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CNY Visiting In 2021: Things To Do & Things Not To Do

11 Dos and Don'ts for a very different Chinese New Year.

11 Dos and Don'ts for a very different Chinese New Year.

11 Dos and Don'ts for a very different Chinese New Year.

First of all, let's not complain about the safety measures this CNY. At least we get to go out, visit our friends and relatives, and eat in restaurants, unlike folks in the countries on lockdown. As we dress up, head out, collect ang pows and eat pineapple tarts and kueh lapis to celebrate the Year of the Ox, let's not forget to heed the rules (eight visitors!) and follow health and safety recommendations. Here are 11 things to note about this year's very unique Chinese New Year. Everyone say Huat ah! , but quietly, and with masks on.

Graphics: Pyron Tan /

1 of 11 Don’t put out food trays to share among guests.

Laying out trays of snacks, sharing them and exposing your precious pineapple tarts and other food to possible germs and people talking over them can be risky, say health experts. Cover food and offer individual portions to guests instead.

2 of 11 Ask your guests to sanitise their hands when entering your house.

Ask politely, and most people should be fine with this, right?

3 of 11 Disinfect high touch surfaces like door knobs, tables and chair handles.

Do this in between guest visits, especially if you're welcoming different groups of people.

4 of 11 Wear a mask when playing mahjong or ban luck.

We're not sure shouting Pong! behind your mask would be as satisfying, but it would definitely be safer.

5 of 11 Consider not shaking hands and just offer a verbal greeting instead.

Get creative with greeting your friends and family. A no-touch handshake or a pretend hug, maybe?

6 of 11 Stick to the eight visitors a day rule if you’re hosting.

Eight visitors for the whole day, don't play play.

  • 7 of 11 Limit your visits to at most two households a day.

    Got a lot of friends and family? Spread out your visits; don't spread disease.

  • 8 of 11 Try digital, no-contact alternatives like Zoom CNY visits and e-ang pows.

    Yeah, it's not quite the same, but let's save the in-person touchy-feeliness for when things get better.

  • 9 of 11 If you’re having lohei in a restaurant, wear your mask.

    Let's all compete in the World's Quietest Lohei. *whispers* nian nian you yu...

  • 10 of 11 Consider not exchanging oranges.

    Instead, show your oranges to each other and take your own oranges back. Treasured customs can be modified in a pandemic, surely.

  • 11 of 11 Be mentally prepared for a more muted CNY and don’t complain — this too shall pass.

    Chinese New Year can still be a happy and joyous time, even during Covid. Happy niu year!

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