10 Essential Things to Prepare For Chinese New Year in Singapore

Published on Jan 01, 2021

It's time to bid goodbye to 2020 and welcome 2021.


For many of us, 2020 will go down as the worst year, and one that created a new norm, thanks to COVID-19. The new norm has not only changed the way we work but also the way we celebrate festivities. With the pandemic still looming over us, and as we welcome Chinese New Year 2021, here's how you can still enjoy reunions with your friends and family while abiding by the Phase 3 measures. 

1. Schedule your home visits

In Phase 3, group size for gatherings has increased from 5 to 8 persons. Households will also be allowed to receive up to eight visitors at any one time. Though this could mean that you might miss out on having your usual reunion dinner with your extended family or visiting friends and relatives all at once, you can still plan a schedule with your friends and relatives on whose house to visit. 

Home Visit Schedule During COVID 19 Phase 2 Chinese New Year

Set up a Google Calendar Account for free and have the different families share their available slots to make sure you don't clash. If you want to be super organised, consider getting a representative from each of your family branches to fill up an online scheduling calendar so everyone can fill in their availability and schedule to avoid any chance of overlaps.


Best part is... you know which relative to schedule a longer time with... and which to schedule a shorter time with!

2. Stagger your Reunion Dinners

If you are going out to a restaurant, be sure to allocate each day of CNY to a different relative so that you won't be dining in a group larger than 8 people. Restaurants will still have regulations so you should start booking ahead of time to avoid disappointment. We recommend using schedulers such as http://whentomeet.com/ to find a common time and keep the group meetings to 8 pax. 

Alternatively, you can consider having the reunion dinner at a restaurant with one group of relatives and organise another reunion dinner at your home with another group of relatives for a more cost-effective option. There's also the option of a virtual reunion dinner via zoom or Google Hangouts that will definitely allow you to host more than 8 people!

Virtual Reunion Dinner over Zoom or Google Hangouts

3. Find new conversation topics

With the ongoing pandemic, certain conversations can get pretty bleak, and the last thing you would want when welcoming a new year is to dampen the mood. If it feels as if almost every conversation you have is COVID-19 related, consider showing some fun Tiktok videos to dance to or even talk about upcoming food trends - like the new Whipped Strawberry Milk!

4. Book your beauty appointment NOW

Most salons will be busy during CNY, more so your favourite salons, and with COVID-19 restrictions, there are limited seatings in salons. We strongly encourage you to book your appointment as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Hair Salons with Promotions and No CNY Surcharges for Singapore in 2021

Furthermore, certain salons are having CNY surcharges that increase closer to CNY but lucky for you, we put together a list of salons with no CNY surcharges!

Best Hair Colours for Chinese Zodiac Sign (Updated 2021)

Looking to boost your luck? We delved into what some Fengshui masters in Singapore are saying about your zodiac sign and put together this list of auspicious colours that can give you the additional push in 2021!

Don't forget to complete your look with lash extensions! Seriously, this beauty service cuts down on your makeup time and takes your look to a whole new level. Beauty salons such as Flamingo Hair Studio offer both hair and lash extension services at an affordable price. Saves you the hassle of having to travel from one salon to another! 

Cheap Eyelash Extensions at Flamingo Hair Studio

Affordable $40 eyelash extensions from Flamingo Hair Studio

5. Plan your CNY look


It's been a tough year. No harm putting a little extra effort into your CNY look to make yourself look good. After all, when you look good, you feel good! Since we are still required to wear a face mask, why not make your eye makeup stand out a little more than usual or don a mask that pulls your whole look together. There are various trendy masks available that can complement your CNY outfit.

Don't forget about your children as they too need a trim or a cut to make their outfit look super cute. If you need some hair inspirations for your child, read more here.

6. Make your appointment to collect new notes

Bank queues are already long due to COVID-19 safety measures. For safe distancing purposes and reduce queuing, DBS Bank, OCBC Bank and UOB Bank have now made it compulsory for you to make appointments if you want to withdraw fresh bank notes!  Pre-orders will now open on January 18 and can be collected from January 25. 

This new regulation applies to everyone below the age of 60 but if you need to withdraw notes at the last minute, you can still consider to withdraw fresh bank notes at DBS pop up ATMs without making reservations. 

If you want to cut out the hassle of physical notes altogether, why not give e-Hongbaos a try this year?

7. Spring clean your home 


A clean home welcomes good luck, especially during an auspicious day. Take a few days to spring clean your home and get rid of inessential items that you may no longer need. This is also a good opportunity to donate items to those that need it more. When you keep your home clean, it is not only beneficial for those that live there but visitors that you welcome into your home too.

