Treats, taboos and traditions... Here’s everything you need to know about celebrating Chinese New Year in Singapore!
If you didn’t already know, Chinese New Year is a pretty big deal in Singapore. Lights and decor get ramped up in Chinatown, every shopping mall declares some sort of mega sale, and there’s a mad rush to get festive snacks like bak kwa and pineapple tarts as if there’s some sort of national food shortage. If your CNY prep is getting a little overwhelming, or you need a cheat sheet to survive the celebrations, read on…
How to celebrate Chinese New Year in Singapore
1. It’s all about tradition
This is one auspicious time of the year and you don’t want to tempt fate by committing a CNY faux pas. Can you wash your hair? Can you sweep the house? For real: you need to get acquainted with these Chinese New Year dos, don’ts and superstitions. You’re welcome. We’ve unravelled red packet rates and etiquette for you, too. Oh, and you can gift e-ang baos this year – and skip queueing at banks for new notes!
Doing a major declutter at home? Pass on your pre-loved stuff responsibly. Don’t just throw it out if it’s in good condition because someone else can give it a second life. Here’s where to donate your gently used clothes, furniture and more to charities in Singapore.
2. Toss to a prosperous year ahead
Nobody wants to look like a total newb during this Chinese New Year tradition. And FYI: yusheng is the dish, lo hei is the act of tossing the dish. Watch our video that decodes the lo hei prosperity toss and you’ll be looking like a pro in no time. Rivers of gold! Psst: want to try something out of the ordinary? We’ve got you covered with exquisite yusheng platters this Year of the Tiger.
3. Huat’s up for Chinese New Year?
You’ve gotta celebrate Lunar New Year with a bang! The easiest way to get into the festive mood? Tick off all the CNY events on your list. Highlights include the Chinatown street light-up, Chingay Parade (which you can watch online), Dahlia Dreams at Gardens by the Bay and more.
4. Give the gift of auspicious hampers
Looking for gift sets and CNY hampers stuffed with goodies galore? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up our top picks so all you have to do is browse through ’em and hit order for your friends and business associates. From festive snacks to bottles of booze, our selection has it all.
5. Stuff yourself in 3, 2, 1…
Like everything else in life, a big part of this festival revolves around food – and we’re not complaining. It’s countless rounds of epic Chinese New Year reunion dinners, pineapple tarts, bak kwa and even unique CNY snacks on repeat in Singapore. Plus, sumptuous CNY feasts for takeaway and delivery to elevate your home gatherings. But, if every restaurant on your list is fully booked, we’ve got your back with more recommendations for dim sum, Sichuan cuisine, steamboat and exquisite Chinese food.
6. Stand out from the crowd in classy cheongsams
Consider this a licence to shop. Traditionally, new threads symbolise a new start. But with all those family reunions and CNY gatherings, of course you need to look your best! Bright colours are an obvious choice, but if you’re going for a bolder look this season, try on a modern cheongsam or sashay into your relatives’ homes donning batik clothes and fashionable attire from the hottest blogshops.
7. Need a break from all that celebrating?
If you want a breather after stuffing yourself silly and avoiding small talk with distant relatives, hit the couch and indulge in a movie marathon with our fave film picks for Chinese New Year. (We’ll admit, we occasionally use this as an excuse to avoid more awkward conversations with the extended fam.)
And that’s everything you need to know about celebrating Chinese New Year in Singapore. Gong xi fa cai!