5 Tips That Will Make You A Good Chinese New Year Guest

06 Feb 2018

Have you always stuck out like a sore thumb during festive gatherings? Work your magic during this festive period by arming yourself with some handy knowledge on what to do during Lunar New Year gatherings.

This month, Chinese people from all over the world are getting busy and excited preparing for the Lunar New Year, which falls on 16 February. Savoury “bak kwa”, sweet and buttery “love letters” and an array of special home-made dishes, are great complements to the warmth and good cheer during family get-togethers. These are all part of what makes this festival something that we truly look forward to yearly.


Having reunion dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year is an important part of the festivities.


So, what should you do when you go visiting?

  1. Enter the home of your host with a smiling face and say “Xin Nian Kuai Le” which means “Happy New Year”. You could also say “Gong Xi Fa Cai” which means “Wishing you a Prosperous Year”.
  2. Offer your host two mandarin oranges using both hands.
  3. Take the initiative to strike up a conversation with your elders and the other guests instead of just staring at your mobile phone. Having a simple conversation with your elders will mean the world to them, even more so if you have not been catching up with them in the past year!
  4. If you need a break from socialising, you could always tuck into a variety of new year goodies to help fill the time – and your stomach!
  5. When it is time to “Lo Hei”, participate enthusiastically by reciting the good wishes with gusto. Here is what you need to say, according to the order the ingredients are added to the plate;


‘Yu Sheng’ is an oriental salad made up of ingredients such as strips of raw fish (sometimes salmon), shredded vegetables and a variety of sauce and condiments used during the Prosperity Toss or ‘Lo Hei’. 


1. Fish – 年年有余 “Nian nian you yu” (Abundance throughout the year)

2. Pomelo – 大吉大利 “Da Ji Da Li” (Good luck & great prosperity)

3. Pepper & Cinnamon – 招财进宝 “Zhao Cai Jin Bao” (May you attract wealth & treasures)

4. Oil – 财源广进 “Cai Yuan Guang Jin” (May you have many sources of wealth)

5. Carrots – 鸿运当头 “Hong Yun Dang Tou” (Good luck is approaching)

6. Green Radish – 青春常驻 “Qing Chun Chang Zhu” (May you be forever young)

7. White Radish – 步步高升 “Bu Bu Gao Sheng” (May you rise steadily in your career)

8. Peanuts – 金银满屋 “Jin Yin Man Wu” (May your house be filled with gold & silver)

9. Sesame Seeds – 生意兴隆 “Sheng Yi Xing Long” (Wishing you prosperity for your business)

10. Golden Crackers – 遍地黄金 “Bian Di Huang Jin” (May your place be covered with gold)

11. Plum Sauce – 甜甜蜜蜜 “Tian Tian Mi Mi” (Sweet & Loving always)

12. Yusheng – 发啊! “Huat Ah!” (Prosper!)


Decorations bring wealth and luck during this Chinese Lunar New Year!


Now, you can beam with pride and bask in the glory of being the perfect guest at this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations! And, your host is sure to invite you again the following year!

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