Unlike any other party, Chinese New Year gatherings require extensive planning and thought. It is the ushering of a new year, and thus, celebrated on the eve and the first few days of Chinese New Year in Singapore. It is time to prepare your red packets and dress your house in festive red!
If you are planning a gathering for loved ones, family and close relatives, you should take note of the following:
Decorations in red
Red is a prosperous colour for the Chinese. It symbolizes good fortune and joy and is typically found everywhere during Chinese New Year. The packets given out are also in red, symbolizing good luck.
To truly usher in the atmosphere of Chinese New Year, you should decorate your house in red! You can opt for red lanterns to hang on ceiling lights, red ribbons and more throughout the venue of the gathering.
No matter the occasion, food is a significant and integral factor of any party, more so during a Chinese New Year gathering. The food eaten during Chinese New Year is specific, and typically have a reason behind them. On the dinner table, you’ll find plenty of fish, dumplings, glutinous rice balls and more. Such delicacies follow a tradition of luck, prosperity and auspiciousness.
Each family will prepare snacks as well, usually wrapped in red. Some of these snacks include stacks of Nian Gao, arrowroot chips in jars and pineapple tart containers.
Inevitably, your guests might not be able to finish the giant portion that is on the table. You can prepare take out lunch boxes to allow your guests to take home some of the goodies when they are leaving.
Drinks are equally as important as food, and a Chinese New Year gathering isn't a celebration if drinks are nowhere to be found! However, not all drinks are paired well with the occasion. The most common drink you’ll see during Chinese New Year gatherings is white wine, traditionally enjoyed to the fullest. If you are drinking with elders, it is best to watch your etiquette. There are expectations to be met if you are in their presence.
Fireworks & sparklers
The splash of colour across the sky can truly make any event memorable. During Chinese New Year, red lanterns and fireworks are pretty common, especially at night. Many believe that when setting off these fireworks at midnight, you can scare and chase away bad energy. After all, you wouldn’t want it to follow you into the new year.
Sparklers are an alternative to fireworks, but they provide the same buoyant energy to Chinese New Year. Usually carried by young children, you can find them walking around anywhere during the occasion, sparking joy with each other and friends around them.
The one thing you can’t forget during Chinese New Year are gifts! As a time for celebration and to make merry, Chinese New Year gifts all have a fond significance. Red packets are given to the youth containing money, and when visiting friends and relatives, it is a common custom to bring at least two oranges as they symbolize good fortune and happiness.
Above all, Chinese New Year is a gathering of old friends and relatives, and the beginning of a happy new year. Refrain from saying anything negative, dive into the joyous occasion, and have a good time with the people you love!