Celebrations are pretty essential for the human soul, especially after a year like this.
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It’s been a rough year. We are almost reaching the anniversary of the global Covid-19 pandemic that has rocked the world. After all, it was first identified in Wuhan, China just a mere few days before 2020’s Chinese New Year.
Last year, the pandemic was merely in the peripheral of our awareness: a topic to discuss over the Chinese New Year gatherings whilst we lamented how a handful of countries had been quarantined during the Spring Festival- the most important festival in the country.
This year, everyone has been impacted by it in some shape or form. Now, it’s our turn to choose to quarantine ourselves and keep our loved ones safe from the risk of exposure.
Yet it’s likely because of how bleak 2020 was that we need a little pick-me-up during this festive season to keep our spirits up and make Chinese New Year 2021 one worth celebrating. After all, studies have proven that savouring celebrations, big or small, improved mental and physical health as well as built resilience to unfavourable situations.
Chinese New Year has traditionally been about reuniting with friends and family, but what if this year, we celebrate reuniting separately for a change?
1. You Can Still Decorate Your House
Chinese New Year festivities aren’t complete without plenty of decorations! Hang up those red lanterns and ang pau fish, but this year, consider setting up a festive backdrop especially for all the virtual gatherings you’ll take part in.
Find a nice corner of your house with good lighting and good internet connection, then hang decorations around it. Sure you can always use a virtual backdrop, but there’s nothing quite like a pleasant surprise for your family and friends on videocall with you.
2. You Can Still Wear Red
Sure, you’ll be lounging around the house instead of going out, but who says you don’t need to wear red? Even if you don’t plan on leaving the house, get some bright red loungewear or house clothes for maximum festive vibes.
In fact, get yourself a bright red face mask for the times you do need to leave the house, whether for some food or to pick up deliveries.
3. You Can Still Get Gifts
Every festive season comes with their gifts, and Chinese New Year is no exception. Look forward to big jars of delectable Chinese New Year snacks, fruits, and drinks showing up at your front door from friends and family alike.
For that matter, you may need to put in a bit of effort to return the favour!
4. You Can Still Send Your Loved One Gifts
We’ve all got that one uncle who guzzles booze like there’s no tomorrow. “I’m getting red in the face in the spirit of Chinese New Year,” he’ll say.
Now, instead of having him over to clear out your stock of beer, you can send it straight to him.
In fact, certain beer brands like Carlsberg are running fantastic Chinese New Year promotions, so you can deliver beer to your (or your relative’s) house with gifts such as a free game board via online delivery services such as Lazada or Shopee!
5. You Can Still
There’s nothing quite like a raucous game of Black Jack or Chor Dai Di to bond over, but how does that work virtually? Well, most of the card games are now available as apps that lets you play online against friends, so you won’t miss out.
Still, if you’re more of a hands-on kind of person, you’d also get free playing cards with your beer for that real-world feel.
6. You Can Still Help Others Or Get Help
There’s a saying, “being able to help others is a blessing in itself”. But life has its ups and downs, and some years you may be on the giving end of charity, and other years the receiving end.
Carlsberg understands that it’s been a tough year for everyone, which is why they are donating RM1 million in food aid to 2,000 families, with particular emphasis for orphans, single parent families, families with an OKU member, or B40 individuals.
They are partnering with theSun, Star Foundation, Yayasan Nanyang Press, The Borneo Post, and See Hua Daily News to reach 2,000 deserving Malaysian so that the most vulnerable can receive help from the ‘Celebrate Prosperity, Cheers For Tomorrow’ food aid campaign.
Additionally, they are also gifting another RM1 million in education aid through their partnership with The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazhong), which is open for all Malaysian students currently pursuing their tertiary education to apply for.
7. You Can Still Celebrate
During this time, it’s important to practice gratitude that you still get the chance to celebrate Chinese New Year- even if it may look and feel a little different than you’re used to.
Current technology has enabled us to still bask in the spirit of the festive season while staying safe in the pandemic, and made it easier for you to share the festive cheer with your loved ones too.
You can nominate a recipient to be gifted a whole year’s supply of Carlsberg beers to help them ‘Cheers Together‘ and Carlsberg will deliver the gift on your behalf. Simply share your nominees’ stories on Carlsberg’s Facebook and Instagram pages from 22-29 January.
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.