Published On: February 11, 2021- Last Updated: February 18, 2024- 4 min read-

Everything You Need to Know About CNY 2021 in Singapore

Chinese New Year is almost upon us. Though celebrations may be slightly muted due to restrictions, that doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy yourself. From customs and traditions, to greetings as well as snacks and goodies, here’s everything you need to know about CNY in Singapore this 2021.

CNY 2021 Snacks and Goodies

Move away steamboat dinners and yusheng. The best part of the Lunar New Year celebrations has got to be all the delish snacks. It’s good to recognise all the CNY snacks and goodies you may encounter so you know what you’re being offered — and the amount of calories you’re consuming.

1. Salted egg fish skin

What is it: Salted egg fish skin is a combination of salted egg yolk and the crispy fish skin. Be warned, this is a highly addictive snack. Once you start, you can’t stop!
Calories: 656kcal

2. Almond cookies

What is it: Sink your teeth into these soft, fluffy and crumbly almond cookies. They are made into circles to represent coins and good fortune.
Calories: 530kcal

3. Prawn rolls/Hae bee hiam

What is it: Those looking for bold, spicy flavours will enjoy prawn rolls. Prawns symbolise good fortune and the roll signify wealth. It may be tempting to pop 2-3 of these delicious snacks into your mouth at the same time but do remember to watch your calories.
Calories: 537 kcal

4. Pineapple tarts/Ong lai

What is it: Buttery and flavourful, this tart topped with pineapple paste is a traditional lunar new year snack that is always a hot favourite amongst everybody. Its name in Hokkien (Ong Lai) directly translates to “Fortune, come”.
Calories: 427 kcal

5. Love letters/Egg rolls

What is it: Did you know that lovers used to hide messages inside these rolled wafers? Legend says that once you eat the love letter, your lover’s message will be engraved in your heart forever. Consider sharing this light and airy snack (and the calories) with your significant other for a smooth and happy relationship.
Calories: 481 kcal

6. Bak kwa/Rou gan

What is it: Roasted till it’s a deep red in colour, this iconic barbecued pork delicacy come in sweet little squares of meaty deliciousness.
Calories: 370 kcal

7. Kueh bangit

What is it: The sweet taste of the snack symbolises a sweet beginning. Those with a sweet tooth will love Kueh Bangit as they simply melt into your mouth.
Calories: 15 kcal

Greetings for CNY 2021

Besides knowing your Chinese New Year snacks, you should also know your greetings. We round up a list of Lunar New Year greetings you can use to impress your relatives and friends this CNY 2021, other than the standard gong xi fa cai and xin nian kuai le.

For older relatives:

  • 身体健康 (shēn tǐ jiàn kāng): Have a healthy body
  • 金玉满堂 (jīn yù mǎn tang): Abundant wealth in the house
  • 岁岁平安(suì suì píng ān): Everlasting peace and safety year after year

For students:

  • 万事如意(wàn shì rú yì): May everything go well
  • 学习进步 (xué xí jìn bù): Achieve improvement in your studies
  • 心想事成 (xīn xiǎng shì chéng): May all your wishes come true

For friends:

  • 财源广进 (cái yuán guǎng jìn): Plentiful financial sources
  • 一帆风顺 (yì fān fēng shun): Smooth-sailing life
  • 工作顺利 (gong zuò shun lì) : Smooth-sailing job

If you’re feeling adventurous, try out this cool greeting that combines the numbers from one to ten thousand: 一帆风顺 (yì fān fēng shun), 二龙腾飞 (èr long téng fēi), 三羊开泰 (sān yáng kāi tài), 四季平安 (sì jì píng ān), 五福临门 (wǔ fú lín mén), 六六大顺 (liù liù dà shùn), 七星高照 (qī xīng gāo zhào), 八方来财 (bā fāng lái cái), 九九同心 (jiǔ jiǔ tóng xīn), 十全十美 (shí quán shí měi), 百事亨通 (bǎi shì hēng tōng), 千事吉祥 (qiān shì jí xiáng), 万事如意 (Wàn shì rú yì).

This roughly translates to have a smooth sailing life, be safe in all seasons, have bountiful blessings and wealth and may everything go well.

CNY 2021 Customs

Reunion dinner:

The eve before Chinese New Year is when the whole family gets together to celebrate their love and respect for each other.

Yusheng/Lo Hei:

This salad include many ingredients like raw fish, abalone, shredded veggies as well as a variety of sweet sauces and spices. Diners have to toss the ingredients together and chant auspicious sayings for good luck and fortune in the new year.

Wearing new clothes:

Wearing new clothes symbolises a fresh start for the new year.

Exchanging mandarin oranges:

The bright and bold colour of the oranges represent good luck and fortune. When exchanging oranges, it is considered impolite if you don’t offer these fruits with both hands to older relatives.

Gifting ang baos:

Literally meaning “red packet” in Hokkien, ang baos are given during social gatherings like weddings and holidays such as Chinese New Year. Give or receive red packets with both hands to avoid offending your friends and relatives.

Wishing everyone a prOXperous and happy niu year! We hope you will enjoy celebrating Chinese New Year in Singapore this 2021.

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