This upcoming week we celebrate Lunar New Year on January 23, 2012. This occurs on the same day of the first New Moon of 2012. This age-old celebration of culture and community, known as Chinese New Year in years past, is honored with the tradition of giving and receiving a red envelope, filled with money, as a symbolic gesture of wishing one prosperity and good luck.
The color red is used because it is considered a color that wards off evil and symbolizes Good Luck. In some countries that have a population who practices Islam, green envelopes are sometimes used, as green is a color associated with Islam.
It is said that odd number of bills, coins or the total of the money given must not add up to an odd number (like 3,5,7,9, etc.), but either must be an even number or end with an “8″ in the ones column (like $88.00, $168.00, etc.) as they are considered auspicious or “good” numbers. Any money must not total the numbers, 4, 40,44,444, etc., as the pronunciation of the word “four” in Chinese dialects resembles the word for death, a bad omen.
Red envelopes are also given to newlyweds in China.
The Chinese New Year stamp (pictured above) caused quite a stir recently as the population thought that the dragon on the stamp was too “fierce” and may give the wrong impression of the Chinese. The Dragon is a symbol of power and strength, and those born in the Year of the Dragon (1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012) are considered to have the personality traits of passion, robust health, short tempered temperament, stubborn, popular, fun loving and lead a life full of enthusiasm. They also love to indulge in healthy gossip and also make good gamblers.
You can activate Good Luck on this day by burning red candles anointed with “Fast Luck” oil to activate the goodness of the New Year and the first New Moon of 2012.