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Top 6 Gifts for Friends & Family This Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year is less than a month away! If you’re planning on visiting friends or your family members, or perhaps you might even be attending a Chinese New Year party – you might want to impress them with an incredible gift that will leave them happy until the end of the year!

Don’t pull up to your Lunar New Year gathering empty-handed; here are 6 ideas for Chinese New Year gifts that you can buy for your peers and family!

  1. 1. Fruit basket
  2. 2. Massager
  3. 3. Organic snacks
  4. 4. Medicinal herbs, dried seafood
  5. 5. Tea + tea set
  6. 6. Dried/preserved meat

1. Fruit basket

Prices start from: RM100

Fruit is everyone’s favorite food, and during the New Year, we eat a lot of high-calorie and high-fat pastries and delicacies every day. At this time, giving fruit to supplement vitamin C and fiber can be a very thoughtful Chinese New Year gift.

This exquisite gift box with fruits and flowers is visually pleasing, which will definitely make your gift stand out. Just remember to avoid fruits with negative connotations like plums and pears.

2. Massager

Prices start from: RM100~RM400

If you want to choose a thoughtful and practical gift for the older ones, a massager is the perfect gift!

Shoulder, neck pain and muscle soreness are quite a common issue among those of older age. Therefore, items such as massage instruments can be a great Chinese New Year gift. Let your elders enter the new year feeling fresh and rejuvenated every day!

Neck massagers, eye massagers, head massage combs or face lifting massage beauty devices are all very suitable gifts for elders this Lunar New Year.

Photo source: OSIM

3. Organic snacks

Prices start from: RM68

How about some healthy snacks during the holidays for a change? Nutritious and organic food is yet another suitable gift for Chinese New Year!

Organic nuts, dried fruits, whole grain beverages and the like are a fun and healthy snack to enjoy during the Lunar New Year.

If the elders aren’t particularly a fan of eating snacks, they can also choose healthy ingredients such as organic mushrooms, organic seasonings, quinoa, and organic honey, which is also perfect for daily cooking, making it a great versatile choice.

Photo source: Signature Market

4. Medicinal herbs, dried seafood

Prices start from: RM130

You can also consider sending precious medicinal herbs and seafood during Chinese New Year.

Common health-preserving gift boxes include bird’s nest, ginseng, sea cucumber, abalone, cordyceps and other precious tonics, all of which are very suitable for elders.

Before buying precious medicinal materials, it is recommended to understand the physical condition and health needs of the elders, and choose foods from regular sources and guaranteed quality.

Photo source: Eu Yan Sang
Photo source: Seagull

5. Tea + tea set

Prices start from: RM100

Tea is a suitable drink at any time and any place. During various traditional Chinese festivals such as the Mid-Autumn Festival, Chinese New Year, happy events and even ancestor worship, a pot of tea would normally be brewed at home.

Drinking tea can help quench thirst and promote body fluids, eliminate greasy food, detoxify and beautify the skin. Therefore, the practice of “giving tea and health” can definitely be considered a sincere gift.

You can choose a gift combination of tea leaves and tea sets for a thoughtful and unique twist for your Chinese New Year gift.

Photo source: Wisteria
Photo source: Wisteria

6. Dried/preserved meat

Prices start from: RM120

Gifts such as dried meat, cured meat, and shredded pork that are loved by those old or young are not only full of ritual, but also a New Year gift with a strong New Year flavor.

Nowadays, there are more and more jerky flavors on the market. You can choose from a variety of jerky with good taste and a full aroma.

If you are afraid that jerky is too greasy, you can choose this New Year gift box with jerky and tea, which is also a good gift choice!

Photo source:
Photo source: Wing Heong

You may put a lot of pressure on giving the best gift to your loved ones on Chinese New Year, but don’t fret – as long as you put thought into your gift, that’s what ultimately counts.

This Chinese New Year, bring your presents and don’t forget to sincerely greet each other happily this holiday!

