Chinese New Year is undisputedly one of the most highly anticipated cultural events in Singapore, beneath that cosmopolitan sheen. Preparations at home for the festivities kick off weeks ahead of the New Year, but who said we can’t extend some of that fun in the workplace too?
If you’re unsure or unfamiliar with the activities to initiate in the workplace, here are our top suggestions that are both easy to implement and fun for all.
1. Toss The ‘Lou Hei’ (Prosperity Salad)Nothing screams Chinese New Year like a good toss of the Lou Hei - a Chinese customary activity, involving the mixing and tossing of various sweet and savoury ingredients, and the shouting of prosperity phrases for auspiciousness. Each step of the ingredient mix comes with a specific phrase meant to prosper various areas of one’s life, such as love, career, family and more.
It is also a great way of getting colleagues to come together and soak in the festive spirit
Things you’ll need-• Pre-packed boxes of Lou Hei ingredients, readily available at any major supermarkets• Disposable chopsticks • List of prosperity phrases for each step of the Lou Hei - Find them on Google!
2. Office Decorating ContestsIt is customary for anyone celebrating Chinese New Year to put up bright, red Chinese New Year decorations such as lanterns, zodiac cut outs, placemats and flowers to drive away bad luck. While this responsibility usually falls on the Office Manager, it is time we consider involving other co-workers to spruce up the environment, with every individual’s own creativity streak.
Employees may moan and groan about having to be involved in this “silly” activity, but fret not! Turn the activity into a mini office competition involving incentives such as attractive prizes and you will surely capture their attention.
3. Workplace Spring CleaningThe New Year is the season to discard junk from every corner of one’s home. But while everyone is busy scrubbing their homes clean and throwing things out, they turn a blind eye to the clutter that has secretly piled up by the workspace over the last year. We’re not talking about the physical clutter but also the digital junk! Encourage employees to start spring cleaning and offer incentives, if you must. They may dread starting it, but that all-around cleanliness is addictive. And you can bet they’ll want to do it again, even before the next Chinese New Year.
4. Dress Your Best For Chinese New YearAs Chinese New Year signals a new beginning on the Lunar calendar, the Chinese often buy new, red clothes to celebrate the season. It is believed that red will scare away the evil spirits and bring in great fortune - surely every business would want that for themselves. Encourage employees to come dressed in the festive colours like they do when going visiting!
Remember to take some photos for your company’s social media pages, hashtag #OOTD!
5. Off-site Chinese New Year MealThis celebration is incomplete without a get-together reunion meal, the most significant cultural activity of the year, apart from receiving red packets.
This meal is extremely symbolic. It signifies the end of everything negative in the last year, and welcomes happiness and prosperity in the one ahead. While this often takes place at home amongst family members, this can be adopted in the workplace as well.
Restaurants all over Singapore offer reunion dinner menus during this time of the year, so it’s worth looking them up and bring the workplace together for one last hearty meal.
Gong xi fa cai everyone and have a prosperous year ahead in your careers and life!