The Chinese New Year celebrations are just around the corner. The upcoming year, which will run between the 10th February 2013 and the 30th January 2014, will be the year of the water snake (水蛇). Although it is believed that generally speaking the coming year will be less auspicious than the current one, there are several things that can be done to ensure that the New Year brings you and your family health and prosperity. In this article we review the top suggestions for making the year of the snake very special and rewarding.
1- Home improvement and decoration
According to Chinese tradition, it is important that every family cleans their home in preparation for the New Year. Doing this will ensure that any bad luck or negative energies that may have accumulated over the past 12 months are (literally) swept away. Before the start of the year of the water snake, it is especially important to clean the bathroom and any areas of the house where moisture and humidity build up.
It is also a good time to consider doing some home improvement that is in line with the symbol of the water snake. Traditionally, the snake prefers elegant and classic environments, so you should consider adding some decorative elements that can help create this kind of environment at home. There is no need to carry out major works, as some simple details can add an elegant touch to your home. Perhaps you could invest in a good quality set of silverware（銀器), or buy decorative items made of porcelain or crystal. If there is any antique furniture in the family, consider putting it on display. Alternatively, you can acquire a few items at the antique shops in Cat Street, Stanley market, or Li Yuen East.
2- Family trips and holidays
Strengthening the family bonds and working towards harmonious relationships will be very important during this year. Therefore, gathering your family and taking them on a special trip could be an excellent way of celebrating the New Year. Of course, you need to plan carefully a family holiday to ensure that there will be something to please everyone at your selected destination. Fortunately, there are several places not too far away from Hong Kong that offer varied activities to keep every member of the family entertained. Some suggestions include the Malaysian town of Kota Kinabalu, which offers a fantastic combination of mountain and beach scenery; Thailand’s capital, Bangkok; the coastal Taiwanese town of Taichung; and Okinawa（沖繩), in Japan, where the Cherry Blossom Festival is guaranteed to delight everyone in the family.
3- Revamping your wardrobe and accessories
We have already mentioned that the water snake favours classic styles, and this also applies to personal appearance. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your clothes, make-up, and accessories have a traditional and elegant touch during the celebration of the New Year.
However, do not limit yourself to this specific date, but rather try to make some changes in your wardrobe that reflect the general spirit of this year. Gold and silver accessories are a must, especially if they are vintage （復古）. You can purchase very special pieces of jewellery at Lane Crawford department store, and also around Ruby Lane and On Lan Street.
As for clothing, the lucky colours of the year are navy and green, so why not treat yourself to some retail therapy at some of Hong Kong’s most exclusive stores?
4- Food and drinks during the year of the snake
Welcome the new year with the snake’s favourite foods, which include fruit, eggs, and vegetables. Throughout Hong Kong, several upscale restaurants and hotels will offer special menus that can help you start the year off right. Some suggestions include the Michelin-starred Petrus Shangri-La, the Yan Toh Heen in Salisbury Road, and Cuisine at the IFC Mall.
To cover all the expenses for the year of the Snake, a credit card is not to be missed. A gold card (金卡) can be a good choice given the extra rewards (信用卡優惠) it can offer you. Do a search online and find the one that is most suitable for you.