Originally published on IQI Global Blog

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What to Do and Not Do During Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is a holiday that is celebrated by Chinese people all around the world. It marks the beginning of the lunar calendar, and is typically celebrated on the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar.

The holiday is a time for families to come together and celebrate with food, gifts, and traditional activities. It is also a time for people to honor their ancestors and pay respects to the gods.

How well-versed are you with Chinese New Year? Here’s a few fun facts about Chinese New Year that you should definitely know!

Chinese New Year Do’s

1. Red, red, and red!

One of the most well-known traditions of Chinese New Year is the use of red decorations, which are believed to bring good luck. Red lanterns, red envelopes, and red paper cuttings are all common decorations during the holiday.

2. Delicious, prosperous food

Chinese New Year is also associated with certain foods, such as dumplings, fish, and niangao (a type of sweet rice cake). These foods are believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the coming year.

3. Family reunions

Chinese New Year is a time for families to come together and celebrate. Many people will travel long distances to be with their loved ones and participate in the festivities.

Chinese New Year Don’ts

1. Sweeping or cleaning

Sweeping or cleaning on the first few days of the holiday is considered unlucky, as it is believed to sweep away good luck and fortune. If you want to do any cleaning, do it before the holiday starts!

2. Washing hair or cutting nails

It is also considered unlucky to wash your hair or cut your nails on the first few days of the holiday, as it is believed to symbolize washing away good luck.

3. Wearing black or white clothing

It is considered unlucky to wear black or white clothing during the holiday, as these colors are associated with death and funerals. It’s best to wear red so you can receive good luck and ward off evil spirits!


Chinese New Year is a time of joy and celebration, and is an important cultural event for the millions of people around the world who celebrate it. It is a time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the new year with hope and good wishes for the future!

Originally published on IQI Global

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Gardens by the Bay 10th Anniversary

It’s been a decade and Gardens By the Bay turns 10 years old and celebrates it’s 10th anniversary this year 2022.

GBB, in short for Gardens By the Bay, first opened it’s doors to the world in June 2012. Here’s a throwback to my first visit at GBB in 2012. See how much Gardens By the Bay has changed through the decade.

I can remember vividly by first experience 10 years ago in September 2012 – just barely a few months after Gardens By the Bay opened it’s doors.

There were a lot of people queueing to get inside. The minute I entered, a feeling of coolness surrounded me. There were a lot of beautiful flowers and plants to capture (see the flowery photos above).

My cousins and I stayed back till evening to witness the light shows. It was a spectacular display of lights and musics. A beautiful sight of the Supertrees lighting up in the dark night sky.

Gardens By the Bay 5 Years Later

Fast forward to 2017, I’m back here in Gardens By the Bay. This time it was in December to experience the Christmas Wonderland theme. The coolness in the flower dome and the Christmas theme went well together.

Again, my family and I also stayed back for the light and music shows under the Supertrees. See how the colours changed through the night.

Gardens By the Bay Another 5 Years Later

Come June 2022, marks Gardens By the Bay’s 10th anniversary. I look forward to celebrating with Gardens By the Bay in reaching this milestone on their journey.

Celebrating 10 years of growing wonders together! Share your moments of wonder and be featured in their Photography Exhibition along The Colonnade!

  • Submit your entries on Instagram, together with a short caption that tell them your memories in the Gardens and include the hashtag #GBBTurns10.
  • The last day of submission is on 31 July 2022.
  • Selected entries will be featured in their 10th Anniversary Photography Exhibition along The Colonnade.

Closing date: 31 July 2022

Visit Klook to book your tickets to Gardens By the Bay.

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Mid-Autumn Festival, Moon Festival, Mooncake Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival is also called the Moon Festival or the Mooncake Festival. It traditionally falls on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar, which is in September or early October in the Gregorian calendar. This is the night when the moon is at its fullest and brightest.

In 2020, the Mid-Autumn Festival or Mooncake Festival falls on 1st October 2020.

