10 steps to get ready for Chinese New Year
This article covers:
- Read up on your zodiac’s prediction
- Repay your debts and visit Lunar New Year Market
- Clean up your house
- Stock up on necessities
- Order your Mandarin oranges & Chinese New Year Goodies
- Get new clothes and a new haircut
- Memorize Chinese New Year greetings
- Prepare your red packets
- If you are escaping overseas during the lunar new year, bring your amaze card along
- Or send money back home: Digital red packets
Congrats, we’ve made it to 2024. If you have not got yourself together for the new year, here’s your second chance – the lunar new year.
This lunar new year starts on 10th of February 2024 and taking the stage as the next star zodiac, is the Dragon.
Before you get too excited about the celebrations, here are some steps you should take before entering a wonderful Chinese New Year.
Read up on your zodiac’s prediction
This is the most important first step – your Chinese zodiac predictions 2024.
Your zodiac will stack up against eleven others. Most fortune tellers will provide information such as:
- Lucky number
- Zodiac that can boost your luck
- Lucky colour
They will also provide a prediction of the following:
Most folks will use this information to decide the colour of their clothes, nails, and even hair. And if your zodiac happens to rank bottom, don’t worry, just wear red to defend against any bad luck!
Some zodiac predictions even provide the date and time to start work during the new year. Talk about squeezing every inch of luck you can get for the new year.
Repay your debts and visit Lunar New Year Market
Debts are bad luck. Period.
Ironically, it does not include all the big debts – bank loans, car loans, education loans etc.
So, you can heave a sigh of relief. But do remember to repay all the lunch or dinners that you owe your friends.
Done with debts? Time to hit the streets and soak in the festive spirit with the new year market. You can find these markets in Chinatowns all over the world. The new year market usually sells decorations, snacks and red packets.
Clean up your house
Here’s one of the simplest ways to show you are a changed person for the new year – clean your house.
Time to go through all those items, have a feel and decide if they are worth keeping for the next year.
Sanitize your whole house and keep it sparkling clean – especially your kitchen.
Legends say that one week before the lunar new year, the Kitchen God will pop in, spot check, and rate your kitchen.
Like your yearly appraisal, the Kitchen God will then report his findings to the big boss of Gods – The Jade Emperor.
If they’re happy with your performance, the Gods will bless you for the entire year.
Stock up on necessities
The reality is that most shops are not open during the new year.
Depending on which country you are in, shops will shut down from 3 to 15 days (about 2 weeks).
Expect a surcharge from cafeterias or restaurants that are open during this period. So, stock up on your necessities and buy ingredients to keep in your fridge.
Alternatively, your trusty fast food will save your day if you run out of options – that is if you can outrun this diet.
Order your Mandarin oranges & Chinese New Year Goodies
You can’t welcome the new year without mandarin oranges. These mandarin oranges signify good luck and prosperity.
You’ll need these oranges to accompany you for house visits. So get them 3 – 7 days before Chinese New Year.
Besides oranges, buy yourself some festive snacks too. Examples:
- Pineapple tarts
- Bak Gwa
- Nian Gao
- Kueh Bahulu
- And more…
As if these temptations aren’t enough, expect infographics that put you in misery – educating you on the calories of festive snacks.
And if you went overboard with the snacks, don’t fret. You can join the crowd in the gym after Chinese New Year. After all, misery loves company.
Get new clothes and a new haircut
One thing that nobody bothered to mention is how costly the concept of New year -New me, is.
With all the information on your lucky colour of the year, it’s time to stamp that colour all over you. Of course, if you want to play it safe, red is always the way to go.
And remember to make your hair and nail appointment one month before the new year. Higher demand also drives prices up 10% to 20%.
If you are wondering, why not cut your hair during Lunar New Year? Well, tradition says that if you do so, you are cutting your luck away.
Another option is to get your hair done at the tail end of December or after Lunar New Year to skip those hefty price tags.
In ancient times, people lit firecrackers during the new year to scare monsters away. But with the rise of related injuries, countries like Singapore banned the use of fire crackers.
These days, folks replace it with sparkler fire to celebrate the new year with a big bang.
Speaking of the big bang, expect fireworks displays at the new year countdown parties too.
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Memorize Chinese New Year greetings
These specific lunar new year greetings are only used once a year. So, we don’t blame you if you can’t remember what to say.
Here is a list of helpful phrases to help you look good in front of your relatives:
xīn nián kuài lè
Happy New Year
gōng xǐ fā cái
shēn tǐ jiàn kāng
For good health
Nián nián yǒu yú
xīn xiǎng shì chéng
May all your wishes come true
Shēng yì xīng lóng
May your business prosper
Xué yè jìn bù
Prepare your red packets
People rarely give crumpled notes in a red packet. It doesn’t look good on the giver and doesn’t stick to the concept of “new”.
You can change your notes by making an online reservation and heading down to the banks for exchange. Banks also create pop-up tellers to keep up with the demand.
And the best part of this exercise – you can get free red packets from the banks.
Now that you have your fresh notes ready, time to pack them into the red packets. Remember to stick to an even number amount. Odd numbers are frowned upon as they are inauspicious.
If you are wondering how much to give? There aren’t any specific rules to that. Just give based on your financial considerations.
If you are escaping overseas during the lunar new year, bring your amaze card along
Getting away for the Lunar New Year can be such a treat! With no obligations or work to attend to, you can get away with some much-needed rest and relaxation in peace.
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Or send money back home: Digital red packets
Every Chinese New Year, there’s an age-old tradition to give red packets containing lucky money. But now that technology has taken over our lives, it’s time to spice things up by sending digital ‘red packets’ to family and friends. Sending them a virtual packet of cash is so much quicker and more convenient.
*rates are for display purposes only.
If you are overseas and you can’t make it home for the lunar new year, send money home using Instarem. Here’s why:
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*Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. All details are accurate at the time of publishing. Instarem has no affiliation or relationship with products or vendors mentioned.
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