Wishing you a very Happy Chinese New Year!
Mid-February brings us so many reasons to be hopeful and positive. Today sees a rare Aquarius new moon energy followed by Chinese New Year on the 12th. Two days later we have the fun and frivolity of Valentine’s day. As we move away from the shortest, darkest days into spring, elevate your mood and attitude by consciously engaging with these important days.
This Chinese New Year welcomes in the year of the ox, the element of metal and yin energy, which would be a positive shift from the challenging year of the rat. Also known as Spring Festival, families starts this threshold celebration by spring cleaning, tidying then decorating their homes. At Rouge we have thrown ourselves into this new energy by creating a window display bursting with positivity and hope. Using traditional paper cutting techniques we chose to fill the window with messages of universal love and hope. Our shop doors may be temporarily closed, but we hope to still spread some joy and colour to Stoke Newington High Street!
Our bright display is part of the ‘Signs of Hope’ initiative launched by Heidi Early from local shop Earlybird Designs, in Hackney. The project pulls together the community spirit and creativity of local shop owners to decorate their windows with uplifting messages and artwork.
Right now some of the social aspects to Chinese New Year are not possible but we can still harness the positive and uplifting elements by clearing and refreshing our living space or having fun preparing Chinese food. This year I plan to make some special dumplings for my family. The celebrations will be more intimate and I will miss many dear friends who usually fill our table with joy.
With so much new energy in the air it is important to step back from the significant but mundane challenges. It can be an opportunity to press reset on any winter/lockdown stagnation you have accumulated through celebration. In the lead up to both events begin by preparing your home for the New Year. Declutter unnecessary items by regifting and recycling or maybe just have a reshuffle to give your space a refresh. Thoroughly clean your home and workspace and add incense or candles to enhance your senses in the space.
Plan a special meal either for yourself or with those in your household and use your favourite tableware to bring some extra joy. Why not experiment with Chinese cookery using Fuchsia Dunlop's landmark book The Food of Sichuan, newly revised and updated, so many delicious recipes (as a team we have tried many!)