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Ring in the 'Niu' year with these safe and socially-distanced celebration ideas

Traditional festivities for Chinese New Year, the biggest event in the Chinese calendar, are going to be more subdued this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Coupled with the fact that the Movement Control Order (MCO) has been extended until February 18, a Chinese New Year away from family is now a reality.

That said, this doesn’t mean that you can’t still put together a celebration of sorts. Here’s how you can adapt the age-old Chinese New Year traditions and still have a safe and socially-distanced Happy ‘Niu’ Year.

Read more: What Your Chinese Zodiac Sign Says About You In The Year Of The Ox

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Sync your menus

Food is such a big part of the celebration and the reunion dinner is perhaps the single most important aspect of ushering in the new year. Unfortunately, with travel limited to a 10km radius, this means no interstate travel or balik kampung for many. Fret not, there’s still a way to make this over 3,000-year-old custom happen. 

Simply order in your Chinese New Year reunion feast and send the same or similar ox-picious dishes to your family to set the mood, then get everyone to dial in to Zoom and enjoy an unconventional reunion dinner together while apart.

Read more: 8 Hotels Delivering Chinese New Year Reunion Meals In 2021

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Virtual visitations

Line up a series of video calls with your immediate family, extended family, and friends you’d ordinarily be visiting over Chinese New Year, starting with the night of the reunion dinner. Get a calendar of these going and there'll never be a dull moment over the 15-day period.

Be sure to dress up your video calls with some décor or a virtual background in vibrant Chinese New Year colours as you send your wishes for prosperity, longevity, and wealth. Just for fun, you can even design personalised invitations for the calls!

Read more: 10 Subtle Ways To Use Colours At Home This Chinese New Year

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#KitaJagaKita care package

It’s considered auspicious to be gifting over Chinese New Year as it attracts luck and prosperity for both the giver and receiver. It’s also an act of respect and gratefulness in Chinese culture. While you may not be able to gift people in person, you can still have a smidgen of the experience by sending care packages especially curated by you. 

Get everyone excited with Mandarin oranges, savoury and sweet treats, auspicious dried and canned foods, flowers, a fancy Chinese tea set or alcohol, and these cute Year of the Ox-themed face masks!

Read more: Chinese New Year Flower Delivery In Malaysia For Last-Minute Gifts

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Digital blessings

Unable to bestow your blessings upon your family members in the fabulous angpao packets you’ve been saving up to use? That’s okay! There’s no better time for you to flex your creativity without compromising your thoughtfulness.

Instead of just doing a bank transfer, why not gift someone a GrabFood gift card and have their MCO meals covered? Know someone who might appreciate the company of a Netflix binge over the otherwise quiet celebrations? Sort them out with a subscription. Purchase the Netflix gift card at any 7-Eleven outlet, place that in an angpao packet, and add it to your care package.

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