Looking for some simple gives for the Chinese New Year? On January 25th—in the intimate corners of millions of homes—the Chinese New Year’s magic will overflow! Hearty games of mahjong will be played, laughter will echo through living rooms, and parents and children alike will relish in each other’s cheerful company. This is Chinese New Year: an affectionate, more family-based hybrid of your classic New Year’s Eve.
Gong Xi Fa Cai (May You Attain Great Wealth)! – A Traditional Chinese New Year’s Greeting
As this New Years round two draws closer, it will herald with it—as does any other family-focused holiday—the plentiful chance to give. Although it does feel amazing to receive red pocket money or other gifts from relatives, the giving feeling goes further than anything material: its food for the soul that neither money nor gifts sate.
So this CNY season, consider making it something special! Here are some simple but meaningful gives that will act as your soul food and proliferate a warm, nurturing feeling, one loving family at a time:
The essence of Chinese New Year is simple: family, family, family! This CNY, make sure you put time away for loved ones. Plan a get-together and eat a big, hearty dinner with everyone—spending time with family and friends is something precious. Doing so will send a message to those you love, telling them that you care for them, that you haven’t forgotten about them.
Whenever the Chinese New Year season rolls around, it brings with it festive decorations just like any other holiday. Unique for its scarlet decor, CNY sees neighborhoods and streets adorned with a beautiful red that radiates culture. Give back to your community by livening up your home with decorations and spreading the CNY cheer. Hang up a Chinese lantern, door couplets, or paper cuttings—anything red is supposed to bring good fortune and wealth to both yourself and your community.
A tradition loved by children, Chinese New Year is also the season of red pockets—a slim, red gift envelope filled with a cash gift. Treat your friends and family to this small gift and see their faces glow with happiness! Speaking from experience, although it does feel amazing to be on the receiving end, giving the red pocket is all the more meaningful. Moreover, if cash is a problem, a book of vouchers for back rubs or chores works just as well (or perhaps even better!).
Food is the key to any person’s heart (and stomach!), and this goes double for Chinese New Year. Asian cuisine is known for its umami-filled goodness and during CNY, the food tradition reaches another level. Try your hand at cooking some traditionally eaten foods, such as red bean soup, dumplings, or hot pot, and share it with your neighbors and friends to see their faces filled with surprise and delight. If cooking is an issue, simply purchase cheap but delicious Chinese dishes from your local superstore. Here are some of my favourites to try out: Nian Gao (rice cake), longevity noodles (search it up!), and Tangyuan (rice balls).
Titled the “world’s largest human migration,” Chinese New Year sees nearly three billion passenger-journeys across the world. Grown-up children going to see their parents in a far-off country, friends travelling across the globe to meet dear friends, and whole families connecting for the first time in years, CNY brings together loved ones and gives them the chance to it down and eat delicious food together. And that’s because CNY is all about family—something that your classic New Year’s variation lacks.
This Chinese New Year, promote this focus of family by giving, whether that means spending time with family and friends, decorating your home in red, giving out red pockets, or whatever else!
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