The Chinese New Year celebration is one of the most popular times for Malaysians to spend time together as a family; thus, there are many fun activities and customs to participate in. Like everything else in Malaysia, there are a lot of regional or ethnic-specific practices or traditions.
These activities are carried out as a proper way to welcome the new year with fortune and good luck. Some activities are done before the Chinese New Year celebration and during the festive event. Below are the 10 best Chinese New Year activities to do in Malaysia.
How Long is The Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year, often known as Lunar New Year, is a 15-day holiday observed yearly based on when the new moon is apparent.
What Colour is Considered Good Luck During Chinese New Year?
Two primary colours signify good luck and fortune during Chinese New Year, which is red and yellow. This is why most of the decorations, clothes and anything related to Chinese New Year tends to be coloured yellow and red.
10 Best Chinese New Year Activities To Do in Malaysia 2023
1. Making and Cooking Food
Cooking preparations begin long in advance because host families would likely be in charge of feeding a large number of guests over the course of a few days, especially because it is relatively unusual to cook or do any work on the initial days of the festival.
Given that it is one of the most popular traditional preparations, the arduous task is not as daunting as one might expect. Many families are looking forward to creating delicacies like spring rolls, dumplings, and steamed fish together as a family. Some families would prefer to eat out at a restaurant instead for their Chinese New Year.
2. Tidying up the House
Before any festivities can begin, family members will need to undertake a thorough cleaning process of their homes. This is where family members would carry out cleaning activities such as mopping the floors, wiping down objects, sweeping away dust particles and disinfecting surfaces in various sections of the house. These activities are done to eliminate dirt, rubbish and bacteria built up from the last year to have an excellent start to the new year.
Additionally, it is customary at this time to pay respects to the deceased and clean and tend to their graves. Cleaning may be frowned upon during the celebration itself; it is done before Chinese New Year’s Eve and can be continued after roughly the fifth or sixth day.
3. Shopping for the New Year
For activities surrounding Chinese New Year, shopping is essential. Around 10 days before New Year’s Eve, crowds are frequent in markets and shopping centres. The items typically bought include fireworks, firecrackers, New Year’s decorations, gifts, bulk dairy products, a variety of snacks, fruit baskets, different grains, or Chinese wines and liquors. Additionally, these are the best presents to give while paying your family and friends a visit during the holiday. Moreover, the wish list must include candy, peanuts, and sunflower seeds.
Along with purchasing gifts for others, it is traditional for individuals to purchase new clothing and other items for themselves as well as their families. Nowadays, many people choose to purchase online for convenience, and e-commerce businesses regularly host online New Year’s fairs with significant discounts and promotions.
4. Decorating the House
Families will use celebratory decorations to adorn their homes and yards, including red lanterns, red Chinese knots, and red stickers or paper cutouts of the Chinese character for fortune. The festival’s Chinese Zodiac animal will undoubtedly be featured in the year’s decorations. These ornaments and the overuse of red are customarily used to ward off evil spirits.
5. Dinner Reunion
The most important and meaningful event for all Chinese people in Malaysia who celebrate Chinese New Year must be a reunion meal together with family and loved ones. No matter how far they may travel, the entire family is together during this time to enjoy each other’s company and catch up on current events. Everyone makes an effort to return home to be with their families. Almost all of the food is homemade, and it may be the most generous spread of the year. Additionally, fish must be served because the pronunciation of the word fish, yu, indicates “surplus” in terms of both riches and household supplies. Most families may even choose to eat out at a Chinese restaurant if they prefer to go outside.
6. Exchanging Red Envelopes
Red envelopes for Chinese New Year are a traditional gift for young people or the elderly. Younger generations will get red envelopes containing cash as presents from parents, grandparents, and other family members. The quantity of cash in red envelopes typically changes depending on how much the donor wants to give, and it must be in brand-new banknotes. The crimson, red envelopes that contain cash are called ya sui qian. This translates to “suppressing Sui (the demon) money”. A safe and tranquil new year is wished to anybody who receives a red envelope.
7. Sending Chinese New Year Wishes
Chinese individuals will wish “Xin nian kuai le,” which translates to “Happy New Year,” to one another during the Chinese New Year. Families like sending blessings and greetings during the Chinese festival to their friends, family, and coworkers via phone calls, text messages, email, social media, and—most importantly—in person. On the day of the celebration, family members will often meet their visitors and wish each other well. If you are unsure about how to choose a greeting or are looking for new kinds of wishes, you can look through our article on the best Chinese New Year wishes.
8. Visiting Family Relatives
This may be the festival’s most crucial component when individuals who celebrate Chinese New Year will meet and welcome their family members and elders. This typically occurs on the first day of the Chinese year and continues during the two-week celebrations. On the second day of Chinese New Year, married couples will go to the wife’s parents in accordance with customs. Giving gifts, such as regional goods, food and wines, when individuals visit friends and family is considered acceptable. Additionally, their elders might give crimson envelopes to young married couples and young children.
9. Watching Dragon and Lion Dances
Most large shopping centres, venue spaces for events, and even businesses have their own distinctive ways of commemorating the Chinese New Year and hold public events up to and including the Lantern Festival, which is Chinese New Year day 15. These consist of religious observance, lion dances, dragon dances, and ceremonial folk performances. After spending a long time at home eating a lot of delicious traditional Chinese food, these fairs are enjoyable for the whole family and a perfect spot to visit toward the end of the festival.
10. Playing with Fireworks
In Malaysia, fireworks are displayed on almost every occasion, including weddings, new business openings, and holidays. However, Chinese New Year is when this activity stands out. When the fireworks go off at midnight, the air reverberates with the thunderous sound of firecrackers, and everyone cheers for the start of the new year. After this performance, which could last up to an hour, things will slow down. However, you’ll still hear the occasional firework every few minutes throughout the remaining two weeks of the Chinese New Year festival.
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