Five Differences Between CNY Now and CNY in the 80s


If you are a working adult now, you would remember that Chinese New Year used to be very different as compared to now. Traditions remain but many things have changed with time. Here’s what different now.


Back in the old days, if your family doesn’t own a car, your mode of transport would be a public bus (only half the fleet were air-conditioned), MRT (only two main lines – east/west and north/south) or the taxi. These days, Another than improvement on the said public transport, you’ll add in Uber, GrabCar, GrabTaxi and what have you. Traveling has never been easier – if you have the money.


This is a recent change. In the past, every lo hei or Yusheng would be deliciously accompanied by slices of raw fish. Not any more after the GBS bacterial scare. Boooo

Reunion dinner

In this day and age, modern humans have figured it is too much of a hassle to be cooking a feast at home – especially if you have several reunion dinners to attend. Some families like mine have moved on to eating in restaurants, booking them as early as December. Talk about changes – kiasuism is here to stay.

Red packets

To be honest, the above changes never really hit you until you’re a married working adult. Gone are the days of receiving red packets. Now you give them out like candies. T T! Any chance of some changes to the customs and traditions?


Nothing much has changed about the gambling games. Mahjong, ban luck are still among the favourite games with local families. The thing that has changed? The stakes. When you grow older, the stakes grow bigger, not helped by inflation.  Gone are the days of gambling with coins. It’s still about fun albeit with much more cash involved now.

What has changed for you over the years during Chinese New Year? Drop your comments in the comment box below!

When I’m not at work, I’m into the arts, music and history. Football’s my other big love so if I’m not around museums and galleries, I’m probably on the field. If I still can’t be found, I’m having my me time.