Lunar Sweets, Sounds and Surprises: Planning For An Auspicious and Harmonious Chinese New Year

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of ‘Chinese New Year’?

For some of us, it’s the nostalgic memories of sweet, crisp pineapple tarts made by our grandparents, lively moments of out-of-tune singing to boisterous Chinese New Year songs, whether at home or on road trips overseas, and a cosy reunion dinner with some of our closest loved ones and family members.

For some of us, Chinese New Year comes with a tinge of bittersweet emotions and a little more frustration than we’d like: distant relatives that ask too many personal questions, the pressure of socialising with people we’re not exactly the closest to, the absence of family, and disruptive loud noises.

Everybody has their own ups and downs about Chinese New Year, and that’s perfectly okay.

Whether or not you embrace this festive season in the brightest red apparel, prefer a quiet celebration with close friends and family, or are somewhere in between and have a love-hate relationship with the new year, we believe there are moments this Chinese New Year that can bring surprise and joy.

With that, we’d like to bring you a little joy too this Chinese New Year, starting off with this playful and practical CNY Planner.

Your Personal 2024 CNY Planner

We know planning for the new year can get a little difficult, especially for those of us navigating new job responsibilities and opportunities at work this year. So here is an all-in-one, helpful checklist of steps you can tick off as you prepare so that you can spend less time on the to-dos, and more time enjoying the precious moments (and of course, your favourite Chinese New Year snacks).

To add a little spice to our checklist, we’ve come up with a few simple riddles in our step-by-step CNY Planner. Here’s to planning for an auspicious, harmonious, and fun-filled Chinese New Year together!

CNY Riddle 1:

Threads of love, stitched with care,
in vibrant hues, for you to wear.
What am I?

#1 Shop for your festive Chinese New Year Clothes.


As we gear up for Chinese New Year, retail outlets are filled with brand new clothing displays and attractive sales. It’s more than just a tradition to follow along – the practice of purchasing new clothes have a deeper meaning, symbolising our anticipation for new beginnings and a prosperous year ahead.

Welcome the new year with intricate traditional patterns and motifs, mandarin collars, and oriental pankou knots, with modern twists to greet the new year in style.

Whether you’re drawn to bold, attention-grabbing red and gold apparel or prefer to opt for more versatile pieces with captivating cultural nods that match effortlessly with your existing wardrobe, there’s something for everyone.

Express your unique flair and personality along with your hopes for the new year through vibrant attire. And while you’re at it, you might want to explore local online retail outlets for stylish modern options or share the joy by getting matching apparel with your partner, parents, children or friends.

CNY Riddle 2:

Sweet and savoury, I’m hard to hate. Possibly the most loved CNY treat to date.

Filling your stomach, I bring the cheer. Without me we’d be in tears.

Guess what I am?

#2 Order your delicious Chinese New Year Goodies.

Crisp and sweet pineapple tarts which melt slowly and satisfyingly in your mouth. Sticky, white, flower-shaped kueh bangkit. Flavourful bites of succulent and savoury bak kwa (barbecued meat). And the colourful blend of classic Chinese New Year bites in our yearly yusheng, topped off with the most important ingredient: thick slices of raw salmon (or the crispy golden crackers, some children might say!).

Arguably one of the best things during Chinese New Year is the food we share with our loved ones. As you prepare for feasts with family and friends, don’t forget to stock up on your classic Chinese New Year goodies. Here’s a compiled list of Chinese New Year foods.


  • Mandarin Oranges

Chinese New Year Goodies:

  • Pineapple tarts
  • Bak Kwa (barbecued meat)
  • Arrowhead chips
  • Nian Gao (Chinese New Year Cake)
  • Kueh Bahulu
  • Love letters
  • Kueh Bangkit
  • Green Pea Cookies

Family Feasts:

Apart from these favourite bites we all love, remember to place your orders or book restaurant reservations for your family reunion dinners, and stock up on some juicy abalone and silky bird’s nests if you’re planning to cook.

