Celebrating special occasion while at home.
For those of us who are celebrating milestones, birthdays, anniversaries, or something else, such as Chinese New Year, our options have become limited during social distancing.
Just because you can’t see friends or family members, doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate full stop. You just need to think outside the box a little.
Chinese New Year
This Year is the Year of the Ox, and we have been left with no choice but to stay at home, instead of taking part in “chunyun” or attending festivals.
It’s not all bad news though – here are some ways you can get creative while celebrating at home
- Make (or order) some delicious food
As symbolism plays such a huge role in Chinese culture, foods brings lots of positive meanings for Chinese families at this time of year.
Dumplings and spring rolls are a favourite appetiser, and it’s believed that eating the savoury treats have financial benefits. One popular type of dumpling is called ‘the money bag’ because of its shape, and the tradition that eating dumplings is meant to bring prosperity and good luck for the upcoming year.
Fillings are versatile if you’re cooking from home, but your nearest restaurant will probably deliver if this isn’t an option.
For more simple, but equally as tasty dinners, you can dig in to long noodles for lasting life, accompanied by chicken or fish which are extremely popular at this time of year because of their connections with prosperity.
Chow mein, anyone?
- Start decluttering
Early February is the time many Chinese households clear their homes of things that have been accumulated throughout the year before.
According to this custom, opening up your space for the New Year with a declutter is the best way to invite new energy inwards. Conclude this with a lot of dusting and sweeping – it’s mundane, but the idea is you’ll feel much better for it.
Donate unwanted clothes and toys to local charities in your area.
But steer clear of this on New Year’s Day. Domestic work of any kind is forbidden, so put your feet up and bask in the results of your tidy new home.
- Gift red envelopes to family and friends
Red is the colour at the forefront of all celebrations, even beyond decorations. Send the loved ones that you’d normally celebrate with a small amount of money in a red paper envelope.
In China, it’s common to give anywhere between 10-50 CNY, which equates to around £1.20. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s the sentiment of gratitude that counts.
If you’re more a gift person, that’s fine too. Wrap a small trinket in crêpe paper and tie with a gold string for a beautiful finish.
Tangerines and oranges are commonly used for decorative purposes at this time of year, as well as for desserts and gifting.
It’s not uncommon for small orange trees to be kept year-round for this reason., Consider purchasing one to brighten up your work from home space. A tangible reward for taking care of it properly might just save it from the fate of any other plant endeavours (we all developed the lockdown green fingers for a couple of weeks, didn’t we).
Not into fruit? Now is the time to indulge in other treats instead. Buy a bag of your favourite sweets or chocolates and enjoy.
- Chinese Art and Crafts.
We have shared 2 simple ideas for children to create:
- a recycled Chinese lantern that can sit on your window with a tealight or decorate a tree, these can be turned into bird feeders afterwards.
- Chinese Lantern Suncatcher that can be place on any window to let the beautiful sunshine though them.