Preparations for the new lunar year begin weeks in advance and starting the festival on the right foot is always important. Nonetheless, prepping for Chinese New Year is always extensive and time-consuming. So, here’s a simple guide that you can follow so that you don’t miss out anything!
Shopping for Chinese New Year
Groceries are needed to be purchased in anticipation of the holiday. If you’re hosting guests, be sure to have lots of snacks. Some of the must-haves are Bak Kwa, sunflower seeds, kueh bangkit, love letters, and nga ku (arrowhead chips).
Certain foods are eaten during the auspicious period as it is believed to bring good luck for the coming year. Dumplings and spring rolls are said to bring wealth, while “nian gao” (glutinous rice cakes) is said to bring higher income or a promotion. Other lucky foods are longevity noodles, fat choy (black moss fungi), yee sang, etc.
House visiting is another common tradition during Chinese New Year and it is considered rude to come empty-handed. Some of the typical gifts are mandarin oranges and “hong bao” (red packets). Tea, candies, ornaments, alcohol, etc. make great gifts as well!
Do avoid gifts that are considered unlucky. Handkerchief, clocks and the number 4 symbolises “parting ways”, while sharp objects such as knives and scissors represent “depletion of wealth”.
Lanterns and candles
As the last day of Chinese New Year comes around, paper lanterns and tea-light candles can be prepped to celebrate “Yuan Xiao Jie” which means “night of the full moon”. It is also a day to find love for Singaporeans where mandarin oranges are thrown into the river by single women for eligible men to pick up.
Prepping the house
Cleaning and decorating the house before Chinese New Year is crucial and the most thorough. This is because; cleaning one’s house during the actual holiday is considered unlucky as it is believed that good luck will be washed away.
For the decorations, simply place Chinese couplets embellished with Chinese calligraphy around the house. These couplets often contain well wishes for a prosperous year ahead. Red lanterns make wonderful outdoor decorations as it is supposedly meant to guide good luck into a home.
The term New Year, New Clothes is synonymous with Chinese New Year. Most families want to set the tone for the rest of the year, thus, new clothes and accessories that are red or in other bright colours are often purchased.
In conjunction with the celebration, you can get all your CNY provisions in the comfort of your own home from RedMart Singapore, so that you can spend more time with your loved-ones and family during this special occasion!