Ah, the Chinese Lunar New Year, a time of family and traditions to celebrate the coming year and the hopeful harvest of abundance. But alas, we can do without the stifling gatherings, the strict codes (no black, really?) and most of all, attempting to converse with cousins, aunts and strangers you’ve only heard gossip about from your parents.
So to give you some entertainment after you collapse into a random armchair and whip out your phone, here’s some of the very best anti-social things to do at any gathering. Just remember to smile at relatives as they walk by, might as well keep up appearances as they criticise you.
Currently the world’s favourite app, hop onto Instagram this Chinese New Year and feast your eyes on the sights: an endless feed of girls and boys in their best get-up. Scroll and double-tap till your fingers start to hurt as you go down the timeline of girls in cheongsams, boys in well-tailored shirts and adorable kids in traditional garb. Try not to stalk too hard though, you might accidentally like a photo from a year ago with your fingers twitching from exertion.
Tweet About Your Relatives
Let’s face it, you’re not about to throw out that saucy insult you thought up. So to save some face and release some of that impotent rage, tweet your savage remark so that your followers may enjoy it. Now you can feel good with a small moral victory after your uncle throws shade at your relationship status. Join all your other friends stuck in awkward settings as you guys trade snarky comments about your relatives and visitors.
Gorge, Gorge, Gorge
We all know our favourite thing at Chinese New Year. Money might be nice but currency is temporary: flavour is forever. Help yourself to the many jars of goodies and snack like almond cookies, shrimp rolls, jellies and best of all, bak hwa. It’s the time of the year to celebrate abundance so have no shame as your shovel foods down your throat. It’ll at least make time pass as the gambling and mahjong continue past midnight.
Gauge Your Ang Bao Thickness
This is just about the only reason you left your room to attend the gathering. You want the greet the relatives, wish them a happy new year and reap the profit of your niceties when they dole out the red packets. But it’s incredibly impolite to tear open the fragile envelopes right there and then. Plus, your mum will tut really loudly and deliver you her signature death glare. So you’ll have to sate your intrigue at how thrifty your grandma is by gauging the thickness then making a calculated guess of how many $2 notes are in there. Save the totalling up for when you eventually get home.
Enjoy The CNY Sales
In case you didn’t know, Steam and Google Play both have Chinese New Year sales. So you can immediately spend your ang bao money and drop it all into many, many video game titles. Give Steam even more of your money as your amass a ever-growing collection of unplayed games. And now, you can give all your money to Google too so that every commute home will be occupied with mobile games (that aren’t Clash Of Clans or Candy Crush, please).
Photos courtesy of Irangilaneh (Wiki Commons)