Why Chinese New Year is More Than Just About Giving Ang Pows

Lesley Teoh

Sure, we all love receiving cash during CNY, but the festive season is also about spending time with family and passing on good fortune to others. Make your Lunar New Year celebrations really count with these simple and creative ways to give back.


Pass your pre-loved goods to those in need

Spring cleaning is an integral part of preparing for Chinese New Year. Instead of throwing away your unwanted goods, why not give them to the needy? The Salvation Army accepts clothing, furniture, electronics, books and toys that are sold through the Family Thrift Stores.

From 5-26 Jan, EcoBank is also accepting pre-loved items that will be sold at their EcoBank Bazaar from 24-26 Feb. All proceeds will go towards disadvantaged children under the Children’s Charities Association (CCA), as well as to MINDS Thrift Shop to benefit their fundraising activities.

Bring joy to seniors living alone

Spread festive joy and hope to seniors living alone by making a donation to Community Chest. For every $50 donation, Community Chest will deliver a festive hamper of sponsored items and necessities to these seniors. All donations are tax-deductible.

Give thoughtful gifts to your loved ones

The Lunar New Year is more than just about the exchange of cash. It’s also about spending time our family with our and showing our appreciation for our loved ones.

A survey also showed that the highest percentage of Chinese respondents spent most on gifts to honour their parents, which are seen as acts of filial piety. Show your family you care with this festive hamper by Bizlink that is bound to delight your relatives. It’s chock full of old-school goodies like Yomeishu (a health tonic), Bird’s Nest and fish maw.

Sending out a festive greeting card is a small gesture that will definitely be appreciated. The Muscular Dystrophy Association of Singapore offers a range of cards with heart that are designed by their beneficiaries. 

Chinatown Wishing Well 2017

[Image Source: The New Age Parents]

Make a wish for a good cause

From 7-27 Jan, visit the Chinatown Wishing Tree at Chinatown Point to purchase a “Make a Wish” card (SGD 2) to send well wishes to your loved ones. Feeling nostalgic? You can also purchase a set of handmade rooster-themed five stones (SGD 10). All proceeds will be donated to the Kreta Ayer Seniors’ Activity Centre.



Boxgreen Cockadoodledoo box Social enterprise Chinese new year

Indulge in guilt-free CNY goodies

We’ve rounded up a list of snacks to satisfy all your cravings. From savoury salted egg yolk cookies to sweet treats like organic pineapple tarts. So, make your calories really count with these snacks that are all lovingly made for a good cause.

Feast sustainably

As consumers, we can make small changes to the way we consume food to minimize negative impacts to the environment. For example, cutting out shark fin soup, as excess demand has led to overfishing means that some species are in danger of becoming extinct. The process of ‘finning’, where live sharks have their fins cut off and are thrown back into the sea is seen as inhumane.

Similarly, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) advises consumers to avoid fa cai moss – a Chinese delicacy that is believed to increase the riches of those who eat it, as over farming has been linked to environmental degradation and desertification in China. Fa cai moss also been known to contain toxic amino acids that could lead to degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and dementia.

Slay all day with ethically-made red outfits and accents

Make a bold statement with these pomegranate-hued dhoti pants (USD 129) from homegrown label Matter, which sells affordable lux clothing crafted by artisans. For those who favour a subtler approach, opt for red accessories to add a pop of red to your ensemble. We’re loving this peony pouch from Indie Mamashop (SGD 20), a social enterprise that creates income opportunities for the disadvantaged.

[Image Source: Stella McCartney]

Looking to splurge? Check out these brass drop earrings (USD 415) from Stella McCartney’s Lunar New Year collection. The eponymous label is the world’s first and only vegetarian luxury brand that is committed to responsible sourcing and ethical trade practices.


Go green in a sea of red

During the festive season, countless qng pows (red packets) are used once, only to be discarded. To minimise waste, why not break with tradition and go paperless. DBS PayLah! is a hassle-free way to send e-ang pows to your friends and family. It’s super easy and eco-friendly. Alternatively, you can also reuse or recycle red packets, as well as upcycle them into cute decorations like lanterns.


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