Things to say and do to appease the super pantang elders this CNY

Because you don't want to be in their bad books during the long weekend.

Tan Xing Qi | February 3, 2016 @ 03:56 pm

Since we are less than two weeks away from Chinese New Year, it is high time you brush up on some CNY dos and don’ts because ang pows.

Most of us belong to these three categories: Chinese CMI, clueless about CNY and whose elders are hyper-sensitive about money.

What do you mean you don’t believe?  
i dont believe it

You better believe the wrath of the elders.

Here goes, the Mothership.sg handy guide to survive CNY without stepping on your super pantang elders’ toes.


1. For those who are totally clueless about CNY

Time to get educated. Nothing pleases your elders than doing (and not doing) certain things during the festive season.

– If you are giving out ang pows, please change your crumpled bills to the crisp ones that smells a lot like CNY

Why? Because out with the old, in with the new.

– Try to stay up as long as humanely possible during CNY’s eve


The longer you stay awake, the longer your parents/grandparents will live. There’s not scientific evidence but it’s a good way, albeit torturous, to show that you want them to grow to a ripe old age. Pro tip: go watch a midnight movie.

– Do not sweep the floor on the first day of CNY

Sweeping during CNY means sweeping all your good fortune away. This is probably the easiest thing for us to do because we don’t get chores and chores definitely don’t get us. Also probably invented by a lazy bum.

– Say something nice if you break something

huat ah
If you break a plate/vase/or anything that can be broken, immediately counter the suay-ness and the dagger stare from your mum by screaming “HUAT AH!” or something prosperous-sounding.

– Never ever wear black


Yes, you look slimmer in black. Yes, everything goes well with a LBD. But this ain’t fashion week. So dust off all the loud, gaudy red garments and give it a go. It’s a once-a-year thing. Do it once, do it good, fashionistas.

– Always distribute ang pows containing even numbers

The Chinese believe that good things come in pairs but never ever give one that contains 4 as it sounds like death in Chinese.


2. For those whose Chinese is really CMI.

If this is too cheem for you:

祝你猴年前程, 一个筋斗十万八千里,兼七十二变混世才学,具八十一种创业本领。(cheem phrase from here)

Or you prefer something different from the usual 新年快乐…

Here’s a cheat sheet for you:

Since it’s 2016 and 1 and 6 sounds a lot like 一流 in Chinese (read: solid, tok kong, best of the best), you can just say:

Carlsberg 1

Which means solid fortune…

Carlsberg 2

tok kong luck…

Carlsberg 3

and best of the best friendship. Easy peasy.

Or you could just wear this:

Source: TemasekClothings.com
Source: TemasekClothings.com


3. For those whose elders are sensitive about moolah

– Bank in your money during your zodiac’s auspicious window

According to a shipment forwarder (don’t ask us how they know), the best day to deposit money is on Feb. 4. And the best time? Well, it depends on your zodiac sign. (Warning: There are some unearthly hours though)

Image composed from screenshot of 65daigou's blog
Image composed from screenshot of 65daigou’s blog

– Repay all your debts before the start of the new year
pay money

In other words, be a Lannister. We don’t know the repercussions (maybe you remain in debt forever? Poor all your life?) but what we do know that it’s a good habit to repay your debts. Why? Because the lender is more likely to lend you moolah in the future if you have good credit.

– Give them a lucky charm during their marathon mahjong session

Perhaps the best way to score more ang pows, always present your parents with a lucky charm whenever they are playing mahjong.

Preferably something like this:

Carlsberg 4

So that they can drink and look at all the prosperous messages at the same time.

It’s almost impossible not to huat.



*This huat post fuels Mothership.sg so our writers don’t have to beg for a living (which is probably not allowed anyway.) 

Top image adapted from here

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About Tan Xing Qi

Xing Qi deals T-Shirts to unsuspecting Singaporeans through a roadside stall, which, ironically, is not a physical stall.


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