Chattering Mind

Chinese New Year begins with the new moon this February 18th and lasts until the full moon two weeks from now.

In China, this period of feasts with prayers for prosperity is seen as the actual beginning of spring.

Since I’m a Christian with Jewish children who naturally gravitates toward Eastern art and philosophy, I essentially celebrate three new year periods: Rosh Hashanah in September; the Roman calendar’s December 31st; and the Chinese festivities in February. Each “new year” period consolidates the freshness and forgiveness of the last. If I didn’t get it right the last time, I can always try again.

“Be careful in your actions. Be selective with what you eat. Greet people who will bring you joy,” says this Chinese family culture web page. “Enhance and stimulate positive energy flow at home, at your business, and at work.”

To get your new year mojo going, you can:

* Clean the entire home to get rid of objects affiliated with the past.

* Pay your bills, resolve your debts.

* Make real peace with family members, friends, neighbors and business associates.

This coming Saturday night, invite your most loving friends over for Chinese food. Easier still, you can all go out (though then you’ll encounter crowds of other celebrants). Additionally, try to spend a quiet moment this weekend paying tribute to your “ancestors and household gods,” people who’ve supported and sustained you up to this point. At midnight, you can open all your doors and windows to gratefully let go of all your grudges, and all the negativity that’s is no longer serving you.

Marina Leeds at sells various charms you can suspend from your purse strap or backpack that are blessed to give you luck in the coming Year of the Pig. You can swear by their potency, or just groove on the way they look (I alternate between both). Apparently, most people are well served by wearing a tiger charm during a piggy year. Go figure. Have fun with this. Raise your head, embrace “double happiness” with open arms.