Zero-waste mum of two. Travelling, cooking, playing music. Always a paperback in my handbag. BBC (British-born-Chinese) from Hong Kong.
What Can You Expect in Lunar New Year?
A typically Chinese New Year involves days of family visit, a lot of food and festive celebrations. Covid-19 has put a lot of things on halt but hey, let's keep our heads up and try to celebrate in a responsible way.
Funny traditional in Hong Kong - Brand new banknotes for Red Pockets!
Chinese New Year Traditions!
As a child I witnessed my mum start preparing for Chinese New Year at least 2 weeks in advanced.
Every household has their own traditions. I remember several must-do's from my mum:
1. One month in advance, the banks will issue totally new bank note. It was a trend to have brand new bank note to put in the red pockets(!)
2. Collect Red pocket envelopes EVERYWHERE! I can still recall that banks and insurance agents they always give out calendar and red pocket at year-end. It is like a collector-item thing that all housewives would starve for at end-of year;
3. About 2 weeks before Chinese New Year, all the snacks should be ready. Of course we are not allowed to eat them yet!
4. Spring cleaning! On the 28th day of the last month of the year, a thorough Spring cleaning will take place. This symbolises getting rid of worn out things and dirts and welcoming new and bright year ahead.
How does Lunar New Year in Hong Kong Looks Like
Make Lunar New Year Craft at Home with Kids!
As a child I can vaguely remember anything about making Chinese new year crafts at home. All the lucky banner (fai chun) and decoration was bought.
Now as a mother, I try to squeeze in fun crafting activities in our busy agenda just to ensure I can pass on our culture to the next generations.
We've been doing lots of crafts this year. I think we all feel a bit isolated and via crafting, we connect with like-minded parents via social media. Pinterest is a great resource to find ideas. Lots of us have made wonderful crafts like paper firecrackers made with old red packets, drawings and many more.
Bring Creativity into Chinese New Year :)
Use a real Calligraphy Set to add some fun!
Video call your loved ones
Send a card, Call or Video Call the Older Generations!
On the New Year day, the younger generations are suppose to greet the older generations in person.
But this year, instead of meeting in person, it's gonna be a remote activity! Yup, sounds really obvious as we've been living online with homeschooling, working from home etc for a almost a year now. But somehow for older generations, this is not a one-click easy thing.
For the most important event of the year, they would still appreciate a call. For the ones who can handle video call, give them a video call and have a good chat. We've all been through a difficult year with all the social distance. Time to show them some love!
Virtual Red Packet? Yes it's possible!
Send an Old-fashioned Card!
And to make things more tangible, why not sending a card so the receiver can touch something physically?
Sending red packet with cash won't be recommended, but a handmade card (ok, do-it-yourself or just look up in Amazon for the easier route :p) would definitely bring some warmth to the hands and heart of the receiver.
In fact I stumbled upon a research that there's a sharp increase in postage during Corona due to card sending!
It is so warm to receive a physical card!
Let's hope we can celebrate Lunar New year altogether next year!
Join Online Events or Virtual Family Gathering
There are tons of online events around the world in different time zones offered this year due to Covid situation. Why not make use of these free events and have fun with your family at home?
If you do a search with 'Lunar New Year' or 'Chinese New Year' in the 'event' section in social media like Facebook or MeWe, you'll be able to find different events ranging from storytelling, singing, crafting to live lion-dance shows.
Pick the ones that fits your schedule and interest. Many social media also offer functions like inviting friends to join or open a live viewing room to see the event together. Make good use of technology whilst keeping a good physical social distance.
With all the freely available technologies like Zoom, Teams and other social media, why not set up a virtual family gathering?
Share Traditional Festive Delicacies
Make it a special Lunar New Year filled with love!
When I was young, I didn't enjoy seeing distant-relatives annually during Lunar New Year. This year we all don't need any excuse to avoid that :) But for our loved ones, please share your love and care, especially in times like this.
Spread some Lunar New Year love safely.