6 Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year in the Office


6 Ways to Celebrate Chinese New Year in the Office

by Yi Ting
January 17, 2017

The end of year festivities has barely ended and yet another major holiday is around the corner. Chinese New Year celebrations will kick off in less than two weeks. Chinese New Year is a widely celebrated holiday in Singapore and it is a good opportunity for you to catch up with your employees and get them together for some team bonding. While you might still be packing up that last mistletoe from your Christmas decorations, it is time to start thinking of how to spread the Chinese New Year cheer around the office. Here are six ways you can celebrate Chinese New Year in the office.

1.  Decorate your office with auspicious Chinese New Year decorations

When it comes to Chinese New Year decorations, the usual choices are red lanterns, paper cut outs, Chinese couplets and inverted 福 (fortune) characters. Here are some of our own Chinese New Year 2017 decorations for some inspiration:

Red lanterns are believed to drive off bad luck

Hang a pair of New Year Couplets to signify best wishes for the coming year

To celebrate the year of the Rooster, how about getting some rooster-themed decorations? Beware of rooster decorations like ours that look almost like angry birds (as pointed out by some of our colleagues).

2.  Get together for a reunion lunch/dinner

It is a tradition for families to come together for a reunion meal during Chinese New Year. Considering how much time you’re spending together, your colleagues/employees are almost like your second family! This is a good chance for everyone to come together for a reunion meal, be it lunch or dinner. This can help to foster a sense of belonging amongst employees and help them feel like they belong to one big family in the office.

If you have the budget, go out to a nice restaurant to celebrate this reunion! If you prefer celebrating in the office, many food caterers are having special Chinese New Year promotions which includes the indispensable Chinese New Year dish – Yusheng. There are also other alternatives like having a potluck or self-prepared steamboat, which are more cosy and of course, wallet-friendly.

3.  Toss some Yusheng

If organising a meal for the whole company is too much of a hassle, a simple gesture would be to order some Yusheng for the office. Yusheng is a Teochew-styled raw fish salad, that is traditionally consumed during Chinese New Year in Singapore and Malaysia. The uniqueness of this dish is not in its taste but in how it is consumed. The diners must stand up and toss the salad ingredients high up into the air while saying various auspicious wishes.  It is believed that the higher the salad is tossed, the greater the chance that the wish would be fulfilled. While not everyone might believe that, it is still a fun and unique activity for Chinese New Year.

4.  Hold a party

For some of you who would like to ramp up the Chinese New Year festivities further, how about going all out to organise an office party? On top of having a reunion meal and Yusheng, add some exciting games and activities to facilitate team bonding. You can include Chinese New Year-themed activities like a lantern-building contest using red packets.

5.  拜年 (bai nian) in the office

拜年 (bai nian) is the tradition of giving Chinese New Year greetings to elders during the Chinese New Year period. The juniors will present their elders with a pair of mandarin oranges and some auspicious wishes, and the elders will present them with a red packet containing money in return. Many companies have adopted the 拜年 (bai nian) culture in their office, where employees will 拜年 (bai nian) to their bosses or managers, or even any other employee who is more senior in age. While it is not necessary to do so, there is no harm for bosses to present token sums of money in red packets to their employees for good luck.

6.  Send out customised greeting cards

Last but not least, a simple yet thoughtful gesture would be to send out greeting cards to all your employees or colleagues. It just takes a few minutes to send good wishes to your employees/colleagues and let them know that they are in your thoughts. 

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