Happy Chinese New Year from Five Seasons Healing

Five Seasons Healing Newsletter

Chinese New Year Greeting

Needles pic

In This Issue…
Happy Chinese New Year!
Chinese Horoscope: Year of the Sheep
New Year Noodle Recipe
New Year Noodle Recipe
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Happy Year of the Sheep! 


Chinese Silk Scroll Painting 



There are many reasons why I love Chinese new year.  As a parent, I love witnessing my children’s excitement to learn and engage in the tradition of dumpling making, dragon chasing, and family merrymaking.  Personally, I love planning and participating in these celebrations as well.  But more practically, I especially love the fact that lunar new year always falls a month or more after solar new year because it gives me a second chance to contemplate and recommit to my new year’s resolution.   I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that the winter holidays–with family gatherings, travels and indulgences–can often be more exhausting than rejuvenating.  January 1st rolls around and I am just recovering from the holidays and regaining my bearings.  But by the time lunar new year arrives, I have more clarity on my new year’s intentions and a deeper resolve to fulfill them.  


I am proud of my personal accomplishments of 2014.  I really set out to cultivate a skill–meditation–and have made it a more natural part of my life.  These regular moments of quiet contemplation helped to create the necessary space for me to examine my habitual actions and thoughts on a deeper level.  But frankly, what I saw was not always pretty.  I stood face to face with distasteful actions and thoughts that stand in the way of my own happiness.    


And so begins the undoing…the undoing of a lifetime, generations really, of habits passed down from family to family, grandmother to mother, person to person, that do not serve me well.  How best to combat these seemingly instinctual habits? Seek them in the far reaches of my being, name them loudly and for all to hear, stand before them–head on, and neutralize them with forgiveness and understanding.  And then put into action (and thought-action!) the habits that nourish me.  I fight worry with trust.  I combat frustration with gratitude.  


2015 is the year I cleanse and forgive myself and make space to manifest the qualities that sustain and nourish me.   


My friends, this year, will you please join me in naming and forgiving the traits and habits of which you are not proud and putting into action the practices of which you are?


All my best for a soul-fulfilling new year,



Chinese Horoscope: Year of the Sheep
As has become my tradition, I am including this lunar year’s horoscope.  The following is a summary of Raymond Lo’s predictions and recommendations for the new year.  Read his full article here: Year of the Sheep.  (Note that Sheep is interchangeable with Ram and Goat in Chinese symbology.)


Artist: Jiang Tao
The Year of the Sheep is represented in Chinese metaphysics by two elements – wood sitting on top of earth. This Yin Wood year is a symbol of optimism and flexibility for compromise and progress.  There will still be disharmony in international relationships, so it will not necessarily be a peaceful year globally, but people will be more easy to adjust and willing to negotiate as well as compromise.


The Sheep represents the month of July and is therefore the strongest earth energy as it correlates with the heat and fire of summer.  Thus the fire energy of 2014 continues into this year and remains favorable to energy businesses, air travel, sports, exercises, entertainment and restaurants.  Fire also symbolizes optimism, which will continue to drive up the economy and the stock market.  It is anticipated that 2015 will continue to usher in the US and Europe’s economic recovery, which began in last year’s Horse fire.  As there are less serious conflicts expected compared to 2014, the economic atmosphere will also be more stable with less dramatic fluctuations.  


The Sheep is a powerful earth element and, as such, it clashes with the Ox, which is also an earth element.  The strong clashing energy here will almost certainly bring about earth disasters like earthquakes, landslides, avalanches, collapses of buildings, etc.  Due to a total absence of water in the Sheep energy, very dry earth will be a problem as well and may cause forest fires, hurricanes, typhoons and severe weather changes.  Dry earth also symbolizes the road, so one should take extra care this year when driving cars.  

In Chinese medicine, the Earth element influences the stomach and pancreas and is also related to cells and muscle.  The clashing energy of the Goat and Ox will also clash with the Dog this year, forming a configuration called “Earth penalty.”  This can trigger serious illnesses such as stomach problems, pancreas problems and cancer in the human body.  The lack of any water energy can also potentially weaken our kidneys and, subsequently, our immune systems.  As such, it is necessary to take more antioxidants, vitamins C and E, grape seed extract and omega-3 oils to protect our cells and enhance the water aspects in our bodies.  

