Chinese New Year and the Wisdom of Confucius

February 5, 2019

It’s that time of year again - when more than 20% of the world celebrates Chinese New Year. This is also known as the Spring Festival - a time to begin planting for the future as well as “planning” for the future.

 

Though the date is not set in stone like most of our familiar holidays based on the Gregorian calendar, the 2019 Chinese celebration, in keeping with their Lunar calendar, begins on February 5 and lasts until February 19.  According to the Chinese12-year animal zodiac cycle, this will be the Year of the Pig,

 

For the Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner celebration, families traditionally include fish in the meal. While fish is commonly considered a heart-healthy dish, at this particular celebration it’s served primarily for symbolic reasons.  

 

The pronunciation of fish in Chinese, yú, sounds the same as their word for “affluence” or “abundance." Thus the fish is a common symbol in Chinese art and literature. The annual fish dinner celebration serves as a reminder to those present to keep saving now in order to have abundance in the future. This tradition is in keeping with the Confucian value of passing on knowledge from one generation to the next, in addition to acknowledging the many sayings of Confucius related to money and using it wisely.

 

Confucius discouraged accumulating debt, and avoiding short-term gratification.  He placed emphasis on investing for your own and your family's future.  The foundation of his financial advice stressed the value of getting an education, being thrifty, living within your means, caring for your family, and leading an honorable life. He conveyed important lessons on managing money conservatively and wisely.

 

It seems that we at McGee Wealth management have been practicing Confucian wisdom all along without even realizing it!  Just proves that wise advice is indeed timeless.

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