Honoring the Lunar New Year - Root + Bones

Honoring the Lunar New Year

We are blessed to have various invitations per calendar year to hit the reset button and begin anew. From the personal, like birthdays – to the collective, like seasonal shifts and different cultural traditions, there are many opportunities to take inventory and welcome fresh energy. The Chinese Lunar New Year is one such very special occasion, always landing on the new moon that heralds the dawning of the Spring season. An auspicious time of new beginnings, we can engage in ritual to work with the potent energy surrounding this window of time, commemorated over the course of a couple of weeks. 


One of the hallmarks of Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations is ritual feasting. While the dishes served vary from region to region, steamed whole fish is traditionally enjoyed for it symbolizes abundance and prosperity as the word for “fish” is pronounced the same as the word for “surplus.” Long noodles are often included as well, as they symbolize longevity. Dumplings are another common feast staple, as they resemble money pouches, symbolizing good fortune. Oranges and other citrus – including pomelos, tangerines, and kumquats – are believed to invite good luck and are also utilized to adorn the home, reminding of our deep connections to the natural world.


Herbs always play a role in Chinese traditions and the Lunar New Year is no exception, as teas are poured abundantly and fragrant pouches are crafted as botanical amulets. Pu’er is a very special tea revered for both its medicinal benefits and felt effect, and has even been shown to help restore circadian rhythm – a beautiful way to recalibrate and align with the arriving Spring season. Our Chen Pi Pu’er that’s aged with tangerine peel would be even more celebratory! Following the precedent set by some of the other common Lunar New Year traditions, we can intentionally incorporate longevity-promoting herbs around this time as part of our daily rituals. Some of our top choices are Reishi (“the queen of immortality”), Chaga, Deer Antler Velvet, and He Shou Wu. 


As we enter the Year of the Wood Dragon, we excitedly anticipate a bright horizon full of opportunities and progress. The energy of the Dragon is associated with the capacity to dream big, while the energy of Wood is grounding and wise, which can together greatly support us in finding harmony toward positive transformation and growth. The element of Wood corresponds to the spiritual force of the Hun (Ethereal Soul), which governs intuition, inspiration, life visions, and ideas. It is also responsible for emotional regulation and is associated with the Liver, which plays a crucial role in processing emotions. Tend to the health of your Liver so that it can help clear what needs to be released and make space for the new, with herbs like Schizandra, Pine Pollen, Chaga, Reishi, and Rose. 


Other ways to honor the Lunar New Year include:

  • Deep cleaning and decluttering the home, thus welcoming fresh energy
  • Roast a chicken, which symbolizes wholeness and prosperity
  • Share some herbal wisdom with another, paying homage to the elders who use this time to impart recipes and remedies with the next generation. 

Wishing you a nourishing, fruitful, and blessed Lunar New Year!