As the Year of the Ox in the Chinese lunar calendar kicked off, hopefully to a good start, members of the Chinese community, those of Chinese descent, and even the non-Chinese, participated in rituals that supposedly bring them good luck. A new year, after all, is a new page, a new leaf. A reboot. It’s a metaphor for hope.
When I was in college, I used to participate in the Chinese New Year parties held at the Go-Belmonte compound in Quezon City. A giant bonfire would be lit on the sprawling lawn in the compound, and guests were urged to jump over the fire as a symbol of leaving the bad “luck” of the past, if any, behind, and leaping over to a better tomorrow. It was exhilarating, if not symbolic.
Last week, fruits sold like hotcakes, especially round ones, because of the belief that since they took the shape of coins, they invited prosperity to the home. I have yet to see fruits shaped like a dollar or a euro, and if such a fruit made it to the stands, I guess it would sell even better than ponkans!
A new year is a new page, a new leaf. A reboot. It’s a metaphor for hope.
A lot of the revelry associated with Chinese New Year, like dragon dances, and other public gatherings, were expectedly prohibited this year due to the COVID-19 virus. But all the more people wanted to celebrate the new year in the Chinese lunar calendar, hoping the hardworking ox would charge against the virus with all its might.
People served fish (chicken was supposed to be symbolic of “isang kahig, isang tuka,” so some Chinese friends I know kept chicken off their table), longevity noodles and tikoy (to symbolize family togetherness).
Tsinoys also wore bright colors, shared their “wealth” with cash gifts in red envelopes. Some got rid of the previous year’s clutter, but the cleaning was supposed to stop on Chinese New Year’s Day, for fear that all the good luck that came in would be dusted away. And that’s just a short list of traditions and customs that are supposed to bring “good luck.”
Now, there’s the luck of the draw and the dice — that I believe in. But there is also this uncanny propensity of some people to have good fortune rain on them. Let’s hear from some very lucky, or should I say, blessed personalities, what luck has got to do with the good fortune in their lives.
Antique Rep. Loren Legarda
The harder I work, the luckier I get! This truly works for me.
Helping people without expecting anything in return, without announcing it to the world. With no fanfare. That, I sincerely believe, gives me “good luck.” Did you know I was born on a Chinese New Year’s Day?
Jonathan So, ‘Siomai King,’ president and CEO of JC Premiere
I believe in luck, but honestly for me it is really hard work and being good to people. Maging mabuti ka kasi laging may nakatingin galing sa taas, at ibabalik niya talaga sayo lahat yan (There is someone from above who is always looking at you, and He will give back to you all that you have given to others). Bu-buwenasin ka pag marami kang natutulungan (You will have good fortune when you have helped many).
Tessa Prieto-Valdes, newspaper columnist and influencer
Yes, I believe in luck but as auspicious energy that brings good vibes, happiness and prosperity! Good karma brings good fortune — acts of kindness, charitable actions and hard work help create lucky energy. And sharing fortune, too!
Linda Ley, entrepreneur and style icon
Hard work generally brings you good fortune. However, being of Chinese descent, I practice our rituals and believe that good feng shui will bring you luck and fortune. For Chinese New Year, our tradition is to set up the food and objects that symbolize prosperity, happiness and longevity. I believe one’s luck is also tied to karma. Good things come to those who do good in this world.
Rachy Cuna, floral architect
What brings me good fortune is my positive outlook on life. If you are positive, you attract the same energy. Do I believe in luck? Very much. But it’s a 60/40 thing. It’s 60 percent hard work and 40 percent luck. That 40 percent is a gift from the universe.
Jeannie E. Javelosa, ‘soul destiny’ reader and astrologer
I believe good fortune results from a number of things IN HARMONY. First, the positive outlook of a person’s mental and emotional states; second, the way he is aligned to what he truly wants in life; and third, that he is in harmony with the energies all around him (his physical spaces included, and this is where feng shui comes in).
This holistic, harmonious state is positive and draws in the same vibrational energies. In a way, we can say that we each can create our own good fortune when we are in harmony with ourselves in our lives, and our world.
In astrology, good fortune and good luck also can be seen in a person’s astrological natal chart by good positions of the Sun (one’s birthday) and the auspicious planet of Jupiter, often seen as Santa Claus because it brings gifts of expansion and luck.
Another supporting planet is Venus that stands for love, beauty and is often called Lady Luck. Their positions in a natal chart show the level of how fortunate a person is, and in what aspects of life this can be seen.
Yes, I believe in luck. It is that random chance of winning. Some people say we have no control over luck or that things just happen by chance.
However, if we are to understand the new science of quantum physics where everything in our Universe is energy and consciousness, we would come to understand that we can draw luck and good fortune in by the way we move, direct, focus and harmonize our positive energy with higher energies all around us.
How about you? Do you believe in luck?