10 Things We DREAD about Chinese New Year

Published on Jan 19, 2016

Chinese New Year may be a "festive" holiday but it is not an occasion everyone is fond of!

Here are 10 things we DREAD about Chinese New Year!

Read on to see if you agree with us!

1. CNY makes us feel most self-conscious about our (increased) weight!


You can escape from reality most of the year but Chinese New Year will bring you back on Earth with the need to buy new clothes, new shoes and everything.

Oh my goodness, I have gained SO MUCH WEIGHT?

It can be really depressing when you get to the fitting room and find that you can't wear the same size of clothes you wore the previous year.

Your confidence takes a hit one time as you try to find clothes that conceal that additional weight.

Then your relatives and friends come around on Chinese New Year and makes that dreaded remark:

Wah, you gained quite a bit of weight hoh?

Confidence takes a second hit.

So yes, this is NOT my favourite holiday.

(For those who've lost weight, good for you!)

2. Your Wallet takes a big hit!


Chinese New Year was great when you're still a kid when each CNY represents an increase in income.

After you get married, however, CNY ang baos can be a really big expenditure we would encourage you to budget for!

You can't be too stingy and give out $2 ang baos as kids these days may just go online and embarrass you.

And of course, you do want to give as the angbao somehow seem to measure the amount of love you have for your loved ones.

Still, the final expenditure may be substantial, so don't get caught off-guard!

For those who need a guide, here's our guide on Ang Bao Rates for 2016!

ang bao rate guide 2016 Singapore

3. CNY Surcharges inflates your expenditure for Jan / Feb


Other than red packets, you will have to pay more in CNY surcharges for hair salons, eyelash salons, restaurants, hawker centres, taxis, car rentals and more.

This affects Chinese AND non-Chinese, increasing all our expenditures overall.

But what to do... this is the sacrifice you have to make if you want to have the trendy hairstyles for men or fashionable hairstyles for ladies to show off during CNY!

Berry Red Ombre by Takuya from CLEO Hair & Make

CLEO Hair & Make @ Clarke Quay The Central

Luckily, not all salons are having CNY surcharges - we've collated a list of 25 salons without Chinese New Year surcharges (and may even have promotions) here!

P.S. many of these salons having promotions are Japanese salons so it is a good chance to try them if you haven't!

4. Queue, Queue and Queue


Due to the custom of giving only new notes in Red Packets, the already crowded bank branches become EVEN more crowded in January / February.

And then there is this strange custom of depositing money during auspicious times on Li Chun, making Cash Deposit Machines super uber crowded on 4 February 2016.

Auspicious CNY Timing for Deposit Money on 4 Feb 2016

We would therefore advise non-Chinese or Chinese who do not subscribe to the custom to avoid using cash deposit machines on 4 February 2016 itself... or risk the super uber long queues...

5. Crowded Public Transport and Difficulty Finding Taxis!


Chinese New Year may be a public holiday but it may be difficult for you to enjoy it if you don't have your own car!

Taxis are notoriously hard to get during CNY (even if you Uber, GrabTaxi... don't even bother trying to flag down the cab on the street!). After all, even taxi drivers are using the their taxis for home visiting!

MRTs and buses may be your only viable option... but you must just find them super crowded on that day.

Crowded MRT station

Even those with cars will find it hard to find parking spaces as cars go all out today for visiting!

6. Restaurants, Hawker Centres and Cafes Close on CNY!


Most of us are so used to eating out that the closure of food places becomes really inconvenient on Chinese New Year.

Even for those enterprising food places that stay open, they become so crowded so fast that eating out just becomes a chore!

Luckily, there's always Mcdonald's!

prosperity burger

7. Supermarkets running low on Fresh Food!


As a reader succinctly put it, people seem to be buying things like the world is coming to an end during Chinese New Year!

Even if you are trying to try your hand at cooking, you may just find that supermarkets from NTUC, Cold Storage, Sheng Shiong and Giant are ALL running low on fresh poultry, seafood and vegetables DAYS before Chinese New Year.

Worse, only 21 NTUC stores in Singapore are open throughout Chinese New Year!

You better hope that the 21 NTUC stores are close to your place... or you may not even have the chance to get your Maggi Mee or the higher end Prima Taste Fish Soup available for you during the CNY period!

8. EVERYTHING is closed = Boring Holiday


How fun can a holiday be if most shops inside shopping malls are closed... except for Cinemas?

We'll try to see if there's ANYTHING open in our next article but in the meantime, here's TWO hair salons we found that will remain open on 8 Feb 2015:

1) Art Noise Japanese Hair Salon

Art Noise Japanese Hair Salon

2) COVO Japanese Hair Salon

COVO Hair Salon

9. Uncomfortable Questions from Nosy Relatives


As home visiting is often a time for (not-so-close) relatives to catch up on your life, they may ask you lots of questions that are just so... bothersome.

Singles especially bear the brunt of unending questions about "When are you going to get a girlfriend / boyfriend?"

But Married Couples are not spared with questions such as "When are you having children? Are you planning to have your second, third, fourth, fifth..? Government is giving a lot of Baby Bonus you know"

when will u have a baby

Credits: Cannuck Facebook page

We know they are just being "concerned" or even just making conversation. However, such questions can be really hurting and at best boring at times!

10. Weight Gain from CNY Goodies and Reunion Dinners


Although food places are closed on CNY, you may not actually be hungry since you will be snacking on pineapple tarts after pineapple tarts, chocolate, love letters and whatnots.

Not to mention the multiple reunion dinners you actually go for days before CNY and days after CNY.

It is not surprising to find yourself putting on more than a few pounds in the CNY week!

The goodies may taste good while you're eating them but trying to get them off you can be a real pain!

CNY Calorie Count

Credits: Fabrications by Antonii

11. Chinese New Year Music isn't the most melodious


Even for those of us who grew up with it, the "Ding Dong" music that plays the whole day long can be headache-inducing for some!

Although it tries to bring out the CNY ambience, it can unfortunately be quite annoying!

Do you have any frustrations you want to vent about CNY?

Share with us below!

Related Articles