Chinese New Year 2024: A Guide to Eats, Sips, Sleeps and Gifts
Image source: MO Bar

Chinese New Year 2024: A Guide to Eats, Sips, Sleeps and Gifts

As January rapidly passes by, the arrival of Chinese New Year is just around the corner! By now, you've likely planned your trip back home, decided on festive attire, chosen your dining spots, and figured out the perfect contribution for potluck. And, of course, estimated the right amount for those angpows.

In Malaysia, many revelers extend the lunar New Year celebrations for a full 15 days, a time dedicated to eat, drink, sleep, and repeat. With a semblance of normalcy returning this year and the inevitable wave of revenge travel, we have a few exciting suggestions to enhance your festivities.

The Chinese hold a special affection for the Year of the Dragon, the only mythical creature in the 12 zodiac signs. After all, doesn't a dragon bear an uncanny resemblance to a cat?

Where to Go?

“Cuti-Cuti Malaysia” – Ideal Short Trips

For both Malaysians and Singaporeans, "Cuti-Cuti Malaysia" offers the perfect short getaway.

Cultural Celebrations in Penang 

Penang boasts a plethora of activities during Chinese New Year. Visit Hin Bus Depot for a weekend market, indulge in local crafts, food, and drinks. The CNY market on 11 & 12 February will feature activities, art, music, and handcrafted items.

Don't miss the Kek Lok Si Display of Lights (10 February – 7 March) as the temple lights up at night, transforming into a fairyland with thousands of lanterns and colorful lights. The Snake Temple hosts a flame-watching event on February 14, coinciding with Valentine's Day.

For Hokkien traditions, the Pai Thee Kong 拜天公 (literally "pray to the sky god") Celebration on 17 February, the 9th day of Chinese New Year, commemorates the Jade Emperor and the protection of the Hokkien clan during the Ming Dynasty.

Lion dances, lou sang, and vibrant Penang cocktail bars open until CNY eve (9 February) promise a continuous partying.

Genting Highlands – A Refreshing Retreat

Enjoy a cool weather CNY celebration at higher altitudes in Genting Highlands. Explore the dragon-themed Gohtong Walk adorned with red lanterns, cherry blossoms, and Insta-worthy prosperity trees. Don Bruce Lee's iconic costumes at Times Square, Level 1 Sky Avenue from 5 February onwards.

Experience the flying dragon and soaring phoenix performance at the Lake of Dreams from 9 to 25 February. Take advantage of 2D1N and 3D2N packages for 4 pax, inclusive of guided walks on the Awana Trail with snacks, available until 10 February.

Genting Highland light show

Fortune Collection in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, known for its diverse malls, offers a range of experiences from big to boutique, premium to neighbourhood. Discover CNY decorations, activities, celebrity appearances, and enticing discounts. Festive sales follow the main days, and F&B outlets introduce special menus to elevate the festive vibe.

Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Sunway Pyramid, MidValley, Suria KLCC, and more await for a gathering, walkabout, and shopping spree with family and friends. Parking may be challenging past midday, so plan your visit wisely and arrive early.

Going to Singapore instead? Here Are Our Picks on What to Eat and Drink

1-Group One To Huat Campaign

Dine to win prizes, including an all-inclusive trip for 2 to 1-Altitude Melaka, and vouchers for dining and wine at 1-Altitude outlets. Spend S$88 at any 1-Group outlets, sign up for 1-Insider, and try your luck to win huat prizes at the claw machine.

Baccarat x MO Bar CNY Cocktails

MO Bars in Singapore and Shenzhen are serving CNY cocktails in Baccarat glassware, as the crystal brand celebrates 250 years of craftsmanship. Crystal pieces carved as dragons and chandeliers add an extra touch of elegance while enjoying the performance lights at Marina Bay at 8pm on 6, 10, 11, 16, 17 & 18 February.

Three Buns Dragon Breathe Offerings

Experience the dragon's breath through Chef Adam Penney's Enter The Dragon (CNY Specials) items at Three Buns Singapore. With peppers scoring 2.48 million SHU, these offerings include burgers, milkshakes, and the Wishes & Winnings cocktail.

Ohayo Mama CNY 2024 Heavenly Cloud Yusheng

Heavenly Cloud Yu Sang at Ohaya Mama

More Instagramable louhei in the cloud with fresh salmon and rainbow bed of crunches Ohaya Mama. Post a photo of the Heavenly Cloud Yusheng (S$58++) and stand a chance to win S$1M cash. The 1-for-1 Sushi HDB Rolls sushi tower (S$28++) promises two towers of sushi for the price of one, and the specially curated Snacks Platter (S$28++) is a great addition to the gathering experience.

What Booze to Buy? 

Major spirit brands are collaborating on dragon-themed packaging and offering dragon-themed merchandise as gifts with purchase. While not available in all neighborhood supermarkets, some brands are hosting pop-ups, airport duty-free specials, and online promotions.

Many collaborations feature Asian artists, such as Macallan x Nini Sum (Chinese mixed media artist), ABK6 VSOP x 黄俏龙 Qiaolong Huang and 许冰娜 Bingna Xu; Hennessy x Yang Yongliang; Asahi Super Dry x Hermippe (Japanese pixel artist); Johnnie Walker Blue x James Jean (Taiwanese artist), among others.

Macallan CNY 2024

Other noteworthy options with gift boxes include Penfolds, Louis XIII Cognac, Remy Martin, and Glenfiddich.

Drink lots of water, wear auspicious colours and stay happy and we wish you a Happy Chinese New Year!

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