By Isabelle Huang
With Chinese New Year around the corner and the pandemic still around, this year’s holiday celebration will look different than the years past. For example, Chinese New Year Parades in many cities around the world (including San Francisco) have been cancelled due to the large number of spectators gathered during the festivities.
Traditionally, Chinese New Year is the time of the year when Chinese people gather/reunite to celebrate with their families and loved ones. In addition to the gathering, there are also pre-shopping activities involved where people head over to stores and markets and purchase Chinese New Year celebration items such as specialty snacks, meals, clothes, firecrackers, and holiday themed decorations, etc. These activities lead to big crowds which is not recommended at this time.
Chinese New Year is widely celebrated in many parts of the world where Chinese people reside. So the important question arrives, how can we celebrate Chinese New Year safely during the pandemic? Luckily, there are still some holiday traditions that can be observed safely. For instance, people can go on YouTube and find do-it-yourself Chinese New Year household decoration projects for their families to work on and display around the house. Although having large family gatherings is not advised at this time, but a traditional Chinese feast can still be enjoyed with our immediate family members at home while Zooming/eating with other families and relatives who live in different households.
One of my favorite Chinese New Year’s traditions is receiving the red envelopes. Which kid doesn’t like getting money? Handing out red envelopes can still be done as long as people wear masks when delivering the red envelopes in person, staying outdoors to exchange holiday greetings, and keeping a safe social distance.
Below are some additional facts about Chinese New Year:
Happy Chinese New Year!
Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin)!
Gong Hey Fat Choy (Cantonese)!
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