7 things to do before Chinese New Year

Published on Feb 10, 2015

With Chinese New Year just around the corner, are you ready to celebrate the festivities? If you're anything like us, you're probably still busy settling work or meeting deadlines before the holidays come around, and haven't started getting yourself or the home ready for CNY.

Fret not!

We're here with a quick list that you can use to make sure everything is more or less ready before 19 February 2015!

1. Make yourself look good

Chinese New Year is the time we meet up with most of our relatives and friends.

With more of the people around you getting to see that new haircut / hair colour / perm / lash extension / nails, your spending on beauty services is probably the most "worth it" during this period of time.

For those people who prefer to do these beauty services closer to the date,  check out our CNY article for a quick look at 14 hair salons that are running CNY promotions or have no CNY surcharges during this period!

We even have one of the hair salons BRANCHE Hair Salon @ Capitol Piazza City Hall offering nail services as well, perfect for those of you who need both your hair and nails done at the same time.

Don't forget about that eyelash extension to make your eyes look bigger for the next few weeks! Find out more about eyelash extensions from our special feature on what lash extensions are all about!

2. Update your Wardrobe

CNY clothes

Have you bought your red top / dress / pants / underwear / bag / shoes and planned your outfit for each day of the CNY celebrations?

According to ancient customs, red is worn during Chinese New Year to ward off evil spirits and bad fortune. Wearing new clothes from head to toe marks a new beginning and symbolizes that the wearer will have more than enough clothes to wear and things to have in the new year.

This year, I did my shopping early and bought myself red trousers from H&M, a red dress from Aftershock and pink shoes from Charles and Keith :D

For the late shoppers (like I used to be), a trip down busy Orchard Road / Somerset would probably be the best solution for some last minute shopping. But prepare yourselves for long queues at the fitting rooms!

Are you game enough to try out online retailers for your last minute shopping?

3. Get that Coveted Bakkwa, Pineapple Tart and Abalone fast!

CNY goodies 2

Whether you are impressing clients with Lim Chee Guan or treating your guests with melt-in-your-mouth pineapple tarts, it's better to get them early for shorter queue times and early bird prices!

If cost is a concern, we hear that redeeming credit card or petrol points for abalone is also a good way for you to stretch that dollar!

Are there any special deals this year anyone wants to share?

4. Spring Clean your House

Spring Clean

As people of often say, 旧的不去,新的不来!

While you doll yourself up and get ready for CNY, get rid of all the bad luck of the year and bring good luck to the family with a huge spring clean!

Put up your CNY decorations for the Year of the Sheep, clean your rooms, pack up old things that you use infrequently and store them away.

Don't throw away everything though. For items still in good condition, consider donating them to Salvation Army! For those interested, the Salvation Collection booths are located at these places: http://www.salvationarmy.org/singapore/dik_fts

You can also consider going to Chinatown or the florist to decorate your house with flowers and red Chinese New Year ornaments or chun lian to bring good luck to the family for the year!

5. Pay your debts and Settle your Unfinished Businesses!

Broken relationships

Other than spring cleaning your house, you should also look at "spring cleaning your relationships" to prepare a good start to the Year of the Goat.

Give that person you haven't talked to in a while a phone call, say your sorries and make your amends with the people you love and give that relationship a chance to grow!

Essentially, resolve all outstanding debts and settle all unfinished business to give yourself a fresh start to the lunar new year!

6. Prepare for Reunion Dinner!


Book your preferred eating place NOW if you are thinking of eating out... we hear that many restaurants are getting fully booked (especially the good ones)!

But if you are cost-conscious like me, remember to get that Yusheng, Salmon Sashimi and Huo Guo ready for a big feast. You only have less than a week left!

7. Get ready your Ang Baos


For children, Chinese New Year is always a period they look forward to because of all the red packets they'll receive! For adults, however, the practice of giving ang baos can cost you quite a bit!

If you don't want to appear too much of a stooge, the recommended red packet rates for Chinese New Year 2015 would be

  • > $10 for nephews and nieces
  • > $12 for unmarried relatives
  • > $28 for unmarried siblings
  • > $28 for own children

For friends and colleagues:

  • > $28 for unmarried close friends (if you have the practice of giving)
  • > $8 for Children of friends and colleagues
  • > $6 to wish anyone else good luck

So get your $2 notes ready. We hear that DBS and POSB have pop-up ATMs where you can withdraw new notes from: DBS/POSB – First bank in Singapore to introduce pop-up ATMs dispensing new notes this Lunar New Year

Apparently, they are located at 10 community clubs in Bukit Batok, Chong Pang, Henderson, Kreta Ayer, Kampong Chai Chee, Mountbatten, Toa Payoh West, Yew Tee, Yuhua and Teck Ghee.

If not, you can also get your new notes at all 58 SingPost branches in Singapore!

Better get those notes early before the queue becomes too long!

PS. We spotted a relatively empty OCBC Frank branch at SMU Concourse (for those of you who need the $2 notes without having to queue for too long!

Have we missed out any important custom? Share with us below!

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