Things To Do During Chinese New Year 2021
Chinese New Year is coming around the corner and we have some activity ideas to ensure that you and your family can have a fun-filled festive holiday despite the COVID-19 restrictions. We have also included some updates on changes to events so that you will not be kept out of the loop.
Games are a great way to bond and have fun with your friends and family. During special occasions such as Chinese New Year, people feel prosperous from collecting red packets and like to put the money to use. Thus, betting is a common occurrence seen in games during in Chinese New Year. Here are the two common games played.
Mahjong is one of the oldest gambling games and the elderly love to play it. It is played during Chinese New Year as it is the time when friends and family come over, so they can fill up the number of players required, which is four The game is also an extension of friendship and a way of bonding.
The game starts by having each player draw 13 tiles and roll the dice to determine who starts first. Players take turns to draw and discard tiles until they can form four suits and a pair to win. The various suits are chi (吃), pong (碰) and gong (杠). A pair can be formed with any two of the same tiles. The duration of the game is long, as each game has 16 rounds. One can bet in this game too and the amount depends on the players. If the player takes the winning tile from the wall, then everyone must pay the winner. If the tile is drawn from the discarded tiles, then the player who discarded it must pay the winner. However, if the wall is depleted and nobody takes a winning tile from there, nobody gets any money.
Ban Luck is another popular game that is relatively simple to play. Every player gets two cards and may take turns to add more cards to their hand. The objective is to gather cards that add up closer to 21 than the dealer, without exceeding 21. If players succeed in doing so, the dealer will have to pay the winners according to the amount they bet with. However, if the players fail, they will have to pay the dealer. The number of points for the different cards are as follows:
2-9: the value displayed on the card
10, J, Q, K: 10 points each
Ace: 1 or 11
If you get an ACE plus a 10, J, Q, or K, you’d win twice the bet amount.
If you get 2 ACEs, you’d win thrice the bet amount.
If you get 3 of the number “7”, you’d win seven times the bet amount.
If you get 5 cards without going over a total score of 21, you’d get twice the bet amount.
Art crafts are another great activity to get into the festive mood. You can also make them in the comfort of your homes if you are holding a virtual Chinese New Year celebration with your family this year.
Fu (福) paper decoration
What you need:
- Square red paper
- Sharp scissors and a craft knife
- Black brush marker
- Ensure that your paper has a square shape. Rotate the paper 45 degrees such that it looks like a diamond shape.
- Ensure that the red side of the paper is facing you.
- Fold the diamond into half, from left over to right.
- Fold the triangle from bottom to up, to make an even smaller triangle. It is now a right-angled triangle.
- Take both the flaps at the left corner and fold down to the right corner, ensure that they fit perfectly and form a triangle.
- Orientate it such that you will feel the “backbone”, or the thicker side of the paper positioned on the top. It forms a right-angled triangle.
- Draw your designs along the sides of the vertical drop. Please do not draw on the side of the backbone or the hypotenuse. Staple the drawing side so that you can cut it uniformly later.
- Use the scissors and the craft knife to carve out the design.
- Open the paper to reveal a beautifully carved design.
- Rotate the paper 45 degrees into a diamond shape. Draw the word fu (福) in the middle of the red side of the paper. Your paper cutting is completed.
This craft is specially designed for children as it just requires folding and simple cutting.
What you need:
- A sheet of red paper
- Glue or double sided tape
- Optional: Tealight candles or fairy candles if you want to illuminate the lanterns.
- Lay your paper in a landscape mode on the table. Flip the bottom part of the paper up, folding it exactly in half.
- Draw a line across the longer side of the paper (the side where it is not folded). The line should be drawn 2cm down from the edge of the paper.
- From the folded side at the bottom, cut strips of about 1.5cm wide upwards until the drawn line.
- Do so for the rest of the length of the paper. Try to make the strip the same width.
- Open the paper and paste the two sides (breadth) together such that it looks like a cylinder and pull out the strips to puff up the lantern.
- This is optional, but you can insert a candle inside the lantern to make a good table display or hang it up alongside fairy lights.
2021’s Chingay parade will be slightly different than usual, because it is going digital. One will be able to catch this parade on 20 February 2021, from 8pm-9pm on local television or on the internet. As the performances are streamed online, admission is free for all.
The Chingay parade is a street parade where there will be dancers, performers, stilt walkers, wushu masters walking or dancing across the street. It is a festive event where there will be a lot of light displays and special street floats with unique designs moving across a street, like a procession. The dancers will also be donned with unique costumes and headgears and perform their different cultural dance. This year, there will also be a 200m long firecracker and a jaw-dropping display of lasers, lights, and fireworks. Not only that, there will be lion dance performances featuring 100 lions from 10 countries worldwide, performing through videos. Hence, be sure to tune in to the online Chingay event this year in the comfort of your homes.
River Hong Bao
River Hong Bao is a spectacular event with acrobatic performances, foreign singers, and artists who perform on the Marina Bay floating platform. Usually, there will be carnival games and rides such as Ferris wheels and spinning teacups, and big Chinese lantern displays for viewing. At night, fireworks and laser displays will be put up at 9pm. There are also stalls selling Chinese artwork and crafts such as calligraphy and paper cutting. Food stalls selling Chinese dishes are also available in case you’re hungry. However, the date of this event for this year has not been released, although it normally occurs before Chinese New Year.
Wan Qing Festival of Spring at Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall
The Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall offers a series of activities for families such as an installation called “Double Prosperity” featuring two “Foo Dog Guardian Lions. The exhibition is about thanksgiving and blessings for protection against the COVID-19 pandemic. The admission is free of charge and is showcased from 5 January to 28 February 2021. The memorial hall also offers activities for children such as a Lion Dance Workshop and a Chinese Drum Workshop which costs $10 each and is held on 20 and 21 February 2021. For those who prefer to stay at home, they have online programmes that teach you how to make nian gao at home, as well as tips on how to bring good luck into your homes.
Unfortunately, there will no longer be a Chinese New Year Bazaar at Chinatown this year. This is due to the coronavirus pandemic which poses constraints on crowd control.
Thus, this Chinese New Year yu could do your Chinese New Year shopping at your neighbourhood markets or online, such as our website cnycookie.sg. We provide a wide selection of cookies and snacks that caters to every tastebud. Our bakes are also halal (except for tempeh chips) and are handmade, so you can be sure that you are getting premium quality cookies. With that, we thank you for patronizing us and we wish you a blessed Chinese New Year!