Chinese New Year 2022 | CNY 2022

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Celebrated by Chinese worldwide, Chinese New Year is one of the most important festivals of the year. Spanning across 15 days every year, this iconic Chinese festival celebrates the beginning of the lunar new year and involves distributing and collecting red packets (angbaos in hokkien), enjoying public holidays, endless feasting, and more!

While many of our CNY practices originated in China, we’ve done things a little differently on our sunny island here over the years! Here are a few examples



It's believed that the custom of eating yusheng dates back over 2,000 years in China, to the Zhou dynasty. However, its popularity waned significantly after the Yuan dynasty and almost went extinct during the Qing dynasty.

This was originally a simple dish of raw fish and seasoning eaten by fishermen in Guangzhou to celebrate the seventh day of Chinese New Year. Later, Cantonese chefs in Singapore upgraded the dish to become a celebratory centrepiece at gatherings, to ensure prosperity in the new year.


In the 1960s, Lau Yoke Pui, Tham Yui Kai, Sin Leong and Hooi Kok Wai, otherwise known as the “Four Heavenly Kings” of Singapore's restaurant scene, re-interpreted the dish by incorporating colourful vegetables, peanuts and flour crisps, giving it more texture and depth. It was only in the 1970s when younger diners embraced this version, which caused the popularity of this yusheng recipe to soar.

The Chinese word yu implies “abundance”, while sheng means “life”. Together, it signifies the “abundance of wealth and longevity”. The ritual of eating yusheng is known in Cantonese as lohei, where lo implies “tossing up good fortune” and hei means “to rise”.

To learn more about yusheng and how to toss like a boss, check out our Yusheng 101 Guide!

图片来源: Urban Archiver - CHEF SIN LEONG (冼良) X THE JUMPING TABLES


Mandarin Oranges

The ritual of exchanging oranges during CNY visits originated from southern China, specifically the Chaoshan region and was later brought to Singapore by the Teochews. In Cantonese, the pronunciation for “oranges” is gam, which sounds the same as “gold”. Hence, the act of exchanging oranges and auspicious greetings with your relatives is seen as exchanging gold and good wishes with one another!

Impress your relatives and get that extra dollar in your red packets (angbaos in Hokkien) with our comprehensive list of greetings!

mandarin orange

Pineapple Tarts


One of the favourite festive snacks amongst Singaporeans — pineapple tarts! Pineapple tarts were created by the Peranakan Chinese and started gaining popularity in Singapore in the 1970s. The pronunciation for pineapple in Hokkien, ong lai means “prosperity arrives”. The snack is also popular with the Malay community and often consumed during major festivals.


Bak Kwa

Eaten all-year round, but especially during Chinese New Year — everyone's beloved BAK KWA! Bak kwa means "dried meat" in Hokkien and Mandarin. It's a Hokkien delicacy originating from Fujian in China, where the consumption of meat was a luxury reserved only for Chinese New Year.

Pork is preserved by slicing the meat into thin layers and then marinating in sugar and spices, before being air-dried and cooked over a hot plate. When bak kwa first arrived in Singapore, it took on local characteristics such as being grilled over charcoal, to give a smokier flavour. Our local version is also slightly sweeter than the original . All I can say is, Singapore bak kwa forever…

Need a shopping list on festive snacks? Feast your eyes on our CNY snack guide (which includes calorie count for the #fitspo amongst you) and enjoy the festivities to the fullest!

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