Chinese New Year might be the most chaotic holiday in S’pore. Here’s how to make the best of it.

Rest a little easier with foodpanda.

| Andrew Koay | Sponsored | February 02, 2024, 01:59 PM

I’m not one for last-minute surprises.

After all, most will agree that rushing around all hot and bothered is not fun.

Given that Singapore is already a pressure cooker of stress and urgency, I try to do all I can to take it slow in my private life.

Yet when it comes to Chinese New Year (CNY), it seems like scrambling might be the default disposition.

Like many festive seasons across cultures, the CNY period feels akin to a mad dash between visitings and hostings, from steamboat to steamboat.

But apart from the regular hustle and bustle, CNY is notorious for throwing bolts out of the blue at your schedule.

Here are five common scenarios every Singaporean celebrating the festive season should pre-empt themselves to face:

1. The surprise visit from distant relatives

It’s the middle of the afternoon, and you’ve already eaten lunch.

A food coma is settling in and you’re sinking into your couch when all of a sudden your phone lights up with messages in the extended family WhatsApp chat.

It’s your mother’s brother’s cousin's uncle, and he’s decided that since he and his family are in the neighbourhood, they want to drop by and pay your household a visit.

The only problem? You’ve just finished the last of your CNY snacks and there’s only Bandung packet drinks left, something your lactose-intolerant distant relative will happily consume at the expense of your toilet.

You’ll want to speed-scroll through pandamart for some CNY snacks, non-dairy products, and maybe extra toilet paper and air-freshener while you’re at it.

2. The surprise visit to distant relatives

This scenario is pretty much like the previous one, except from the opposite perspective.

You’ve finished visiting your aunty, and your father decides that it’s an opportune time to tick off a visit to his grandfather’s brother.

The problem is that your mother is all about “maintaining face” and hasn’t prepared a hamper for your granduncle.

The ensuing argument between your parents about the merits of this last-minute visit threatens to tear apart the very fabric of the family unit.

3. Friends bring over an unexpected plus-one… or two… or three…

CNY is always a good time to catch up with friends that you may not have time to see regularly.

But as you get ready to host a reunion dinner at your place, keep in mind that a lot of time has passed since you last saw these friends.

Was the previous CNY really the last time you had seen them?

A lot can happen in a year - like falling in love perhaps.

So don’t be caught off guard if your friends suddenly bring over their significant others to your place.

Remember to have more than enough food catered — or at the very least, the foodpanda app on hand.

Chinese New Year steamboat Image by Cera via Unsplash

4. The Uncle who eats twice his share

We all have that one relative – let’s be honest, it’s most likely an uncle – who enjoys food maybe a bit too much.

This uncle is prone to sharing his opinions on what dishes are good, and which are not cooked to his liking, along with a laundry list of advice on how to improve them.

He’s keen on the prime cuts of meat and complains about the cheaper crowd pleasers.

But when it comes down to it, he’s also the one rushing to plate up without care if everyone else has enough to eat. And boy, does he pile the food onto his plate.

There’s not much you can do if your uncle has decided he’s going to attempt a Guinness World Record for most food eaten at a reunion dinner, except sit back and enjoy the ride.

5. The friend with dietary restrictions

In the past few years, I’ve had a couple of friends declare themselves averse to gluten, while environmental concerns have pushed some to adopt meat-free diets.

My friends aside, I’m sure many Singaporeans also have diets dictated by religious beliefs.

If you’re hosting a CNY meal, you’ll want to be sensitive to these restrictions.

Otherwise, one or two of your friends might find themselves awkwardly sitting to one side, with a rumbling stomach.

Solutions to unpredictable problems

Sometimes in life, there’s just no way you can be prepared for everything.

A period like CNY is just too chaotic and unpredictable.

Thankfully with foodpanda, you don’t have to constantly stress about covering all your bases.

Chinese New Year food Image by Bytes for Food via Unsplash

A last-minute visit to a relative’s house with no time to stop by an open supermarket?

Ensure you’re not showing up empty-handed by ordering from stores like Wing Joo Loong and Eu Yan Sang through foodpanda’s online retail marketplace, foodpanda shops, and getting the gifts delivered to wherever you are.

Live in a new estate with limited access to groceries? Stock up for the festivities through pandamart.

A surprise influx of guests causing a shortage of food? Use foodpanda to get what you need delivered right to your doorstep.

Like I said, you can’t prepare for everything this CNY. But with foodpanda, you can rest a little easier.

If not, you can just get an extra helping of bak kwa from Fragrance delivered to you by foodpanda to help you cope.

Up until Feb. 29, 2024, enjoy up to 58 per cent off from selected restaurants (like Pizza Hut, Wingstop, Cedele, Lao Huo Tang Restaurant) on foodpanda.

All your festive essentials will be delivered within an hour and you will also get free Pau-Pau ang paos from pandamart; available for a limited time only and while stocks last.

Simply add to cart before your check out. Limited to one per order.

foodpanda's angpaos Image from foodpanda

Writing this foodpanda-sponsored article made this writer break out in cold sweat a little.

Top image from Jeyakumaran Mayooresan via Unsplash