One of the most fascinating traditions that I've learned about regarding the Lunar New Year is that of 'Pacifying the Tai Sui.'
Tai Sui 太歲 is a Chinese term for the stars directly opposite the planet Jupiter (木星 Mùxīng) during its 12-year orbital cycle.
In Daoism, those whose birth sign or other features clash with the Tai Sui (Fan Tai Sui) of the year will face setbacks, such as unstable luck for career and wealth, obstacles or troubles in marriage, health issues, and even disasters. There is (naturally!) a positive side to this too - Fan Tai Sui is also heralded as a time of immense change. It’s a time of transition and transformation and is known as the threshold year.
Each year, this applies to people born under four out of the twelve animal zodiac signs (In 2023, this is Rooster, Rabbit, Horse, and Rat). The most direct effects will be felt by the Rooster and Rabbit, while the Horse and Rat feel indirect effects.
In Taiwan, people go to temples (especially in the south for eg. Tainan) at the beginning of the Lunar Year, seeking protection and peace while driving away negative impacts.
The ceremony is known as "An Tai Sui" or 'pacifying the Tai Sui of the Year'. In return, people will receive a protective talisman from the temple which will give the person a year of protection.
These days, the younger generation may be less inclined to do anything about it, and it's really up to the individual as to whether they believe in this tradition or not. Either way, the term 'Fan Tai Sui' is deeply embedded in the culture and if you're a Chinese speaker, you'll definitely hear the term coming up around this time of year.
As for me, I'm ok with the Fan Tai Sui - the definition of a lucky or unlucky year is about how you approach and handle circumstances rather than the situation itself. Mindset is key - everything is a lesson when viewed with gratitude. 🤗
Happy Lunar New Year! 新年快樂！ 祝大家身體健康，萬事如意！