History of the Mid-Autumn Festival

“May we live long and share the beauty of the moon together, even if we are hundreds of miles apart.”

This line from a famous Song dynasty poem written by Su Shi, better known as Su Dongpo, perhaps best captures the spirit of Mid-Autumn Festival, an age-old event with roots in Chinese culture.

The festival probably originated as the worship of the moon among ancient peoples. As the nation grew in size and sophistication, the various traditions of lunar veneration amalgamated into a celebration of the full moon in autumn.

Before the Qin dynasty (221-206BC), it was already a significant date for the Chinese, who “welcomed the cold season on the night of the Mid-Autumn” and presented the king with fine fur garments. In the six centuries of the Han and Jin periods (206BC-AD420), there were sporadic records of mid-autumn celebrations but the festival wasn’t very popular, especially in northern China.

The story of Chang’e, the Chinese goddess of the moon, is one of many linked to Mid-Autumn Festival. Picture: Getty Images
The story of Chang’e, the Chinese goddess of the moon, is one of many linked to Mid-Autumn Festival. Picture: Getty Images and SCMP

It was during the Tang dynasty (AD618-907) that Mid-Autumn Festival became a nationwide holiday. Folk tales associated with the festival and the moon – such as Chang’e’s lunar flight, Wu Gang’s Sisyphean task of felling the osmanthus tree, and the Jade Rabbit pounding medicinal herbs to make the elixir of life – were popularised, and parties under the full moon became fashionable in the capital Changan (present-day Xian). Scores of poems were written eulogising the moon at mid-autumn.

During the Northern Song dynasty (AD960-1127), the annual festival was officially set on the 15th day of the eighth month on the Chinese calendar, a date that is still observed. According to a detailed description of daily life in the capital Kaifeng, “On Mid-Autumn’s night, noble families decorated their pavilions and commoners vied with one another to occupy the drinking houses to enjoy the moon.” They “nibbled on small pastries that resembled the moon”, with fillings that were savoury and sweet. The festivities would go on until dawn.

Mooncake Today Symbolizes Family Reunion

In Chinese culture, roundness symbolizes completeness and togetherness. A full moon symbolizes prosperity and reunion for the whole family. Children can be seen carrying colorful lanterns and walking around the neighborhoods.

It brings back memories of my cousins and I hanging lanterns in the garden.

Candle in the lantern

Eventually, we got bored of lanterns and played with candles. We’ll create dominoes, lines, and patterns of candles. It felt like lighting a birthday cake but without the cake.

The best was the bonfire. We’ll create our mini campfire and watch the candles burn. No stories, just silence around the burning candles.

Round mooncakes complement the harvest moon in the night sky at the Mid-Autumn Festival. The mooncake is not just a food.

The Mooncake Festival has become very commercialized. Shops tout mooncakes of every conceivable flavor, type, and packaging.

In addition to the traditional mooncakes, there are snow-skin mooncakes, jelly mooncakes, and ice cream mooncakes.

Mini Fisky Dragon Fruit Mooncake, Mini Shanghai York Dragon, Mini Fisky Red Bean, Mini Fisky Pandan Lotus, Mini Fisky Chocolate, Mini Fisky York Dragon, Mini Fisky Chocolate, Mini Shanghai White Lotus, Mini Fisky

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2017 Year of Rooster

We’re barely a month into 2017 and its already another new year – Chinese New Year (CNY) – life’s second chance. Therefore, I’ve decided that my 2017 starts again on February 1st… January was a trial month. With that being said, 2016 was the Year of Monkey and it’s no more monkey business; time for the real deal.




Being born and raised in Kuala Lumpur (KL) has been quite a privilege. This is because during CNY, I don’t have to be part of the massive crawl back to the hometown – wherever and however far it may be. The roads and highways in KL itself becomes devoid of cars, especially at peak hours. Its a breeze zooming from one end of town to the other. But of course, drive within the speed limits, because the car workshops are closed and the doctors are on leave for holiday.