As the pandemic is still far from over, ensure your guests feel safe in your home by prepping masks and hand sanitisers for their use. Make sure you also clean up after each group leaves and before the next group arrives. A clean home makes your guests feel warm and invited!

8. Buy plants to decorate your home


Decorating your home with plants is a growing trend and is more popular than ever. According to a research conducted by NASA, house plants can remove up to 87% of air toxins in a day. They are not just for decorative purposes but can also boost your mood and general health levels. And remember what our parents used to say? Looking at plans can improve your eyesight too! Instead of staring at your screens, it would do you some good to have house plants. Don't you agree? 

9. Get new clothes


Out with the old, in with the new. Though it is a tradition to get new clothes for the new year, you can still follow the custom while spending wisely. Be sure to take advantage of CNY online offers. ZALORA has irresistible offers all year long, and special offers during CNY, as do local brands such as Love Bonito, Editor's Market and Agent G's favourite Lara'J

Another tip you can put into practice and test your fashion skills is to put together a CNY capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe consists of a small collection of versatile clothing that you love. Hence, you don't need to spend on different outfits for the different days of CNY. Simply, spend on a few statement pieces and pair it differently for each day! 

10. Learn new CNY phrases

Chinese New Year Conversation and Phrases
Chinese New Year Conversation and Gift During COVID 19

Source: Instagram

Instead of wishing each other prosperity with the usual 恭喜發財 (May wealth flow in), 2021 is probably the year where many of us will put health front and centre with more 身体健康 (Wish you good health) and 百毒不侵 (May you be immune from 100 illnesses). 

Otherwise, these are our trusty list of phrases you can always count on to impress your relatives this year!

For Happiness and Peace

  • 笑口常開 (xiào kǒu cháng kāi): “May you smile often.”
  • 竹報平安 (zhú bào píng ān): “May you hear tidings of peace."
  • 岁岁平安 (suì suì píng ān) : “May you have peace at every age.”
  • 和氣吉祥全家樂 (hé qì jí xiáng quán jiā lè): “Wish you harmony and joy for the whole family.”
  • 四季平安過旺年 (sì jì píng ān guò wàng nián): “Wish you four seasons of peace and a flourishing year.”

For a Smooth Sailing year

  •  心想事成 (xīn xiǎng shì chéng) : “May all your wishes come true.”
  • 万事如意 (wàn shì rú yì): “May everything go well with you.”
  • 鴻運當頭 (hong yun dang tou):  “great luck lands on one’s head”
  • 五福臨門 (wǔ fú lín mén): “May the five blessings come to you.” (Longevity, wealth, health, virtue, and a natural death.)

For Health 

  • 福壽雙全 (fú shòu shuāng quán) “May you enjoy both longevity and blessing.”
  • 身体健康 (shēn tǐ jiàn kāng) : “Wish you good health.”

For Career Growth

  • 步步高升 ( bu bu gao sheng)“rise step by step” (suggesting promotions ahead)
  • 事业发达 (shì yè fā dá): “May your career to take off.”
  • 升官发财 (shēng guān fā cái): “May you get promoted and receive a raise.”

For Prosperity

  • 财源广进 (cái yuán guǎng jìn):  “May wealth flow in.
  • 金玉滿堂 (jīn yù mǎn táng): “May your gold and jade fill the halls.”
  • 招財進寶 (zhāo cái jìn bǎo): “May you find wealth and treasures.”
  • 財源滾滾 (cái yuán gǔn gǔn): “May wealth come pouring in.”
  • 年年有餘 (nián nián yǒu yú):  “May you have abundance every year.”
  • 生意兴隆 (shēng yì xīng lóng): “May your business flourish.”

For Younger Relatives

  • 學業進步 (xué yè jìn bù) : “May your studies improve.”

For those who want a more customized wish, here're longer phrases you can use for the Year of the Ox. 

  • 一家和和睦睦,一年开开心心,一生快快乐乐,一世平平安安,天天精神百倍,月月喜气扬扬,年年财源广进。牛年快乐!
  • 祝你牛年快乐,洋洋得意;晦气扬长而去,好运扬眉吐气;阳春白雪漂亮,洋洋洒洒纳福;万事阳关大道。
  • 在牛年来临之际,我送你五颗星:福星保你富贵荣耀,吉星保你大吉大利,财星保你财源滚滚,寿星保你与日月齐光,爱星保你得到的爱天长地久。

How are you spending your Chinese New Year in 2021? Share your thoughts on BU.sg and on our Facebook page!

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