A Candle Spell to Ring in the New Year

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I like to take the first few days of the New Year to think about the year ahead with goals for myself and wishes for my family. A wealth of tradition helps to usher in the new year, a time for new beginnings, and is an opportunity to ensure one’s luck for the year to come.

I came across this whimsical yet poignant so-called “candle spell”, which I felt captured what I wanted to focus on in these first days of January, 2014:

As I light this candle,
I bid the Old Year farewell,
With gratitude for milestones passed,
And memories cherished.
And I welcome the New Year in
With love and warmth and blessings.
That the quality of this new year be assured,
I now dedicate a moment to visioning
Some ways to make this year
A year of excellence,
A year of fortune.

Pause for a moment to envision the kind of year that you want to have and the kind of person that you want to be. Enhance these visualizations by imagining your objectives charged with energy and bathed in glowing light. Then continue:

And thus do my wishes for the year
take on their own life and purpose.
So does the year itself
take on a glowing life and power;
A bright year, a bold year,
a golden year, a year of magic!
So may this year bring luck,
and peace, and prosperity
to one and all.

You can allow the candle to burn continuously, or relight it every morning to reactivate the magic of your celebration. Whether the candle takes a few days or a few months to burn down, you can be satisfied that its flames will radiate your blessings to last the twelve months out. Kind of a sweet idea, right?

How are you starting off your New Year?

Celebrating the Chinese New Year

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Happy Lunar New Year! As a little bit of background, Lunar New Year (also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival) is one of the longest and most important celebrations in the lunar calendar. Festivities begin on Monday, January 23, and continue for 15 days to usher in the start of a new year and the beginning of  the revitalizing spring season. The events consist of fireworks, family feasts, “lucky money” given in traditional red envelopes and on the final day, the Lantern Festival. The Lantern Festival is an exciting, action-packed day filled with music, dancing, acrobatics, parades, Yuanxiao dumplings, and, of course, the release of beautifully decorated lanterns.

I think Lunar New Year is a perfect time to revisit some of the resolutions we made at the beginning of this month and to evaluate our progress in each of them. In honor of the occasion, I will be celebrating the Chinese New Year this Monday by curling up in a comfortable chair with a good book and the Asian-inspired Bamboo candle in the background. The Bamboo scent, which has notes of Asian spices, grasses, citrus and lavender, is the perfect way to enjoy the New Year since bamboo is traditionally believed to bring in prosperity and good luck.

How are you celebrating the Lunar New Year?