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Celebrate Chinese New Year Safely This Year

5 creative workarounds to pandemic-proof your celebrations.

By Annie Tan      19 January 2021

Facebook: You can still enjoy time with your loved ones this season.

Chinese New Year has always been a time for gatherings and feasts. While Covid-19 may have put a damper on the festivities this year, with a little creativity, you can still create beautiful memories for yourself and loved ones. Here is your Covid-safe cheat-sheet.

1. Host A Virtual Reunion Dinner

Worried that your Chinese New Year Eve reunion dinner will not feel the same without a table full of loved ones and food? Recreate the boisterous energy and family spirit virtually. However, don’t stop at a 20-minute Zoom call. Host an entire Zoom reunion dinner for the entire extended family. And to comply with the no-shouting-of-auspicious-phrases rule, download this app and make it shout all those lucky phrases for you!

For a greater sense of togetherness, order the same dish across different households, bond over new flavours and share tasting notes. Wan Hao Chinese Restaurant at The Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel has many interesting yusheng (prosperity toss) sets including a Boston Lobster and Caviar Yu Sheng (from $108), and a Pear and Avocado Vegetarian Yu Sheng (from $68). SAFRA members also enjoy 10 per cent discount off the Prosperity Abalone Yu Sheng (valid for both dine-in and takeaway till 26 Feb) at all Dian Xiao Er outlets. Toss your way to a more prosperous Ox year.

2. Stay Up Late On The Eve

After the reunion dinner, it is tradition to stay up late on Chinese New Year Eve. Also known as shou sui (守岁), this practice is believed to add years to one’s parents’ lives. Some families drink, chat and play games deep into the night. Others go to Chinatown to watch live performances, catch fireworks and count down to the New Year together.

While such large gatherings are no longer feasible, and there are no festivities in Chinatown during these Covid-times, you can still enjoy an all-nighter, keep vigil and soak in the ambience with your extended family and friends. Take the bar to your home with a Pony Old Fashioned, Negroni or Chocolate Boulevardier cocktail from the award-winning Jigger & Pony group. Toast to a brilliant new lunar year virtually while watching fireworks on YouTube. Nagaoka Nigata JAPAN festival offers 30 minutes of spectacular fireworks beautifully synced to music.

Alternatively, send your buddies the recipe of an Oriental-themed cocktail, and slowly savour it together over a game of online mahjong via apps such as Let’s Mahjong, Mahjong 3P or Mahjong 13 Tiles. To create the Jade Cocktail, combine 60ml of white rum, 7ml of green creme de menthe, 15ml of cointreau and 15ml of lime juice, shake and strain into a martini glass.

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