Credit: 123rf

Chinese New Year will be a quieter affair in 2021, given the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in the community as well as new clusters over recent weeks.

Only eight visitors a day are allowed in a household and shouting while tossing yusheng, or lohei, should be avoided, the Ministry of Health announced on Jan 22.

While we can’t enjoy the long weekend painting the town red and gold this year, don’t fret.

A kind soul has created an app which shouts the auspicious phrases you can’t during the tossing of the yusheng and shared it on Reddit.

Created by someone who goes by the pseudonym DJ Beng, the handy application consists of 14 auspicious phrases you can tap on your mobile phone according to the ingredient you’re adding into the plate.  

So at every step of the lohei, at least your phones will help prevent that possible awkward silence that could have ensued. 

DJ Beng has created two other applications — one helps you invite prosperity (Huat Ah), and another one cheers you to drink your way for a better and successful year (Yam Seng) after a year of anxiety. 

Here’s the interesting part: DJ Beng has made the Yam Seng toast in such a way that it almost sounds similar to those out-of-breath yelling we used to do so openly and freely by adding instructions on how you can play around with the button. 

Follow these yam seng instructions while safe distancing.
Credit: Screengrab/dj.beng

Those red packets, which is honestly the highlight of Chinese New Year for many, have long gone online as well, and would definitely be the mode of transaction again this year.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has encouraged Singaporeans to opt for e-hongbao this festive season in lieu of tight regulations under Phase 3 due to rising community cases.

Even if we have to celebrate Chinese New Year a little bit mellower than before, we sometimes forget how fortunate we are to still have the opportunity to do so, unlike those who may not necessarily have the capacity to celebrate and enjoy the holiday as much as we do.

DJ Beng, aka Singaporean CaiShen (God of Fortune), has graciously added links at the bottom of each of the three applications, encouraging others to donate to charities such as the Singapore Children’s Society and Giving.sg.

DJ Beng added some links for users who wish to donate.
Credit: Screengrab/dj.beng

In the spirit of giving red packets, why not share some with a charity of your choice and help make life a little better for the unfortunate in these difficult times?

The year of the Ox symbolises the important trait of positivity that we need to power through these turbulent times, and this app might just be that glimmer of hope for a somewhat normal Chinese New Year celebration. 

This article was first published in AsiaOne.