The yin wood of this Sheep Year also symbolizes our neck, back bone and spinal cord.  Without water support, the wood can be unhealthy and create problems related to bones and flexibility. The suitable supplements to enhance our bone health are calcium, magnesium and omega-3 oils.  Also take care to limit carbohydrates in the diet as excess intake can create blood sugar, which is the fire element upsetting the balance of earth element, increasing the risk of diabetes.  


In addition to health concerns, Feng Shui energies also change from year to year.  It is necessary to watch for the reallocation of good and bad energies so that we can take necessary precautions if unwanted energy happens to arrive in important locations of our homes or offices.  Due to complicated movements of energy this upcoming year, Lo suggests that we not “move earth” or make substantial construction work in the southwest direction of the home or office. He also suggests hanging a string of six metal coins in the the southeast to protect against sickness, placing three pieces of bamboo in the south to protect against scandals and a piece of red paper in the center to avoid conflicts and robberies.


Lastly, an energy called “Five Yellow,” symbolizing obstacles and misfortune, will arrive at the west.  To dissolve this influence, it is recommended that you hang a metal wind chime in this direction of the space.  It is also advised that you not sit with your back to the west as you will be sitting against this unfavorable energy, so a little furniture rearranging might be in order this month! 


Chinese New Year Noodle Recipe 


In China, long noodles symbolize longevity and are a common dish used in celebrating the Chinese New Year.  This traditional  recipe of Sichuanese Dan Dan noodles is by chef Fuchsia Donlop:


Image from http://uktv.co.uk

For the noodles

  • 250 g egg noodles
  • bok choy, leaves only

For the sauce

  • 4 tbsp tianjin preserved vegetable, or pickled Chinese cabbage
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • spring onions, green parts only, finely chopped
  • 3 tsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chilli oil, to taste
  • 2 tsp Chinkiang or chinese black vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground roasted sichuan peppercorns
  • 120 ml hot chicken stock, optional

For the pork

  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 100 g minced pork
  • 1 tsp shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
1. Rinse the Tianjin vegetable to get rid of excess salt, and shake dry. Heat the groundnut oil in a wok over a high flame; stir-fry the Tianjin vegetable until it is dry and fragrant. Set aside. 
2. To prepare the pork topping, add the groundnut oil to the wok and heat through. Add the minced pork and stir-fry, splashing in the Shaoxing wine. Add the soy sauce and fry until the meat is cooked but not too dry.  Set aside. 

3. Divide the stir-fried preserved vegetable, spring onions and the light and dark soy sauce, chilli oil, vinegar, Sichuan pepper and stock among four serving bowls. 


Image from seriouseats.com
4. Bring large saucepan of water to boil. Add bok choy and blanch. Place a couple of leaves in each serving bowl. Meanwhile, add the noodles to the boiling water and boil until cooked to taste. Drain noodles and divide among bowls. Top each serving with a spoonful of the cooked pork. 


5. Serve immediately. The noodles should be mixed into the sauce at the table, using chopsticks.


Chinese New Year Celebrations

Lunar New Year Parade & Festival
February 22, 2015, 1:00PM
Sara D. Roosevelt Park
E. Houston Street to Canal Street (btwn. Forsyth & Chrystie Sts.)  
Manhattan, NY 10002
Chinatown’s annual Lunar New Year celebration offers stunning visuals, tantalizing treats and impressive performances. This street party features all sorts of vendors, food and festivities for all ages to welcome the Year of the Sheep. 

Firecracker Ceremony Cultural Festival

February 19, 2015, 11:00AM

Sara D. Roosevelt Park
E. Houston Street to Canal Street (btwn. Forsyth & Chrystie Sts.)  
Manhattan, NY 10002
The firecracker detonation, at noon, is intended to ward off evil spirits. A large stage will feature all-day cultural performances by traditional and contemporary Asian-American singers and dancers.

Lunar New Year Celebration


Moon Over Manhattan

February 21, 2015 1:00PM

Asia Society

725 Park Ave, New York NY

In addition to storytelling and a dragon charm ceramics workshop, this traditional celebration features excerpts from three musicians playing Chinese instruments (1pm), a lion dance and kung fu demo (2pm), and an interactive shadow puppet workshop led by Chinese Theatre Works (all day).  

Click for more information


Cick here for a list of restaurants 

 serving traditional Chinese New Year dinners.