The arrival of Chinese New Year means that red packets are on the horizon. But they aren’t the only focus of the festival. In fact, there are many Chinese New Year traditions that people observe, including some really quirky ones that some of our staff celebrate.
Don’t just take it from us though. This year, we turn to some veteran celebrities to tell us what their favourite Chinese New Year traditions are.
And it’s a doozy.
Chinese New Year Traditions Celebs Observe
“For me, I would still insist that the younger generation kneel down to their parents to bai nian (to wish elders a happy Chinese New Year). I think it’s very important. Anyone who is going to be with me or related to me will have to do that for my parents.
“Beyond that, it’s also about visiting (family) because I think it’s a great tradition. Like the Westerners do it during Christmas. It’s a time of gatherings for friends and family. I’m sure everyone will identify with this — it’s like sometimes you see your cousins once a year and that’s during Chinese New Year. So I enjoy that homecoming thing a lot.”
Jesseca Liu, 40
“Recently, I like to ask my family to wear clothes of the same colour. It wasn’t something we did growing up, it’s only something that I started doing in the past few years. On the first day of Chinese New Year, we will all be at home before having dinner at my father’s restaurant. Then we will arrange to have breakfast together at the same place on the morning of the second day. It’s the same every year.
“We always wear red, different shades of red. We were more rebellious when we were younger, and we wanted to challenge tradition and wear black during Chinese New Year. But the older we got, the more we felt that we had to respect tradition. In the past, we felt that it was cheesy to wear red but now we really cherish everyone getting together and seeing us all in red in the photos.”
Dennis Chew, 46
“I keep the tradition of shou sui (staying up late to see the new year in) every year. Even though I’m a person who sleeps early, I will try all ways to stay awake until about 6am. I started this tradition when I was young because I read that shou sui can allow my parents and the people I love live a hundred years. I keep myself awake by watching movies, gathering at friends’ house and talking whole night. Also, I will prepare 15 sets of new clothes and underwear for the entire 15 days because I’m hiao (vain).”
Get daily updates about our top stories when you follow us on Telegram at https://t.me/theAsianparentSG.