  • Restaurant Reservations in Singapore and/or Chinese New Year Set Menus
  • Yu Sheng
  • Abalone
  • Bird’s Nests

CNY Riddle 3:

The reason we celebrate, you bring a smile to my face.

When the day gets busy, home is where you’re safe.

Who am I?

#3 Schedule your Chinese New Year gatherings with family and friends.

The heart of every Chinese New Year lies in the company of those we hold dear. Before the hustle and bustle of the year takes over and schedules become packed, take a moment to reach out to your closest family members and friends. A simple heartfelt text or call can make a world of difference in letting them know you care.

Schedule your Chinese New Year gatherings in advance so that everyone has ample time to prepare and jot these joyous dates down in their calendars.

There’s truly nothing quite like festive lohei cheers over colourful yusheng and cosy reunion dinners that create that warm sense of homecoming and togetherness we all treasure.

If you’re looking to get a Chinese New Year hamper filled with classic treats for your loved ones this year, do browse through our Chinese New Year Flowers and Gift Hampers curated especially for you, and keep an eye out on our website or socials for exclusive Buy 2 Get 1 Free discounts, up to 20% off for selected gift hampers, free delivery and many more exclusive deals we have for you.

CNY Riddle 4:

Christmas just ended, I’m already here! I’m eager to spread some festive cheer.

In shopping malls and all around, just take a look and I’ll be found.

What am I?

#4 Put your best Chinese New Year Decorations on display as you spring clean.

Deck the malls with… Chinese New Year decorations? The bright red, pink, orange, and gold cascading displays are making a triumphant return to usher in another auspicious and joyful new year.

As you prepare for Chinese New Year by clearing out older unused items and making space for the new, take a walk down Chinatown and you’ll find all you need to infuse your homes with the festive cheer.

Red paper Chinese New Year couplets, yellow pineapple lanterns, and flourishing kumquat trees – these decorative elements are a great way of expressing your hopes for an abundant and prosperous year ahead.

CNY Riddle 5:

You’ve been waiting for me, I’m sealed with care.

I’m filled with money! To save, perhaps to share?

Dressed in bright red, I’m here to delight-

Sometimes they fill me with chocolate coins.

What am I?

#5 Share your blessing with Chinese New Year red packets.

Bless your loved ones and relatives with red Chinese New Year packets this Spring Festival. Enclosing these crisp, new bills into the red envelopes is a way of expressing your well-wishes for the people that matter most to you this new year.

But while the monetary blessing is something we all appreciate, the cultural significance behind this tradition is found in the red packet itself, which symbolises happiness and prosperity.

If you’re giving out red packets this Chinese New Year, consider various different even-numbered amounts as you prepare this heartfelt gift to your parents or children. Avoid giving amounts which are odd-numbered or have the number ‘4’ in them as those tend to be associated with funerals in the Chinese culture.

The practice of giving red packets vary from family to family — some households exchange red packets between married couples, whereas others simply give to younger children or siblings who aren’t married yet, so do ask around and ask early! For better personal financial management for the year ahead, you could consider making a list of the people you want to give to.

Perhaps you’d also like to share the festive joy with the public workers around you, whether it’s the kind elderly cleaner or foreign workers who labour tirelessly to provide a clean and modern environment for us to live in.

Regardless of the chosen amount, what truly matters is the sincerity and warmth behind your act of generosity, particularly as a working adult sharing with younger generations. So here’s your friendly reminder to let the pressure of over-giving roll of your back and feel satisfied as you give within your means.

Celebrating Laughter and Cheer: A Toast To An Auspicious Chinese New Year

With that, we hope these five practical to-dos, coupled with our simple riddles have already sparked a bit of festive Chinese New Year joy. With the new year fast approaching, all of us at Noel Gifts are looking forward to feasting on Chinese New Year goodies and sharing the festive joy with our families and customers! We hope these serve as helpful companions in preparing you for the vibrant new year ahead.


