It is a commonly heard practice among the older generations of Chinese to choose an auspicious date and time to perform certain rituals such as bathing of a child during their first month of birth to mundane matters such as taking a road trip for whatever important or quasi-routine significance. The most commonly available resource or tool is that of the Chinese Almanac or Tong Shu which the Cantonese-speaking readers preferably called it “Tong Sheng” ( literally translated as Total Victory )
For the illiterate of the past, the most commonly adopted approach would be to choose the Red print text printed therein as “safe date” to use and avoid the Black print text therein. However,this quick and dirty method is severely flawed and that Red print text dates are only good for certain events or matters and not suitable for others. This is the little known caveat that majority of lay people are not aware of till today. Thus, a good understanding of its significance is important whether it is safe to use it or otherwise. The same analogy applies to Black print text dates.
I have come across Red print text dates used by my friends and clients experienced unfavourable outcome and the damage is life-long until today. The rest is history now. It is meaningless to elaborate on it. But a big lesson learned for them and for me personally.
The commonly available Chinese Almanac typically produced in areas where there are strong Chinese Community who are still pro-Almanac referring ritual come from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and not to mention the dwindling appreciation in western-oriented Chinese in Singapore . If one were to compare their different editions, one will realize the variations in information provided therein. There are often contradictions and misprint of information leading to more confusion and compromised on its quality and accuracy due to its low-cost of producing it by just following the age-old formula faithfully since it was made available from the imperial palace to the common people then who were largely farmers-oriented population.
These commoners and farmers used it then to identify when were the changing 24 sub-seasons and such as when to harvest including the knowing when are the different dates of Chinese oriented festivals and remembrance days such as Tomb-Sweeping day, Dumpling festival, Mid-Autumn festival, arrival of summer solstice, winter solstice and the beginning of spring where the Chinese celebrates the Lunar New Year.
Inside the Chinese Almanac, there are host of different methods printed therein for the readers to use. However, it can be very confusing if one do not understand the merits and demerits of each system presented therein.
To illustrate, there is the 28 Constellations method. Though it is useful for multiple purposes, it is outdated as it had not been calibrated to reflect the shifting axis of the earth revolution around the sun since it was first observed and then established the standard formula to calculate the division of time with their respective deviation over the course of the 28 constellations progression patterns. However, the good news is that such updates are conducted by NASA ( National Aero-Nautical Science Agency ) and provide a five yearly review to ensure that all the navigational and communication are synchronized to compensated for the shifting axis of Earth revolution relative to the Sun position. This planetarium updates are available from NASA but one has to incorporate it into the calculation methodology to obtain true local time.
In modern times, people have introduced day-light saving time during summer period and then return to normal standard time in winter period. Also, the whole world have been divided into 24 different time zones for standardization purpose or averaging the time within each time zone for convenience and ease of communication.
For political and economic reasons, countries have even moved forward their time or backward to ensure a level playing field and/or to secure their competitive advantage if the ends justifies its means. For example, Singapore had moved to the same time zone as Hong Kong by artificially moving forward by one zone though the true local time remains as the Sun will not cooperate with any countries for that matter or for a particular country to meddle with its true local time. Thus, if your watch shows 12 O’Clock noon, do look up the sky if the Sun is really right over your head at that point in time. A good chance is that it is not in sync with your artificially calibrated watch / clock time.
Since the Chinese Almanac are meant for general purpose usage, it is not its primary focus to be adopted for individual customized usage. An analogy of its general usage as presented in the Chinese Almanac is : One’s Man Meat is Another Man’s Poison. To get customized application, a further appreciation of the different dates selection methodology and its merits and demerits of each system must be fully understood to achieve the desired results as intended.
Experienced Practitioners of Feng Shui will know what methods are available at their disposal such as renovating a house, putting a nail on wall to hang a picture, re-arranging the home inner landscape and furniture to tap prosperous energies, implement water features in auspicious locations, installing auspicious feng shui cures will require auspicious date and time to implement them appropriately and auspiciously.
In my view, Auspicious Dates Selection is a science to be mastered but it is also viewed as an art because the outcome varies from individual to individual and the different methods adopted will yield a variant of outcome which in turn depends upon the auspiciousness of the site and desired action under consideration plus the current destiny influence of the person seeking benefits from its implementation.
Founder & Consultant