This article is written by www.bbazaar.my (BBazaar Malaysia).
2019 is the Chinese Year of the Pig! The twelfth sign of the Chinese zodiac, a pig represents good fortune, wealth, honesty, and general prosperity. It also symbolises a hard-working, peace-loving, generous, indulgent, giving, and sociable person.
We understand how stressful it can be to prepare for a huge celebration like the Chinese New Year. From budgeting to managing expenses and making sure you’ve got everything right, you’ll need all the help you can get to have the best celebration. We’ve listed 10 helpful tips to prepare for your upcoming Chinese New Year celebration.
1. Get Rid of Debts
The new year is the perfect chance to start over. To welcome good karma, forgive anyone who have wronged you, or if you’re in the wrong, meet the person you’ve wronged personally to ask for forgiveness, return the things you’ve borrowed, and
most importantly, repay all the debts you’ve incurred — whether to friends, family, acquaintances, or even your bank.
2. Deep clean your house
Sweep, clean, and decorate your house as much as possible. Clean every nook and cranny. Open up all cabinets and drawers and throw out unused or useless items. Get rid of clutter entirely. Trim shrubs and plants or cut down branches for a tidier- looking garden. Start hanging the Chunlian in your home to usher in good fortune.
3. Get a festive makeover
Get your nails and hair done prior to the new year to avoid bad luck. Start shopping for red coloured clothes and accessories. If you’re on a budget, keep your makeup simple and natural. Keep your teeth clean and white too (with fresh breath); they’re often a good reflection to your overall hygiene.
4. Shop smartly
If you’re looking for special sales and promotions, a week or two before the new year would be the right time to shop. You can buy non-perishable items in advance first, for example, tea light candles, paper lanterns, or trinkets. For gifting, some of the recommended items include oranges, sweets, flowers, tea, small cakes, or candies. Shop for groceries a few days before the big event to keep them fresh.
5. Plan your trips
For city dwellers who are going back to their hometown, plan your journey well in advance to avoid being stuck in heavy traffic. If possible, opt to travel at night for less traffic.
6. Book yee sang feast in advance
Chinese New Year celebrations are nothing without a delicious yee sang serving which brings together the entire family or group of friends. There are some restaurants that still prepare yee sang in traditional style, and there are others which are bringing in loads of innovations in their choice of ingredients and cooking techniques to make their “prosperity salad”. For those with special dietary needs, there are some healthy options too. Remember to book your yee sang feast in advance.
7. Hand out ang pows (and know how much to give)
If you’ve officially joined the ranks of the ang pao givers, you may be wondering how
much to give when handing out ang pows to different people? As a start, prepare
your ang pows by considering how many receivers you will be meeting over the days
of visitation. Drop by the bank to get some crisp notes, and prepare tiered red
Your in-laws, parents, and grandparents: RM50 and above
Your unmarried young relatives (depending on
how close you are to them): RM20-RM40
The children of your more distant relations: RM5-RM15
8. Consider e-ang pows
As technology advances, so does the way people hand out ang pows. Even tradition isn’t spared from technological disruption with the advent of e-ang pows where virtual red packets can be distributed to contacts via selected banks and mobile instant messaging services.
While most would still prefer the traditional way, e-ang pows could be convenient, especially if your recipient is studying abroad and unable to return home, or if you’re travelling or working overseas for the festive season. They may be similar to an online cash transfer, but e-ang pows come with a touch of festive joy.
9. Get the right flowers and plants
Flowers make for great gifts for hosts or simply to freshen up your home. Some of the lucky flowers and plants you can buy for Chinese New Year celebrations would be marigold, flamingo lily, jade plant, kalanchoes, lucky bamboo, money plant,
oncidium orchids, peace lily, red cymbidiums, tangerine tree, peonies, and peach blossoms.
10. Recover from festive season overspending
Overspending during a major festive season is very common, and sometimes inevitable. If you’ve spent excessively on your Chinese New Year celebration, start going through your bank statements and credit card bills. Commit to a financial diet,
find ways to make a side income, say “no” to sales and discounts, and create a “holiday spending fund”.
We here in 2CENTS would like to wish our readers a Gong Hei Fatt Choy and a happy holidays.
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