Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China for good reason. Each new year brings new energies and opportunities. The celebration begins the day after the first new moon between January 21 and February 20 each year and lasts until the following full moon. These 2 weeks are a time of welcoming and aligning with the new energies. This year, the Chinese New Year falls on Feb 1st and festivities continue through Feb 15th, 2022. Each year has a corresponding element and animal of the Chinese zodiac.
This is the year of the water-tiger year that holds a lot of promise for an exciting, productive year. This indicates a new beginning, a fresh start, and it’s a year made for bold action. The Tiger is known for its power, daring, and ability to do everything on a grand scale.
This water-tiger year is in gear to be a faster-paced, more passionate year after a slower year of the Ox (2021) and a very challenging year of the Rat (2020). The tiger has been sleeping, awaiting his time for action. 2022 has great potential to be a year of change because of the energy of the tiger: brave, self-assured and ready to pounce. Individually we might be inspired to embark on new adventures, such as travel or moving, or starting a new business. Collectively, there may be an energetic shaking off of stagnation brought on by the past couple years of the pandemic. It will be a year of exploring new ideas, and not shying away from challenges. If energy is not allowed to flow (individually and/or collectively) there may be some restlessness or unpredictable behaviors. It is also important to balance the aggressive energy of the tiger with times of rest. Even tigers take cat naps. This is a water year, so the yin energy of the water can help to balance the fierce fiery nature of the tiger.
In terms of health for this year, keep that balance in mind. Get moving, embrace life, face challenges and be brave but take time for relaxation, meditation, and proper sleep. The tiger is associated with the liver and gallbladder organs as well as the lung channel. We can give some extra support to these systems this year by:
- daily stretching (supporting the sinews governed by Liver/ Gallbladder)
- eating cooked dark leafy greens (nourishing liver blood)
- eating more white-colored foods (the associated lung color)
- and deep breathing exercises (energizing the lung organ/channel).
For extra luck this year:
- wear more red! The color red is said to help tigers ward off any bad luck or villainous spirits.
- add some tiger symbolism to your decor. Get a tiger figurine or some tiger art to add to your home or work environment to stir the motivational forces of this tiger year.
Chinese New Year food traditions are empowered with symbology. The idea is to signify prosperity and abundance with traditions such as cooking extra food to make sure there are leftovers, and cooking coin-shaped cookies or dumplings representing pockets of money. Traditions can be considered ritualistic practices that help to infuse our lives with meaning and intention. And cooking is such a delicious opportunity to bring ritual into our celebrations.
Enjoy this dumpling recipe in celebration of the year of the Tiger. Just remember to fill them with not only the physical ingredients but your own intentions for a prosperous healthy new year!
Dumpling wrappers (homemade or store-bought)
Cooked & chopped Chicken or Tofu (white color to support lungs)
Cooked & chopped dark leafy greens (support liver blood)
Pungent spices like fresh ginger and black pepper (open/move lung qi)
Rice wine vinegar (helps to relieve liver stagnation)
Chopped green onions (benefit lung qi)
- Mix cooked/chopped chicken and greens in a bowl with fresh ginger and black pepper (and a little soy sauce if dry).
- Fill each dumpling wrapper with about a tablespoon of filling and seal it up by following whatever dumpling making instructions you find fun and do-able!
- Pan-fry by heating (about 2 tablespoons) of sesame oil in a medium hot pan, and then place dumplings in to fry for a couple minutes before adding a thin layer of water into the pan.
- Cover, reduce heat to medium low. Let cook until water evaporates, then remove cover and let fry until golden brown.
- Serve with dipping sauce of soy sauce, vinegar and green onions.
Happy New Year of the Water-Tiger!
Don’t forget to make acupuncture part of your new year’s celebration and get in for some treatments to fortify your own inner-tiger vitality and get the most out of 2022!