Cover Sino Group deputy chairman, Daryl Ng, on Chinese New Year (Photo: Supplied)

New year, same beloved traditions: Take a walk down memory lane as members of the Tatler community share their favourite Chinese New Year traditions

Yolanda Choy-Tang, Co-founder, EcoDrive and partner, Central Weddings

“My favourite family tradition is getting together over a meal. Everyone wears something bright and red, and there are auspicious flowers and trees all around the house. The meal is carefully planned by the older generation and every dish has meaning. We always have spring rolls for wealth, fat choy [black moss] for more wealth, fish for extra blessings, noodles for longevity and rice cakes for success. As a child, I loved getting up early in the morning to see my father making glutinous sesame rice balls and crescent pastries with peanut and coconut filling.”

Barney Cheng, Fashion Designer

“We used to all wear red and do bai neen [offer blessings] at various relatives’ houses, starting with the oldest and moving to the youngest members of the family. We’d eat endless turnip cakes, homemade egg noodles, and sweet soup with glutinous dumplings.” 

Belinda Koo, Founder, XYZ

“Chinese New Year [once] meant family time in Vancouver or Japan. Both places mean a lot to me. I love the freedom and thrill of skiing. I love the anchoring feeling of being on a mountain and the magical moments made in the snow.”

Audry Ai-Morrow, Partner, Central Weddings

“Pre Covid-19, we had the tradition of skiing with family friends during Chinese New Year holidays in Canada, Italy, France or Austria. We have had close to 50 people [on these trips at one time], including kids.”

Sandy Ip, Founder, The Ski Project

“I don’t recall spending Chinese New Year in Hong Kong that often. It always overlapped with New York Fashion Week when I worked in fashion. Since I started [skiwear shop] The Ski Project five years ago, I have spent every CNY on the ski slopes of Niseko or in Europe. My parents and relatives are so used to me being away at that time that they send me my red packets in advance for me to put under my pillow.”

Adelene Chan, Key Account Manager, Google Consumer Solutions

“Chinese New Year has always been a fun time for the family. Covid-19 put a damper on things with the travel restrictions, but I take comfort in dressing my dog Mimi up in New Year costumes. I can always go back to my lai see-red ski suit to remind me of new year on the slopes.”

Daryl Ng, Deputy chairman, Sino Group

“I treasure gathering with family on Chinese New Year’s Eve to wish everyone a good year ahead. This is an important family tradition passed on from my grandparents and parents that I am sharing with my own children. I like visiting colleagues, listening to their new year stories and giving out lai see. I especially love taking my family to Lee Tung Avenue. The beautiful lanterns jazz it up and cheer up everyone. This is the magic of Chinese New Year.”

Annabelle Bond, Mountaineer

“Chinese New Year is one of my favourite times of year. We get the family together and go skiing in Aspen. I remember the beautiful red decorations around Hong Kong growing up; we would always decorate the house in red too. I loved the lai see packets that I would get. It was always exciting to get lucky money.”

Kai-Yin Lo, Jewellery Designer

“Our old house in the Mid-Levels was built in 1914. We’d always hoist small banners on the roof for festivities. We’d put on new clothes, and relatives and friends would come to visit on the first day of the Lunar New Year. The children and young adults would all receive red packets with money or gifts. On the second day, we would visit good friends. We would avoid visiting anyone on the third day, as it’s supposed to be unlucky."

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