With the pandemic still looming in the background, the Year of the Tiger has group sizes for dining in, daily household visits remaining at 5 pax.
But that doesn’t mean we need to stop the festivities! Here are five ways we can keep the familiar Chinese New Year traditions alive, but adapt them to fit the new normal.
#1 Reunion dinners over zoom
Unless your extended family is pretty small, it’s probably not going to be possible to physically squeeze everyone into one person’s home for your reunion dinner, so like many other gatherings these days, why not take it online? Connect your computer to the TV to get a good view of your other family members, and if you’re worried about people being left out of the conversation, get everyone to log in with their own devices and wireless earphones.
It’s a great way to include family members who might still be overseas—and if you get everyone to use the same virtual background of a family member’s home, it’s almost like everyone is in the same place!
#2 Lohei apps
What is Chinese New Year without lohei and yusheng ? We might not be able to shout out all the auspicious greetings we want, but in the digital world there truly is a solution for everything—so try pre-recording your voice on your phone, or downloading a range of lohei apps to recite the greetings for you. The vibe might be different, but the intention is the same: to welcome abundance and prosperity into the Year of the Tiger!
#3 Scheduling home visits
No reason home visits cannot go on this Year of the Tiger—just this time a little more planning is required! If trying to coordinate visiting times over the family Whatsapp chat group is getting messy, try using an app to get everyone schedule their time slots. Doing this might be a little more troublesome than usual, but on the bright side, keeping track of time can ensure you don’t squeeze too many houses into a day, which will make celebrating Chinese New Year a little more restful!
#4 Environmentally-friendly angbaos
Sustainability is now the talk of the town, so if you’re keen on doing your part this Chinese New Year, consider switching to an e-angbao instead to save the paper that would be spent for both the red packets, and the money you put inside. These are easy to use , and are great for gifting relatives you won’t be meeting in person.
And if you think going virtual loses the “feel”, try a cloth red packet instead! There are plenty of options online and as a bonus, these red packets can either be reused next year, or be converted to pencil cases, purses and more!
#5 Support local businesses
One of the biggest boons of the pandemic is the rise of the home-bakers, many of which are giving our favourite traditional Chinese New Year goodies a new spin. So try out some unique flavours like ondeh-ondeh pineapple tarts , mala zai-er and much more! It’s a nice way to support some local businesses through the pandemic, and makes for great gifts to send over to the friends and loved ones you aren’t visiting this Chinese New Year.