Chinese New Year (CNY) gatherings with the extended family can be a trying experience as one enters adulthood. The childish joy of receiving red packets and playing card games while chowing down pineapple tarts, love letters, watermelon seeds and other traditional goodies has diminished over the years. Instead, a feeling of dread gradually creeps up on us as we are subjected to a checklist of questions year on year. The exhaustive list ranges from marriage plans to parenthood, to career prospects. Here are our 6 hacks to make this festive season less painful:
Original Featured Image: Peninsula Hotels
First option: run. With overseas family getaways over CNY slowly gaining popularity, here are multiple ways you can maximize your vacation. To enjoy a 5-day vacation, take leave on the eve of CNY (4th Feb). If you have family celebrations on 初一 (first day of CNY) but are free from festivities thereafter, apply for leave on the 7th and 8th to still relish in a 5-day trip. For those who do not engage in CNY festivities, schedule your leave on the 4th, 7th and 8th to enjoy an extended 9-day holiday!
When it comes to the booking of flights, while it is a little late to get the best airline deals, here’s one useful hack. Clear your internet browser cache between searches. Firstly, old cache data may cost you an updated airline deal. Some booking sites even track the number of times you have visited their website and tactically increases their prices just a little to elicit a sense of urgency. Clearing your cache causes these sites to detect you as a first-time visitor and thus offer the lowest rate.
2. Order Steamboat Delivery
Compared to our grandmas who would spend days leading up to the festivities in meticulous preparation of cooking up a storm, our generation is unabashedly comfortable with making our guests cook the food together. After all, isn’t the reunion dinner about celebrating togetherness? Steamboat is, understandably, a popular choice.
In addition to the lack of preparatory work needed, steamboat delivery services make hosting a reunion dinner a breeze. A good number of renowned restaurants provide comprehensive hotpot delivery services that allow you to enjoy a hassle-free dining experience in the comfort of your home. To name a few: Hai Di Lao, Beauty In The Pot and Crystal Jade. Leave it to the professionals to handle everything – from the preparation of the soup stock to handpicking the raw ingredients and delivering them, pot in tow, straight to your doorstep.
3. Shop Smart
CNY goodies can amass a substantial cost, with their roles as festive gifts to impress the in-laws, clients and customers, and not forgetting your duly contribution to the office pantry.
Folks in the loop will know that the Woodlands Industrial park is the goldmine to get your branded quality CNY goodies – at a discounted price. Popular brands include Fragrance Foodstuff Pte Ltd, where Ba Kwa is sold at a lower price as compared to at their shopping mall outlets. Pick up your favourite kuehs from the renowned Bengawan Solo Factory Outlet. For classic traditional CNY cookies, Kueh Bangkit and egg rolls hit up DJ Bakery. For staunch believers of handpicking their raw steamboat ingredients, Fassler Gourmet is your go-to for steamboat seafood ingredients.
Image: Kampung Sembawang
4. Knock out the Kids
For the parents with a bunch of young ones with seemingly infinite energy, here’s a lineup of events that are sure to keep them enraptured and thereafter (hopefully) knock out upon hitting the pillows. These events are also a great avenue for them to immerse in Singapore’s Chinese culture.
Image: Visit Singapore
Chinatown Festival 2019
When one thinks of CNY festivities in Singapore, Chinatown is one of the first locations that come to mind. Decked out in lanterns and CNY decorations, Chinatown is a winner when it comes to festive ambience. Nightly performances by local and international artists in front of Kreta Ayer Square are also a highlight. A key event is the 12th International Lion Dance Competition, where Southeast Asian lion dance troupes including our own local teams compete for the crown.
Dates: 18 Jan to 13 Feb 2019
Time: Depends on events
To find out more, click here.
River Hongbao 2019
An annual event held along our iconic Singapore River, The River Hongbao is a visual feast with its various light exhibits. This year marks the second century since Raffles founded Singapore in 1819. In commemoration, there will be a uniquely curated Bicentennial exhibition. There is also a multitude of booths for you to do your CNY shopping at.
Date: 3 Feb to 10 Feb 2019
Time: 2pm to 11pm
Venue: The Float at Marina Bay
Price: Free entry
To find out more, click here.
Chingay Parade 2019
The theme for Chingay Parade this year is ‘Dreams Funtasia-Bicentennial Edition’. Highlights include a 270m by 7m long painting representing the ‘Past, Present and Future’ of our little red dot, co-created by 3 multi-disciplinary artists to commemorate the Bicentennial. One can also expect captivating cultural performances by diverse groups, against a spectacular backdrop of light lasers, pyrotechnics and fireworks.
Date: 15 to 16 Feb 2019
Time: 8.00pm to 9.30pm
Venue: F1 Pit Building
Price: Cat 1: $50, Cat 2: $48, Cat 3: $28.50
To find out more, click here.
5. Rent a Ride
CNY visiting involves a lot of travelling. When you’re dressed to the nines in an outfit that leaves you little room to down the second round of steamboat, the last thing you want to do is to be sweating rivers while jostling on public transportation with your basket of Bai Nian oranges and quibbling children.
Rent a car from ETHOZ, and enjoy travelling from house to house in comfort. Let’s not forget how much of a fun time your family can have creating memories en route visitations, belting out to Chinese oldies together. With our wide range of cars from luxury to family sedans, there is sure to be a car to suit each need from our selection.
Sign up your CNY 2019 car rental in Singapore with us now!
6. Share Your Blessings
In the mad rush to spring clean, finish up our CNY shopping and prepare the reunion feasts, it is easy to be caught up in the festivities. It is a grounding thought to realize that not all are as privileged to be able to engage in festivities. Perhaps the best way to make our CNY better is to give. Here are some organizations that we can bless the less fortunate through:
Image: Asia One
With every $50 donation, Community Chest will deliver a Fu Dai (prosperity bag) filled with food items and necessities to the doorsteps of senior elderly residing alone. A $150 donation will contribute towards a Fu Dai for an underprivileged family. To find out more, click here.
Giant X Food From The Heart
In collaboration with non-profit charity organisation Food From The Heart, hypermarket Giant is holding a donation drive for the less fortunate. Simply purchase non-perishable food items such as canned food, household necessities, electronics or other essentials at a Giant store and drop off the items at Giant’s gift cages before 5 February. To find out more, click here.
TOUCH Community Services
For those who are unable to give financially, you can bless the beneficiaries with your time. Under the Hong Bao Project 2019, TOUCH Community Services will be distributing CNY goody boxes to the less privileged elderly. Volunteers are needed to help out in the packing and distribution of the boxes. If you are free between 15 to 25 Jan, consider partaking in this meaningful cause. To find out more, click here.
With all that said, the Chinese New Year is a time to celebrate reunion. As we look forward to spending a meaningful time with our loved ones, let us share our blessings abundantly with the less fortunate. With these 6 hacks, here’s wishing everyone a 六六大顺 (auspicious and smooth-sailing) Chinese New Year!
Make your family’s visitations this year an enjoyable and convenient experience with our affordable CNY Car Rental Package. Book your ride with us now!