What to expect in the Year of the Tiger

On Feb. 1, we will usher in the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Thundering Water Tiger. Families will gather around the table on the eve (Jan. 31) to celebrate.

I asked Patrick Fernandez of Yin and Yang Shop of Harmony to share his insights and expectations for 2022. Patrick, whom I met in February 2019, combines classical feng shui concepts and traditions with a strong background in business, finance and real estate. He learned feng shui at a very young age, thanks to the tutelage of his mom, Baby Lim Fernandez, and his sister, the late Princesse Lim Fernandez.

Here is Patrick’s quick overview of the Year of the Thundering Water Tiger:

“As the Year of the Ox comes to a close, we look forward to this coming Year of the Thundering Water Tiger 2022. As the world continues to cope with and manage this global pandemic, there is a light on the horizon. This is because the past three years were the winter years in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. The years of the pig, rat and ox (2019 to 2021) belong to the most frigid of seasons. It is no wonder that the world had been in a mode of hibernation as is customary during wintertime. The coming year of the Tiger signifies the beginning of spring which will last for the next three years. As the world gets ready to re-emerge from a period of docility and lethargy, the tiger symbolizes a form of rebirth and reinvigoration.

“Additionally, the tiger also brings with it a ‘yang’ energy which is characterized by being strong and aggressive. There will be a lot more re-mobilization in the world as it awakens from a mode of slumber which will in turn spark a lot of activity in many life aspects: in business, careers, relationships, health and money luck.”

Patrick believes that we must welcome the Chinese New Year with a festive mood, a clear frame of mind and an abundance of delicious and auspicious dishes and different types of food. Gathering around a meal also promotes good harmony for the household and members of the family.

There are two types of food preparation that one can do to usher in the New Year.

In the early part of Chinese New Year’s Eve, prepare your dining table or other main table at home with a platter of auspicious fruits and other food items. For the fruits, include any five of the auspicious fruits listed below, with the first five being the ideal ones. Include an even number (two or four) of each: (1) Pomelo to cleanse negative vibes; (2) Orange or ponkan or kiat kiat to symbolize money; (3) Pineapple means that good luck is coming your way; (4) Apple for peace of mind and harmony; (5) Dragon fruit for victory and success; (6) Persimmon for good fortune; (7) Peach for long life; (8) Lychee for romance; (9) Grapes for abundance and luxury; (10) Watermelon for prosperity; (11) Avocado for elegance; (12) Coconut for longevity; (13) Melon for wealth; and (14) Mango for unity.

You may also place the following foods and items on the table: Peanuts with shell, candies, cake, tikoy and fresh flowers.

For the First Lucky Meal of the New Year, prepare a feast full of sumptuous and delicious dishes. This may be eaten anytime after the stroke of midnight. The following dishes are recommended:

Main Dishes: (1) Whole Fish – surplus, leftovers of money and abundance; (2) Roasted Pork – celebration, strength, wealth and abundant blessings, (3) Roasted Chicken – celebration, family togetherness; (4) Shrimp – happiness and good fortune as the Chinese word for shrimp is the sound of laughter; (5) Crabs – festive luxury ingredient; (6) Scallops – opening of new horizons; and (7) Noodles – long life and longevity.

Vegetables and side dishes: (1) Dumplings – wealth and money as they are in the shape of ingots; (2) Spring Rolls – wealth as they signify gold bars; (3) Mushrooms – seizing opportunities and fulfilling wishes; (4) Lettuce – growing or rising fortunes; (5) Peanuts – fertility; and (6) Eggs – fertility.

Desserts: (1) Tikoy – homonym for growing prosperity year after year, which gives people new hope; (2) Coconut jelly, glutinous rice – stickiness, togetherness; and (3) Deep-fried stuffed sesame balls (buchi) – round shape and golden color are considered lucky; the expanding nature of the dough symbolizes small ventures bringing large returns.

From my family to yours, we wish everyone a very prosperous, abundant and safe year of the Thundering Water Tiger! Kong Xi Fat Chai!!!

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