How to Prepare for the Year of the Rooster

January 28, 2017 marks the first day of the Year of the Rooster in the Chinese zodiac. The Rooster sign includes anyone born in 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 and 2017. The Chinese calendar assigns each year an animal and an element, and for 2017 the element is fire. So, more specifically, welcome to the Year of the Fire Rooster!

If you are a Rooster, it could be a great year if you keep your emotions in check, take calculated risks and use a one step at a time approach toward getting things done. If not, the year could be difficult and filled with setbacks and crisis.

According to the Chines zodiac, Roosters are hard workers, bright, and keen observers. They are usually born pretty or handsome, and they like to dress up. Strengths include honesty, independence and ambition. Weaknesses include impatience, selfishness and narrow-mindedness. Roosters are most compatible romantically with the Ox or the Snake.

Tips for good luck in the Chinese New Year:

  • Clean the house to get rid off all the bad luck that might have gathered in the previous year.
  • Do not sweep or vacuum for the first few days of the new year. Do not risk sweeping the good luck away!
  • Settle unfinished business — start the year off with debts paid and quarrels resolved.
  • Decorate with red and gold banners bearing messages of good luck, and with lucky plants such as mandarin trees, or branches of cherry blossoms.
  • Gather with family for a New Year’s Day feast, but prepare the food in advance (click here for a list of lucky foods).
  • Do not use knives on New Year’s Day or for the first few days of the new year. You do not want to cut off the good luck coming your way!
  • Pay respects to your ancestors —offer food and incense to please the spirits of the deceased so that they might bring good luck.
  • Give gifts of red and gold envelopes filled with money to anyone who is unmarried, especially children. Stuff them with crisp bills, and avoid old and wrinkled currency or coins. Also stay away from increments of four as it is considered a bad luck number. Eight is a lucky number.

Gong Hey Fat Choy — Happy New Year!