The town has become a ghost town. Restaurants, shops, and offices have closed for the new year. Even shopping malls have become deserted. Shopping outlets – telecommunication stores, clothing departments, and cafes – have also closed for the new year. The only thing left open are the mamaks restaurants. No dim sum, wantan mee, and teh kecil in the morning but more roti canai, nasi lemak, and mee goreng for the next few days. Huat Ah!!

On the eve of CNY, we gathered together for a reunion dinner at my grandmother’s house (my mother’s mother). We ate poon choi (👈🏻  click the link for more info), which cost a whopping RM500++ per pot, and we ordered 2 pots of poon choi! 😱  So you do the maths.

From Chor Yat (translated as the 1st day of CNY), its the start of the endless reunions, house visitations, greetings, snacking, drinking, loh sangs, and reunion dinners for the next two weeks. I think during CNY, I’ve drank and eaten more sugar and snacks than in my birthday, Christmas, and other auspicious events combined in a year.

Its a joy to visit the family, cousins, long lost relatives and friends at a reunion or a house visitation. After all the CNY greetings and well-wishes; the yearly, awkward, and unavoidable questions pop out:

  • What are you studying?
  • Where are you working? What are you working as?
  • Where is your boyfriend or girlfriend?
  • When are you getting married?
    • Because the aunties and uncles want to reduce their annual CNY ang pow output.
  • When are you getting a baby?
  • When is your baby getting married? 😱  (Ok, maybe a bit too much…)

QuestionS time is over and when ALL the questions have been answered, time for snacks and drinks to quench the thirst.

*Stares at all the CNY cookies*


*Munches on all the snacks and forgets about lunch*

Credit: Sean Tan

After all the makan-makan, we move to the next house and to the next for visitations. The houses may be next door, down the road, or across town, but its worth the journey. The ang pows collected from as little as RM2 to as much as RM100 or more individually, are worth the journey 🤑 . Sometimes secretly eyeing the aunties who give RM2 ang pows in the Year of Monkey, or Year of Goat ang pow packets, when its 2017 and Year of Rooster.😑 😑  #doublekill

Nevertheless, its the festive season. Its the season to celebrate, fei-lo-ship, and be prosperous. Eat, drink, snack, and loh to your heart’s (and stomach’s) content. Happy Chinese New Year. GONG XI FA CAI!!!!

I’ve decided that my 2017 starts again on February 1st… January was a trial month.

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Christmas is a time…

We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas;
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

It’s that season of the year again. Here’s what happens during Christmas.

Have you bought your Christmas presents?

Christmas is all about the gift of giving. It is Christmas Sale! The malls are full, not because of the shopping but because of the decorations. We compare Mall A’s decorations vs. Mall B’s decorations.

Let’s not side track! We are prepared with our Christmas-presents-list. We go to every store to look for “suitable” Christmas presents. No store-hopping! Yet, there are times when there are some unchecked items on the list. So, we’ll just ransack the storeroom to find a justifiable replacement. In the end, we give something to somebody who does not need that thing. Seriously, a candle?

Anyway, it’s the thought that counts. But I think what counts is the money. Save yourself the hassle and give the present in the form of cash.


Have you put up your Christmas tree?

What are Christmas presents without the Christmas tree? Every year, we never fail to take out the old, faithful Christmas tree from the dusty storeroom. We decorate the tree with lights, bells, balls and stars.

Children beautifully decorate the tree. They put a bell here. They put a ball there. Nevertheless, they are told to handle the ornaments with care because once-broken-considered-unused.

C#, A flat. Rump, Ooh, Laa, $

To experience the true meaning of Christmas, you have to sing. Join a carolling group. Sing in tune, sing off-key, scream at high pitch, and embarrass yourself.

Go from house to house. Share the joy of Christmas. What better way to preach a message than to sing.

We want food, we want food because nothing is free

Need I say more? Eat and be merry!


Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas.

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