A lot of Chinese New Year traditions that are practiced each year around this time, but one slipped by me until this year that I thought I would try. Lillian Too, who has taught me just about everything I know about Feng Shui and Chinese traditions has been talking about it for years but for some reason, it only caught on this year for me.
Pussy Willow branches are one of the best symbols of spring. This year is lacking Lap Chun, meaning the the spring season is not present. As I explained in a previous blog post, it is a good idea to bring in signs of spring for the Chinese New Year this year. Wearing green and enjoying some springtime flowers are a great way to do this. Pussy Willows are just one of the many solid examples of spring.
I’m not one to give shout outs normally, but I have to rave about http://www.nettletonhollow.com, a place I found online that is out of Brooklyn, NY. They sent me these live, very fresh branches of Pussy Willow which I ordered for my own Chinese New Year celebrations at home and they are just so perfect and beautiful that I had to pull them out of the water to prove to people that they were real! I ordered 20 branches thinking I’d have to weed the bad ones out and I’d be left with just a few, but every single branch was perfect.
The process is to buy them with the buds, change water daily and watch them flower. I hung many coins on the branches for wealth luck, as well as health (Wu Lou), happiness (mystic knot) and love (double happiness) symbols.
I realize that the New Years celebrations are behind us now, and that we are in the time period (between Feb 10th, Lunar New Year and 25th, 15 days afterwards) to try hard to live as we would want our whole year to go – meaning be charitable, happy, loving, patient…. It is said that this time period directly influences the rest of your year. I don’t think it’s ever too late to bring spring into your home though, especially on a year that is lacking Lap Chun.
So get those springtime symbols, whichever ones you love, and display them and enjoy them every day. Remember to take care of them and if you do get live plant or flowers do dispose of them if/when they wilt.
There may still be snow on the ground, but we need that wood element this year!