The second New Moon after the Winter Solstice marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year. This year it starts on January 28.
Looking back, the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey was a year filled with drama, big surprises and plenty of monkey business. Now comes the Year of the Yin Fire Rooster, a year to wake up.
The Rooster is the tenth of the twelve animal symbols in the Chinese zodiac. It is a symbol of dawn and awakening; coupled with yin (inner) fire it will help warm us with insight.
The flamboyant Rooster wakes us at sunrise and encourages us all (perhaps relentlessly) to enthusiastically embrace the new day. Roosters are ready to spring into action. This year we can benefit by tapping into the Rooster’s many strengths such as clarity, courage, loyalty, independence, precision, diligence, equanimity and warm-heartedness. Be aware and steer clear of the Rooster’s weaknesses; impatience, criticism, boastfulness, narrow-mindedness, vanity and selfishness.
“Wise man is the rooster of the universe: He awakens the unawake!” – Mehmet Murat Ildan
Here in the west we can also celebrate the Chinese New Year, or the “Spring Festival” as it is known in China. It is the most important holiday in China with many traditional activities. The Chinese believe that as they enter the New Year, they should start a new beginning. They clean their houses, pay off all debts, purchase new clothes, paint their doors, and even get new haircuts in order to have a fresh start for the New Year.
Homes throughout China are decorated with special banners, which are often red and gold, as traditional representations of happiness and prosperity. One tradition of the Chinese New Year is exchanging small red envelopes filled with “lucky money”.
The beginning of the Fire Rooster year signifies that change is afoot so we may feel less grounded or centered. It is an important time to stay focused inward and find daily support in a qigong practice that deeply nourishes. If you are not sure which practice to choose, start with the breathing exercises. They will help to strengthen your connection with the earth below and the blue sky above.
Wishing you all abundant qi and a Happy Chinese New Year,