A selection of traditional Chinese cookies to celebrate the Lunar New Year in SingaporeChristmas is the elegant and classy holiday, but the Lunar New Year (LNY) is the holiday to embrace tackiness and gaudiness in its full glory. It is a time filled with superstitious dos and don’ts, but it is also a time where you have license to go all out with the red and gold decorations and not be ridiculed for the lack of taste.

I am hardly a traditionalist, but I do like keeping the LNY traditions from my childhood alive because they’re fun and it’s something I’ve always done. My mom still gives me 压碎钱 (yā suì qián) to put under my pillow on the eve of the Lunar New Year. The little red packet is supposed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits for the coming year. Lucky me!

This year, I went home at the right time and was able to bring back a number of LNY treats, including kueh bangkit (coconut cookies), pineapple tarts, cashew cookies and butter cookies. The plan at the moment is also to make the sweet and sticky auspicious dessert, ti kueh (甜粿) – not steamed, microwaved. The sweet tooth has no patience. 新年快乐!

This passion belongs to Melody Chia