Saturday, 6 February 2016

Mission For The Monkey Year 2016

Follow These Steps — Confirm Huat!

Chinese New Year may be around the corner, but before you “bank” on those red packets, be warned: If you do not follow certain customs and practices confirm suay ka lao sai (bad luck until s#*t come out)!

Choy! (touch wood). If you want to play safe, here are some Chinese New Year hacks to ward off superstitions.

Mission: Clear your debts (欠钱还钱, qìan qían húan qían)
Mission: No washing hair and showering
Mission: Spring clean (大扫除, dà sǎo chú)
Mission: Stock up on food
Mission: Stock up on mandarin oranges (橙子, chéng zǐ)
Mission: Decorate your home

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The New Year According to China
It’s a Friday afternoon in Beijing, 5 February — the last weekend before Chinese New Year — and for a city that’s usually bursting at the seams with noise, traffic, smells, people and other forms of 24/7 chaos, it’s quiet, and almost alarmingly so. Offices are empty, traffic is smooth and there are seats on the subway. For once, everything has slowed down and spread out. Usually home to more than 20 million people, Beijing has wrung itself dry as locals return to their hometowns and foreigners fly away for the week.

Compared to Chinese New Year in Singapore, the differences in how the season is celebrated are remarkable. Singapore’s two-day public holiday is outdone by one of two week-long holidays in China (the other being October’s National Week) — the entire city shuts down for a week, though it’s important to note that such a lengthy holiday does come at a price: you’ll find yourself working on the Saturday before and the Sunday after to make up for all your time off.

What’s In a Name? What’s Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year, or Chinese Lunar New Year to the rest of the world goes by a different name in China. Most commonly, the festival is referred to as Chunjie — Spring Festival. The new year does mark the arrival of spring, and as negative as temperatures still may be, February 8 insists that it’s officially spring. The title of ‘new year’ does still remain, though sans ‘Chinese’; setting up a meeting ‘next year’ is more likely to mean next week than it does 2017.

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