TLN Loves: Our Favourite Chinese New Year Traditions

Things we do with the people we love.

The legend of Nian tells of a mythical beast with the head of a lion and body of a bull from the mountain to feast on livestock and village children every new year. The villagers lived in fear until one day, by chance, they found out that the beast was afraid of loud noises, the colour red and fire.

Ever since, we have been celebrating Chinese New Year with loud hullabaloos fuelled by lots of food and alcohol that extend late into the night fuelled by lots of food and alcohol. Here are our favourite traditions:

#1 Firecrackers

“Especially the really, really loud ones.”

#2 Lion dance

“We’d get a lion dance troupe to come every year. They’d jump out of the back of a lorry in a cacophony of cymbals and drums.”

#3 Reunion dinners

Image from The Woks of Life

“Steamed chicken, fish, roast pork and my grandmother’s jiu hu cha.”

#4 Tossing coins

“Every new year eve we open up our piggy banks and toss the coins onto the stairs. We leave them overnight to welcome in good luck and fortune.”

#5 Open-house

“Gorging on cookies while collecting red packets full of cash has to be the easiest money ever. Of course, you’d have to put up with questions from relatives you only see once a year!”

#6 Midnight mahjong

Image from Unsplash

“Sure, we collect all those red packets only to lose them over mahjong, blackjack and Chinese poker. Easy come, easy go I guess.”


Your favourite tradition

Chloe Pharamond

This nomad's natural habitat is napping under a shady tree on the beach with a book clutched in hand. She likes fresh coconuts with a healthy splash of rum, organic conversations that meander into the night and getting lost in new places.

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