Happy New Year, Eastern Style

Color of the day:  Maroon
Incense of the day:  Basil
April 14th marks the arrival of New Year festivals in many of the Southeast Asian cultures and in Japan, and what better time to mark a fresh start than in spring, the time of new beginnings!
Drape your altar with soft, silken clothes in springy pastel colors. Set out photographs or tokens to represent your ancestors, for all of your new beginnings spring from their loins. On a small piece of paper-use birch bark if you have it available-write your hopes and dreams for the new year; tie with a gold thread, and set upon the altar. Light a golden candle and meditate upon your plans. Offer thanks, wish yourself a happy New Year, and feast on rice and a bit of fish.
Allow the scroll to remain on your altar throughout the year. Open it one year later, and see how your plans have reached fruition.
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