or any fragile objects can lead to breaks in your prosperity and good fortune. If you do break something store it in a container or wrap in red cloth and discard after New Year celebrations have concluded.

  1. Debts

Pay all debts prior to the New Year. Asking for or borrowing money during a time of celebration can lead to misfortune for both parties.  It can lead to owing you or your being in debt all year.

  1. Visiting Family

Most Asian families have multiple generations living together. If not then a wife generally will visit the husband’s family. Visiting the wife’s family could lead to marital problems and bad luck for the entire family.

  1. Crying

Crying on New Years means you will cry all year long.

  1. Illnesses

Avoid unnecessary medicine, going to the doctor, shots, and surgery to avoid being sick during the year.

This is not meant for sudden serious or chronic illnesses. In these instances seek immediate care.

  1. Hair Care

Do not wash your hair. It means washing away good luck for the Year.

  1. Bedroom Greetings

New Year’s greetings to someone who is still in their bedroom. Doing so means that person will be sickly or bedridden all year.

  1. Removing articles from Purse or Pocket

Do not allow others to remove things from your pocket or purse as this can lead to you losing money during the year.

  1. Gifts

Gifts are common to bring when visiting family and friends. Small red envelopes with some money are considered good luck which is carried in the wallet all year to attract wealth and good fortune. Avoid clocks and some forms of fruits all which signify loss or death.

  1. Clothing

No black or white clothing should be worn during the New Year. Both are considered bad luck. Bright colors, esp. red, is seen as auspicious and prosperous.

  1. Food- Food is very important during the celebration. Many kinds of food are served that have vivid rich colors in red, orange, green and gold all of these are considered symbols of luck:

Fish- having enough to share with others and serving a whole fish symbolizes abundance

Chicken for gaining prosperity and is served whole. It must have the head, tail, and feet still attached, this symbolizes wholeness perfection

Garlic-what is eternal and lasts

Turnips-good premonitions

Fish balls and meatballs-prosperous reunions

Oranges and pomegranates:

Orange represents luck.

Pomegranate is treasured for its many seeds and symbolizes fertility. Its red color that has the power to keep away evil spirits.

Noodles must be uncut, they symbolize long life.

The huge quantities of food served during this period are meant to symbolize the abundance and wealth of the household.

  1. References to death, dying, ghosts, or the past

Do not refer to death, dying, or ghosts to avoid bad luck and evil spirits from entering the home. Dwelling on the past prevents the blessings and good fortune of the New Year from blessing the home and family

  1. Open all Doors and Windows

Just as we celebrate the New Year at midnight on December 31st, so it is on the Chinese New Year. At the stroke of midnight open all your doors and windows to allow the old out and welcome the new into your home.

May you be blessed with a Year of Abundance, Success, and Prosperity.

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Could dietary imbalances and overabundance be killing us?

From the dawn of time, mankind has always had the need for food. We ate out of necessity and not boredom or pleasure.  There were seasonal differences in diet, activity, and environmental stressors. Ancient civilizations had to work to meet their daily needs.  They contended with environmental factors like changing seasons and climate, the availability of good food sources, and the stresses of disease, attack by prey and other men. In general men, would hunt for meat while the women and children would gather fruits, vegetables, and nuts which would sustain the group for long periods of time. There were no convenience stores stocked to the ceilings with every type of product imaginable for early man.

Today our diets are vastly different.  We live on a diet of high caloric foods with little to no nutritional value.  We consume foods that provide quick bursts of energy, instead of longer, sustained natural energy. Could this imbalance be causing a disruption in our bodies and our cells that produce energy? Could it be that our ancient ancestors lived longer/healthier lives than we are living today? 

Our bodies convert food into fuel in cells called mitochondria. We produce energy in our Mitochondrial cells, which we inherit only from our mothers. Mitochondria are the brain and energy powerhouses of the cell. They are a part of all our cells, with the greatest abundance being in our skeletal and cardiac muscles. Their function is to convert metabolic products of ingested proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into energy called ATP.  ATP powers all our important bodily functions. When functioning properly and producing ATP, our Mitochondria will burn at a temperature of approximately 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit). Our bodies have a temperature of 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the excess produced in mitochondrial cells may allow our bodies to regulate and maintain this temperature. The amount of energy that is available to our bodies is based on how efficiently the mitochondria are working. When we get tired, most people reach for something quick and easy which typically has more carbohydrates. Instead, we should think about how we can maximize our mitochondrial energy production by eating foods high in proteins, low in carbohydrates, or even fasting.

Because our ancestors maintained active lifestyles their bodies contained more lean skeletal muscle.  Skeletal muscle has a higher concentration of mitochondrial. This lean muscle meant their energy needs were higher and required more calorie intake or they had to burn the available fat stored in their bodies.  Walking in fresh air, exposure to sunlight and temperature fluctuations all played a role in optimizing their metabolism. This made their bodily functions more efficient than ours are today. Food allergies and sensitivities were rare since food was not processed and changed from its natural form, making early societies stronger and more disease resistant. 

As mankind found ways to store and preserve foods, the demand to preserve and alter the supply grew and lead to changes in how our bodies processed, stored, and utilized food for energy. Diseases like type 2 diabetes became more prevalent as did many others.

The more sedentary we have become, the need to find and grow food decreased. Now we had food and supplies being brought directly to us. Progressively we have become larger, less efficient, and more sensitive and disease ridden than ever before. Could maintaining a balanced, raw, seasonal diet, regular varied exercise, seasonal migration, and forced or religious fasting, have a greater role in overall health and wellbeing? It is apparent that the excesses, and abundance we enjoy, are a hindrance and ultimately will destroy us.