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Socially distanced CNY: What are your plans?

Another Chinese New Year has come now in 2021 riding on the ox!!

We embrace it with open arms despite the tough situation with COVID-19 and making it even more difficult to get together with family and friends. We asked a few LocalHooders how they will be spending this unique socially distanced Chinese New Year in 2021. Here is what some have to say… Nicola Cheung, American-Chinese: Being an American of Hong Kong origin, I look forward to this important festival. This year around too, I hope to be able to spend time with both sides of my close family. We will have a meal and the best part….receive the traditional Chinese red packets ( I wouldn’t miss it for the world) though my booty risks being smaller this year as we’ll be meeting limited people 😊. My favourite customary meal at my dad's side of the family is beef brisket with noodles which is so very yummy. Spending time with family which is also considered the word “filial piety” in Chinese terms.

Family is very important to me because I love all of them and thankfully it is mutual 😉. I hope you guys have a fun and safe Chinese New Year with friends and family! Enjoy the decorations hung up around the city of Hong Kong and do take tons of pictures if and when you do go out!! Remember to keep safe, keep warm and don't get sick as it is a more testing time. Winnie Tse: 1. Have a small feast with family such as Japanese bbq (also called Yakiniku) at YakiniKuu restaurant (address: 29-31 Gough St, Central) or fresh lobster (around HK$320 for 1 tael, enough for 2 adults) from the Centre Street wet market.

Japanese yakiniku bbq. Lobster thermidor. 2. Search for fairy doors at Bowen Road. Hiking during Chinese New Year holidays is a tradition which implies that one’s experience and work will be more successful each year. The Chinese New Year saying is 步步高升 (in pinyin: bù bù gāo sheng, in Cantonese jyutping: bou bou gou sing). Found this CNY-themed one on my last hike. Are there Chinese fairies living there?

3. Find FB-worthy places to take CNY family photos. The Wedding Card Street (aka Lee Tung Street) in Wanchai is on my CNY bucket list. The colourful butterfly interspersed with Chinese red lantern installations are reflected on the tiled pavements and move as the wind blows.

4. Search for some funny or innovative fai chuns aka Chinese couplets. Write some of my own with calligraphy resources and Blue Tack from The Star Stationery Shop (景星文具印刷公司)(address: No. 317 Des Voeux Road Central, Sheung Wan, near Sheung Wan mtr station). Be sure to have plenty of kitchen paper towels and bleach to clean up the ink!

Sze Yeen, Malaysian-Chinese: After more than 17 years living in HK, CNY 2021 will be our first ever CNY in HK. I expected a boring CNY2021 here. No family gathering. No house visits. No big feasts with family and friends. No black jack sessions. We told ourselves, the minute the 21 day quarantine is lifted, we’d be flying back to Malaysia. Well, I have since resigned to the fact that it is up to us how we want our CNY in HK to be.

Here are the 3 main things I plan to do:

1. Food exchanges within the Malaysian community in HK

Many are homesick and hoping to have a taste of home this CNY. I will be offering some family favourite dishes with fellow Malaysians. In return, they will offer their own family favourites. This way all of us will have a huge spread of traditional Malaysian dishes for our CNY reunion dinner without having to cook up a storm on our own.

2. Keeping up with tradition a) vegetarian the first half of the first day of CNY. I plan to make the same 2 vegetarian dishes my Mom would make every CNY.

b) Greeting immediate relatives on first day of CNY over whatsapp

c) To replace house visits, set up group family video call with different groups of relatives

d) Prayers for CNY blessing.

3. CNY hike

Starting a new tradition in HK since the weather should be great for outdoor.

Finally, Geoffrey Wong a local Hong Konger says: Under normal circumstances, all families under an extended family would gather at someone's place to give one and other well wishes, red pockets, and share traditional snacks and meals.

However, as much as we would have loved to repeat the tradition, this year we would just use group video conference to send our regards and catch up.

And instead of giving physical red pockets, we would just send money using electronic means.

Well don't know about you guys but red pockets, even though digitally received, should not be that bad, what say ;-)??


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