What a difference a year makes! The year of the Rat would probably be the last “normal” year of Chinese New Year (CNY)celebrations that we are so familiar with. While COVID-19 was already present at the start of last year, we did not have masks on and we practised lo hei and house visits the way we always knew going about them.
Fast forward to now. The Year of the Ox - of the Metal Ox specifically - will be celebrated on 12 February in an environment that is so new to us all in Singapore. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are in place to ensure safety within the community. No Chinatown light up last Saturday and of the eve of CNY. Even the Chingay parade goes fully digital!
Let us briefly look at the dos and dont’s from the Government agency website:
- Only 8 unique visitors per household per day would be allowed.
- When dining out,
- Wear a mask if you are not eating or drinking. Wear masks when you toss the yusheng.
- Do a “silent” Lohei without saying the usual auspicious phrases.
- Do not make multiple table bookings, unless you are from the same household.
- If you are doing house visits,
- Limit your visits to family and to not more than 2 households per day.
- Else, connect digitally with your family and friends.
What’s In It For Runners?
They ox is associated with hardwork and being active. For runners, this may just mean a good reason to increase the amount and level of running and exercises in this new year.
And what better way to start when you have the long weekend to get you going on the right note.
If you had set a running resolution in the Gregorian new year and missed your target by now, then use this CNY opportunity to have another go. Perhaps, it would be good to gather some friends and family to support and encourage you on this journey as you e-meet them. But please be reminded of the 8-person limit when you exercise.
If diet lists high on your agenda in this year, there are more vegetarian yusheng options available now. Simply replace abalone or salmon with vegetable substitutes. And while you are at it, ask for a healthier, less sweetened plum sauce.
And to increase your motivation and commit to a healthier you in the new year, do sign up for virtual races. There are so many options out there, from free ones to premium races that come with goodies and fancy entitlements.
Wishing you a Happy “Niu” Year and let’s keep running. Huat ah!