How to spend CNY if you’re not celebrating (and even if you are)
Updated: Aug 5
It’s Chinese New Year again, and everyone who celebrates is out and about visiting each other in their fancy new clothes and little paper bags of mandarin oranges.
But what if you’re not participating in the traditions? What do you do when it seems like the rest of the world is having the time of their lives?
And with COVID restrictions in place limiting visitation numbers, even the celebrating will find themselves with extra time on their hands.
Here are some suggestions for how you can make full use of this festive season!
Chinatown New Year Celebrations
Image Courtesy of Chinatown New Year Celebrations Official Website
Just because you don’t have visit duties doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the festive vibes! Take a stroll through - where else! - but Chinatown, and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds, from the majestic tiger centrepiece towering pedestrians at Chinatown Point, to the stretch of stalls along Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road decorated with and selling all things CNY related. You can also enjoy various activities online, such as watching a Getai, making tiger origamis with angbaos, and learning how to prepare an impressive “pen cai” for family and friends from a reputable chef from Chinatown Complex Hawker Centre.
River Hongbao @ Gardens by the Bay
Image Courtesy of River Hongbao Official Website
From the traditional trappings of Chinatown to somewhere a little more modern, enjoy the iconic River Hongbao at Gardens by the Bay this Chinese New Year. Usher in the Year of the Tiger with a sprawling display of 30 lantern sets from Chinese mythology depicting iconic scenes of celebration each with its own theme. Look forward to nightly festive shows featuring song, dance, Getai and martial arts, and even amusement rides for the young and young at heart! If you feel like having a slow night, you can always catch the performances live in your pyjamas (via River Hongbao’s official Facebook page of course)!
Dahlia Dreams @ Gardens by the Bay
Image courtesy of Gardens by the Bay
Maybe walking about and sweating isn’t really your kind of thing. Not a problem, because the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay has you covered this Chinese New Year with a brand new CNY display, Dahlia Dreams. Admire the beauty of 2,000 blossoming dahlias made of over 70 cultivars, and other festive favourites like azaleas, celosias, coleuses, chrysanthemums and cymbidiums. The floral lantern installations even light up in the evenings! As you take a comfortable leisurely stroll past the prosperity bags, red lanterns, Chinese pavilions and tiger cub decorations, you’re bound to feel the huat in your spirit!
Universal Studios Singapore: Leap Into Fun
Image courtesy of Resort World Sentosa
Had your fix of the traditional festivities? Ready for just a hint of CNY? Well then, head down to the magical Universal Studios Singapore to take a leap into fun with the thrilling rides and heart-warming shows, hopefully minus the usual crowds who are busy visiting. In the absence of the usual crowds however, Kung Fu Panda’s Po, the Yang Warriors and Master Tigress, alongside the Minions and the Sesame Street friends, are auspiciously dressed and present to greet you! Where else do you go to hear Optimus Prime and Megatron wishing you CNY greetings in Mandarin?
Beach Clubs @ Sentosa
Image courtesy of Rumours Beach Club Facebook
How about a trip down to the beach clubs of Sentosa? Escape the hustle and bustle of the festivities altogether, and book a spot at your favourite club. Every club has its own draw and vibe, but one thing’s for sure: regardless of where you’re heading, with the sun, sand, surf, and a cocktail in hand, you will find the perfect hideaway from nosy relatives, CNY jingles, and the concrete jungle that is Singapore. A holiday is meant for rest and recharge anyway, isn’t it? Do make your bookings quick though, timeslots are limited and everybody’s also looking for the break they desperately need!
Image courtesy of Graffit Art Jam @ Heaven Spot SG
Unleash your creativity and express your individuality with a trip down to an art jamming studio. In the spirit of the season, maybe challenge your partner to see who can create the best piece of abstract CNY art? Then you can both escape the same auspicious greetings, and the questions and conversations about school, work, children (or lack thereof) repeated ad infinitum!
Image courtesy of Frenemy
Maybe you don't celebrate Chinese New Year but you love the communal, social aspect of the festivities, and you still gather with friends and loved ones just for the fun of it. Or maybe you do celebrate CNY, and your cousins and relatives are at your place and you’ve run out of conversation topics. How about renting games to have a great time in the comfort of your living room? For example, at Frenemy.sg you are able browse through a wide selection of board games, party games and even console games to rent! Customize your rental with the option of the number of games, and for how many days at reasonable prices, and enjoy free delivery upon certain conditions. We don’t know who’s going to be the champion of game night, but we know who’s going to win this Chinese New Year!