Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Lap Chun 2015 and prayers (乙未年立春及供神)

Abundance of offerings on the altar at home. 
Each year, Lap Chun (立春) or the beginning of Spring will fall on 4th February. It also marks the start of the zodiac year, which means that today is the first day of the year of Wood Goat. In ancient agrarian Chinese society, today is a very important day. The farmers will start to plough the farm; Emperors will embark from the Forbidden City to the Temple of Heaven to pray for a prosperity year ahead with abundance of harvest and mandarins and merchants will flock to the temple to pray for wealth, luck and health.

Without fail, each year on this date, I will change the Chinese New Year Couplet on the doors with new ones, replacing the old lanterns with new ones as well as the symbolic red cloth on my main door besides praying to the Goddess of Mercy at home. However, for this year and the next two more Chinese New Year, there will only be prayers at home as we are forbidden to have any celebration at home nor allowed to do any decoration as we are still in mourning for my deceased father. The mourning period will only be over after the third anniversary of his passing.

I have previously written about doing the “full offering” to Lord Buddha and other deities at home as mentioned by a senior monk which I’ve had the opportunity to meet when I was in Auckland. Continuing the tradition, I prepared the items needed for the offering, carefully laid them accordingly and after which prostate myself before the Goddess of Mercy at home to pray for an auspicious year ahead and for her blessings.

Further reading: The secret in praying during “lap chun”(立春供神的秘密)

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