Tuesday Feb 7, 2023
Tuesday Feb 7, 2023

Modified Chinese New Year celebration in Singapore amid pandemic

2021 Feb 15, 17:43, SINGAPORE
Red Lanterns for Chinese Lunar New Year Photo Courtesy: Chong Voon Chung/Xinhua

As the COVID-19 pandemic has altered many aspects of the daily lives in Singapore, this year the celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year is no exception.

The Chinese Lunar New Year is undoubtedly one of the most important festivals in Singapore, with about 74 percent of its citizens and Permanent Residents being people of Chinese origin. Amid concern that the local infected cases would be on the rise in wake of the family and friend reunions and celebrative activities during the festive season, the government has rolled out a number of restrictive measures. Consequently, this year's Chinese Lunar New Year are marked somewhat differently.

For Li Yan, an overseas Chinese, this year's celebrations became simplified. His parents and relatives live in China, but his wife's parents and relatives are all in Singapore. His father-in-law has six siblings.

Li and his wife, who is a math teacher at a middle school, used to spend the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays by hosting his wife's parents and relatives at their house and visiting the relatives' houses later. The party would begin from 11 a.m. and last until 3 p.m. local time to cater to the guests, he said.

Due to the government's imposition that each household would receive eight visitors per day and each person can only visit two households a day, however, the Li couple decided this year not to invite the wife's relatives over for lunch and not to visit their houses either.

For those who did gather together, things were not exactly the same.

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