The year has just started and one of our favourite holiday is upon us! If you’ve walked around Singapore recently, our little red dot is literally, red. Chinese New Year is a 15-day celebration that embraces abundance, joy and prosperity (which is also a good excuse to dress up and have a good meal!). If you have yet to start preparations for this auspicious holiday, fret not, we’ve got you covered with our Chinese New Year Essentials Checklist.
1. Clean Your Home Ahead of Time
Sweep the bad karma away! Many households partake in spring cleaning way ahead of time before the New Year to declutter but most importantly to rid the house of any bad luck and bring in the good vibes. Make sure that you don’t clean your home during New Year itself as it is traditionally believed to wash away any of of the good luck and prosperity!
2. Red Is The New Black
If you can’t beat them, join them. Many people who celebrate Chinese New Year will don red on the first few days, as it is believed that the colour wards off any danger to those whose birth year falls on the same zodiac of the year. So swipe that credit card and start the new year with some fresh swag and a haircut for some good luck!
Do avoid black as it is believed to really bring you bad luck.
3. Pay off any debts, bills and make amends
If you still owe your best friend some money for Humpday drinks last week, you might want to pay your debt before the New Year begins! It is considered good luck to start the new year afresh without any debts or grudges with the people around you.
4. Make Time For A Reunion Dinner
Given our extremely busy lifestyles, it is normal to not see your family members very often. Which is why we love Chinese New Year, because it is an excuse to reunite with all your family members AND enjoy good food! It is considered good luck to have 8 or 9 dishes at your dinner (but please don’t limit yourselves, less is definitely not more).
5. Stock Up On Snacks Before They Are Gone!
We can all agree that good food is the foundation to a good holiday, so remember to stock up on delicious snacks before it is too late! From traditional snacks like love letters to savoury bites like Ba Kwa (sweet-dried pork) and modern artisan cookies crafted by local bakers, make sure you stock up on them before they run out!
6. Be Kiasu About Oranges
While it is considered good luck to give two oranges to the host of the house you are visiting, make sure you grab every opportunity possible to be Kiasu about your oranges! As these oranges represent luck and prosperity, it is important to stock up early on good oranges before they run out!
7. Prepare Your Ang Baos!
Here’s our favourite part about Chinese New Year – receiving Ang Baos! If you are still in school or a single adult (and there is nothing wrong with that), it is a tradition for grown-ups to give out Ang Baos to you during Chinese New Year. If you are reading this and have to give out Ang Baos, remember to include the number “8” in the amount that you are giving out to signify prosperity. Ran out of red packets? Fret not, take a stroll around Chinatown and you will be spoilt with endless choices of red packets.
Hate queueing up? Visit the bank early on weekday afternoons to get fresh notes!
Pro Tip : Do not fret about the value, what matters is the thought that goes behind it!
A food lover with inquisitive taste buds, documenting his culinary experiences through the lens with every bite.