Chinese New Year in 2021 may not be as what everyone expected with MCO 2.0. Just a couple of months back, airline companies were offering great travel deals that many thought they could use to “balik kampung”. Nevertheless, we move with the times and this may just be a spur into the future of living. After all, traditions need to be modernised too. So here are 6 things you may just need to do (differently) in CNY 2021.

1. Use Last Year’s Ang Pows for Decorations This Year

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You remember all those ang pow packets, or red packets, that you stashed away after you emptied the contents or the zodiac sign printed on them is out of date? Well, you may never need them again at the rate everything is moving online.

So why not put them to good use? We may not be able to have the large scale gatherings that we used to have, but that does not mean our homes have to be bare and empty without the CNY vibe. With all the extra time you have now without having to waste time commuting to-and-fro the office daily, pick up some origami and start making pretty decorations for your home!

2. Familiarise Yourself With E-Ang Pows

Now that brings us to our next point – how do we continue our traditions of passing out red packets without being able to visit our kin this year? The answer is e-ang pows! Banks have been trying to convince users to give e-ang pows for years now, and this year they may finally just succeed with MCO 2.0.

Remember all those times where you had to queue up outside the bank from 7.30am just to make sure that you are first at the counter so that you can get new notes for your ang pow? Only to be told that the new notes are not in yet or have been given out?

Or perhaps the time where your nephews and nieces were running all over your grandparents’ or in-laws’ house, and you were trying to figure out if you’ve given an ang pow to that little one sitting in the corner.

With e-ang pows, our lives may actually be much easier now. The government will no longer have to ensure that enough new notes are printed for Chinese New Year every year, you will no longer need to queue up as the sun rises to ensure that you get your hands on the new notes, and you no longer have to try and figure out which niece or nephew hasn’t gotten a red packet yet.

All you will need to do is compile a one time off excel sheet of family members, get their banking account numbers, and every year you can just bank in the appropriate amount into each parent’s banking account for their kids. It’s life made easy!

3. Spring Cleaning With the New Norm

This year’s annual spring cleaning may just be a little bit different. Those who usually hire part-time cleaners may be more apprehensive of allowing strangers into their homes this time, and the more fastidious ones may just want to add one or two more items into their cleaning list in 2021.

The items you may want to add to your list of CNY cleaning shopping list this year may be Clorox (bleach), automatic air sanitiser dispensers, and automatic hand sanitiser dispensers. After all, it’s the Chinese New Year and the perfect time for new beginnings.

With COVID-19 showing no signs of slowing down in Malaysia, embracing the new norm in your home at this period would be the perfect timing. And anyway, these items make for good additions to your home even without that pesky virus hanging around.

4. Repack Your Xmas Cookies into CNY Packaging

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If you are one of those who celebrate Christmas as well as Chinese New Year, you may just discover that you have an extreme excess of Xmas cookies this year. Fortunately, Christmas and Chinese New Year are not that far apart, so all you will need to do is repack your Xmas cookies into the typical transparent CNY bottles with a red screw-on cover, and deliver (via Lalamove, Grab and etc) it to your relatives. This way your Xmas cookies don’t go to waste, and you still get to keep up with the tradition of gifting during the festive season!

NOTE: Do make sure that the cookies are still fresh and good to consume before you repack them!

5. Put Your New Found MCO Cooking Skills to Good Use

If there was anything that MCO in March 2020 brought about, is an impressive number of home-grown master chefs. From not even knowing how to turn on a stove, many a Malaysian who only learned how to cook because they were bored to tears, can now create some pretty impressive cuisine.

This is very fortunate as CNY 2021 comes about. After all, having home-cooked food for reunion dinner as well as on the first and second day of Chinese New Year is a tradition that we definitely should not have to forgo.

6. Enjoying Reunion Dinner the New Way

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Which brings us to the next question of just how are we going to celebrate reunion dinner this year? There are students studying abroad who were unable to reunite with their families for reunion dinner, have broken down crying in depression. Imagine this happening on a large scale now because of MCO 2.0 and COVID-19 – it is certainly tough to deal with.

Fortunately, technology which has a curious way of distancing the human race has also got a queer way of bringing people together. Organisations have always used applications like, Zoom, BlueJeans, and Skype for business conference call across multiple continents. And with COVID-19, schools are now conducting online classes with Google Meet.

So it is only natural then that we can now use these applications for our 2021 CNY reunion dinner. All you need to do is dedicate a seat at the table to your laptop, and then have dinner with everyone on the call. It’s easy, and it’s great. We may not be physically together, but at the same time we will be all together - and that is all that matters.

Celebrating Chinese New Year 2021 in Malaysia

We would like to throw out a reminder to all the readers on PropSocial to stay home and be safe this festive season. Do not attend large gatherings this CNY 2021, no matter how tempted you may be. Let us fight together to get our real normal lives back.

PropSocial wishes all our readers a Happy and Prosperous CNY 2021! May all of us be healthy and safe this year!

For more stories like this, visit the PropSocial Articles page.

(Written by Isabelle, 9th February 2021)