I spent Chinese New Year with my mum, her brother and my daughter in London. We went to the Thai Temple in Wimbledon, to pray for prosperity and good health in 2014 and to offer food and flowers to Buddha and the monks.
At the temple, there are trays with the everyday essentials, such as yellow robes for the monks, tea bags, coffee granules, rice, toothpaste, soap and medicine for visitors to give as an offering. We give a donation, take a tray and pass it to the monk after a prayer. My mum also brought a few things for our loved ones who have passed away, Pain Au Raisin, fresh milk, oranges and grapes for my dad and grandparents as these are a few of their favourite things 🙂
Afterwards, we prayed to a very well respected monk outside the Uposotha Hall. Our family and friends all say that he always fulfils their wishes, well within reason of course! My mum and I lit a candle, nine sticks of incense and we gave thanks for our blessings, prayed for family and friends who are no longer with us and asked for 2014 to be a happy and healthy year.
We walked around the grounds so that Annabelle could explore and stretch her legs and passed this area for outdoor meditation.
In Chinese tradition, children receive a red envelope with money to bring good luck for the New Year. My daughter received hers at the temple. Hopefully this will bring twice as much luck!
I hope the Year of the Horse brings you good luck too!