Chinese New Year was always about traveling to family. This year, traditions are at home.

Chinese New Year was always my chance to fly home.

Wherever I was in the world, I knew I could always head back, and everything would be the same — a comforting lineup of never-ending feasts with family, dispensing bulging red envelopes of money. But because of the pandemic, the holiday is sadly subdued this year.

Also known as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is usually the largest migration in the world, but I’m sure many like me are celebrating alone this year. While I’m sheltering and working at home in Florida, my immediate family has been in lockdown in California. I haven’t been back to see them in over a year. …

I’ve already asked friends to do a Zoom where we all wear red and gold.”

These two colors signify good fortune. The other traditions of feasting together, making dumplings and gifting money are all group activities that are just not possible with the pandemic.

Another tradition that’s a challenge during the pandemic is lo hei, Tan said, which involves announcing each ingredient along with its meaning of the shared dish yu sheng, a traditional Singaporean salad. The Singaporean government even released a Chinese New Year advisory limiting family visits and avoiding saying the lo hei out loud.

By Marian Liu, The Washington Post

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