What does Sandalwood have to do with Chinese New Year?

by Lucy Anderson on January 24, 2022

Used in sacred rituals, healing practices and medicinal protocols, Indian sandalwood is one of the most revered ingredients in Chinese cultural and medical systems.

As we near Chinese New Year celebrations for 2022, our focus turns to the intersection between our hero ingredient and Chinese culture, with alignments deeply rooted in health, wellness and the zodiac.



Sandalwood has played a significant role in worship protocols and spiritual practices in Chinese culture and is still very much part of modern-day Buddhist practice. It is believed that the first known sculpture of Buddha was crafted using sandalwood with the venerated material being the closest thing to the extraordinary being.

Today, sandalwood incense is used widely in meditation and Buddhist rituals not only for its calming effect but as a representation of casting out negativity to reveal purity. It is also considered a sacred offering as a tool for carrying prayers up to the gods, creating a gateway between heaven and earth.

Mala beads (wooden prayer beads) crafted out of sandalwood are highly regarded in Chinese Buddhist worship and used in prayer and meditation, with sandalwood believed to offer grounding, warmth, comfort and as a reminder of blessings.

We’ve brought some of the most highly revered characters in Chinese mythology to life in the form of our beautiful hand-carved sandalwood statues, available to purchase online or in store this Chinese New Year.

Let Ananda, Buddha’s “beloved disciple” bring joy, bliss and happiness to your home or attract success, wealth and abundance through Guan Yu, the powerful Chinese God of War and Wealth who promises to ward off evil spirits and provide protection.

Guanyin, “the most widely beloved Buddhist Divinity” completes the set of these stunning carvings. A symbol of love and mercy in Chinese mythology, Guanyin is considered to be the embodiment of compassion and is called upon by worshippers in times of uncertainty, despair and fear.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a system of medicine that dates back over 23 centuries, is considered one of the world's oldest medical systems, with the use of Indian Sandalwood being part of TCM practices, protocols and formulations. Believed to enhance the flow of Qi calm Shen throughout the body, sandalwood is used to remove negative energy, to protect and heal – vital to one's arsenal for physical and mental wellbeing.

Indian sandalwood is favoured for its many therapeutic effects such as inducing calmness, aiding sleep and relaxation, enhancing memory and focus. Yin & Yang, the Chinese philosophical concept centres around the notion of seemingly opposite forces, (i.e. "light & dark" or "negative & positive") coming together in a wild duality to form unity through balance. This concept is one of the primary guidelines in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), with sandalwood often prescribed by herbalists restore balance to the body when treating skin disease, anxiety, fatigue, impotence, nervous tension, poor immunity, eczema, vomiting and stress.

Good Night


Indian Sandalwood
Face Oil


Chinese Zodiacs & Sandalwood

The Chinese believe that with each new year, begins a new zodiac cycle, represented by one of 12 animals, each with their own repute attributes. The animals include Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

The tradition of carving sacred statues and fine furniture from sandalwood is a coveted craft and this Chinese New Year, we are honoured to bring to life the sacred traditions of Chinese culture through our beautifully hand-carved zodiac ornaments.

Find your fit or make the perfect gift for that special someone during this auspicious period. Gong Xi Fa Cai!


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