Knead, Roll and Enjoy: Crafting the Perfect Gingerbread Cookies this Christmas

The holiday season is synonymous with warmth, happiness, and the delightful aroma of freshly baked treats in the kitchen while bonding with cherished ones around! Amidst the festive decorations and lights, fireplaces and living rooms decked out with gifts and packages, lies the humble and classic gingerbread man that holds a special place in many hearts, the ultimate blend of tradition and deliciousness.

This Christmas, we invite you to join us in creating the perfect gingerbread cookies, not only full of the irresistible taste of the season, but also filled to the brim with precious memories as you knead, roll, and savour the joy of crafting and sharing these scrumptious treats with family, friends, and loved ones.

Why Gingerbread Cookies?

Sharing and savouring gingerbread man cookies during Christmas originated in medieval Europe, where ginger, honey and breadcrumbs were crafted into spiced bread to be enjoyed. As various recipes evolved, gingerbread has now become associated with festive seasons due to its luxurious flavours and warm spices, crafted into friendly human figures to add a touch of representation, appeal, and joy.

The act of decorating, creating, and sharing has also become a treasured holiday activity; spreading goodwill while extending family and community bonding, creating a wholesome and closely knitted space for all to enjoy during Christmas and the year-end holiday season.

Without further ado, it’s time to get kneading and rolling with our gingerbread man cookie recipe you can try out…

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • Cookie Cutters
  • 3 cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 tablespoon of Ground Ginger
  • 2 teaspoons pf Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Ground Cloves
  • 1/2 cup of Softened Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 cup of Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 3/4 cup of Molasses
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract


1)      Preheat the Oven

Get your baking adventure started by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C) and lining your baking sheets with parchment paper, setting the perfect stage for your gingerbread delights.


2)      Combine Dry Ingredients

Next, in a fresh bowl, whisk all your dry ingredients together – the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, as well as ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Combine them meticulously together to ensure that there is an even distribution of flavours in every bite.


3)      Cream the Butter and Sugar

In a separate bowl, cream together softened butter and brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy in consistency; this will ensure your gingerbread cookies are irresistibly ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ and full of goodness.


4)      Add Wet Ingredients

Next, it’s the wet ingredients’ turn to get a mix. Beat in the egg, rich molasses, and vanilla extract together. Once well combined, this blend binds all the ingredients together, and infuses the dough with the essence of the holiday season!


5)      Incorporate Dry Ingredients

Gradually add the previously combined dry ingredients to the wet mixture, stirring consistently until a soft, aromatic dough begins to form. This step is crucial in transforming your simple mixture into the canvas for your gingerbread men soon to be crafted!


6)      Chill the Dough

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour. This allows the flavours to meld as the dough firms up, making it simpler to shape in the next step.


7)      Roll and Cut

Once done, roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface. With your adorable gingerbread men cookie cutters (or cutters of any shape you fancy), begin bringing your gingerbread men to life, carving out shapes that will soon fill your kitchen and tummies!


8)      Bake to Perfection

Place your gingerbread cutouts on the prepared baking sheet and let them bake in the oven for 8 – 10 minutes, or until the edges are a light shade of golden. Your tantalising cookies are right round the corner…


9)      Cool and Decorate

Finally, allow your gingerbread men to cool on the sheets for a few minutes, before transferring them to a wire rack. Once completely cooled, unleash your inner artist, and decorate them with icing, candies, sprinkles and more! Let the magic happen as each cookie gets crafted to a unique masterpiece, just the way you like it!

And there you have it – the recipe not just for gingerbread cookies, but for an enchanting Christmas full of memories and flavours you’re not going to forget. May these delightful treats not only fill your homes with the spirit of the season, but also make heartwarming gifts for family and friends; you are truly gifting a piece of holiday magic crafted with your very own hands!

Have fun baking, and we hope this Christmas season is full of sweetness, joy, and warmth. Noel Gifts wishes you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!