Miles Apart, Close at Heart: 5 Tips for Celebrating CNY during MCOCindy Banun
The start of the year 2021 is looking bleak with the announcement of MCO 2.0. Many who were looking forward to CNY celebrations this year are left disappointed as the interstate travel ban means celebrating CNY alone. Although not being able to go back home for celebrations is something that I have gotten used to over the years, I can understand how many people would find this news upsetting. However, it is something that we need to accept and endure for the sake of us and our loved ones’ safety.
Many of us will be sorely missing the hustle and bustle of large gatherings where we used to catch up with our friends and extended families, receiving angpau packets and enjoying homemade dishes and cookies. Indeed, CNY celebrations feel different this year without the usual excitement and anticipation of the holiday that comes when making CNY related purchases such as getting a new outfit and buying CNY decorations and goodies.
However, here are some tips to keep the celebrations going despite all the restrictions that we are facing this CNY:
1. Video Calls
Make sure to flaunt your best look with a good setup! Your laptop or smartphone should be positioned at the best angle to complement your #OOTD. Bad lighting can make or break your efforts to look good on camera so rent lighting equipment such as ring light to make sure that you look presentable at all angle. If you’re using your smartphone to make a video call, renting a smartphone tripod is also a good idea. As we all know, gatherings tend to go on for a while, so you may end up with a sore arm at the end of the virtual meeting.
2. Rent CNY outfits
The uncertainties that come with the reinforcement of MCO means that we need to be mindful about what we spend with our money. Rather than buying on an outfit that will only be used once a year, try renting your CNY outfit this year. This way, you can reduce unnecessary expenditure, reduce clutter and look good all at once!
3. Use delivery services
Delivery services has helped us immensely in these trying times as we try to reduce physical contact with others in public. Now, it is also possible to purchase fresh vegetable and poultry online and have them delivered to our doorstep. These services can be found on various e-commerce and social media sites already with numerous good reviews! Feel free to cook up your favourite dishes to enjoy with you family for CNY this year.
Delivery services such as Grab Express and Lalamove can also be used to send CNY goodies to your friends and family. CNY just doesn’t feel the same without mum’s signature dishes and homemade cookies after all! In fact, you can stave off your lockdown induced boredom by giving a shot at baking everyone’s favourite CNY sweet treat: the pineapple tart cookies! Here’s a great recipe that I found.
4. Go on a binge-watching spree
Nothing to do during CNY? You can entertain yourself by binging on movies! Bring back the childhood nostalgia of watching movies with your parents and siblings on the local TV stations. Remember those really old Chinese-language classical movies featuring Shaolin Kungfu and Bruce Lee? Here’s some recommendations. Want that wide-screen movie experience? Rent a projector and a projector screen for a better viewing experience. Of course, don’t forget to grab some soft pillows and a big bowl of popcorns and you’re good to go!
5. Sing your heart out with a karaoke session at home
Get into mood for CNY by turning your living room into a makeshift karaoke room. Buying an entire karaoke setup might be too heavy on your wallet, so you could try renting the equipment instead. If the thought of singing along to Mandarin oldies makes you feel like the auntie next door, then feel free to put on more modern music that fits your taste.
Overall, just keep calm and continue social distancing. Take care of yourself and be mindful of your own physical and mental well-being. Happy Chinese New Year to all!