While there are much significance and celebrations attached to the Lunar New Year which falls on 22nd January 2023, the first seven days are dedicated to six chosen zodiac signs while the seventh day is reserved for humanity.
Day One of the new year is reserved for the Rooster which is said to embody the five virtues of decorum, strategy, bravery, benevolence and trust. It is believed that should you hear a Rooster crow, good fortune will follow for the rest of the year.
The second day goes to the Dog and it is believed that should a dog appear or wander spontaneously before you, opportunities will open doors for your advancements. This day is also a day of offerings and prayers to ancestors.
The third day of the new year is the Day of the Pig. It symbolizes abundance, wealth and humour. It is therefore a day to abstain from consuming pork. On this day, people go around making well wishes and visiting to spread cheer and happiness.
Day 4 belongs to the Goat. Often associated with content and fulfilment, this is the day to invite the God of Wealth into your home. People stay at home after dinner on this day to stay past midnight to offer prayers to the heavens for prosperity.
The fifth day of the luner new year is called 'Break Five' （破五）and is considered the birthday of the Ox. This is the day that sweeping the floor is no longer taboo. Families also gather to consume dumplings for good luck.
Day 6 is the day of the Horse. It is customary for people to travel far and wide to visit temples, distant relatives and friends. In modern context, it is a good day to travel as it symbolizes movements and activity.
It is well known that the 7th day of the new year is known as Everyone's Birthday（人日）.
I call this the Day of Humanity. It is a day to remeber and honour the forgotten, the less fortunate and those without loved ones to celebrate this momentous event of the year. We visit homes, donate to charity and spread cheer to anyone we meet.
Why is there just the first seven days of dedication, no one knows. But the Lunar New Year does not go quietly after that as there are more activities to mark important celebrations till the 15th day which falls on 6th Febraury 2023.
For example, the night of Day 8 is one in which some families will stay past midnight (start of Day 9) to pay homage to the Jade Emperor.
Do you know that Day 10 of the new year is also called the Day of the Rock ? Day 11 is one reserved for all Sons-in-law who are all welcome back to the family home for dinner. The 12th day is the Day for Shopping (mostly for firecrackers and preparation for the rest of the new year). Day 14 is reserved for lion and dragon dances as well as a day to offer prayers for the safety of pregnant mothers to be.
The final day of celebrations culminate on the 15th day which marks the first full moon. Also known as the Lantern Festival Day, it is one of the days for young singles to go out after dinner to appreciate the beauty of the moon and capture the moment to meet the right partner in life. For families, it is the day of bonding and reminders with a grand dinner.
The 15 days of the Lunar New Year will then set the tone for all to revitalize and prepare to do well and honour our promises to deliver upon these same commitments and make the Year of the Water Rabbit one to remember for a long time to come.