Excuses to leave your CNY gathering for your Vday date

Don’t keep your Valentine waiting!

Low Jia Ying

Published: 11 February 2021, 9:35 AM

If you haven’t already noticed, the third day of Chinese New Year this year falls on Valentine’s Day.

While restrictions are in place that limit the number of visitors at CNY gatherings, you may still find yourself being dragged along to some uncle’s house when all you can really think about being is in the loving embrace of your partner on this very romantic day.

Instead of getting stuck between two aunts one-upping each other about their kids’ latest achievements and leaving your hot date downstairs waiting, perhaps you could try some of these (untested) tricks to get out of your CNY gathering on the 14th:

1. The dedicated mahjong kaki

What’s CNY without some mahjong, am I right?

Coincidentally, your usual mahjong gang has been begging for you to come over so they can all finally start their 4-hour mahjong marathon session — or so you will lead your family to believe.


Mahjong is a common game that requires four players. Use this to your advantage to try to escape your gathering by insisting that you are the crucial fourth player in another household. PHOTO CREDIT: ELLICIA VIA UNSPLASH


Apologetically announce that you are much needed somewhere else, and hope that the other mahjong enthusiasts at your gathering will empathise and send you on your way.

2. The “I volunteer as tribute”

The restrictions on this year’s CNY gatherings mean that each household may only host up to eight guests.

Although this number does not include the original members of the household, a large gathering at your house may draw the attention of nosey neighbours who may send an unwarranted tip-off to enforcement officers.


Each household may only host up to eight guests this CNY. PHOTO CREDIT: WAN SAN YIP VIA UNSPLASH


As the eighth visitor arrives at your house, make a comment that although perfectly legal, this gathering is beginning to look suspiciously big, and offer to leave the house as a sacrifice.

Not only will your relatives rest easy knowing that an enforcement officer isn’t going to show up at your door, but you will also win brownie points for being the thoughtful and filial niece/nephew.

3. You left your TraceTogether token at home

Who are we kidding, CNY gatherings are risky business when it comes to COVID-19.

Remember the first spike of COVID-19 cases in Singapore that came right after the CNY period last year? Remind your family of this fact and make the “sudden realisation” that you left your TraceTogether token at home.


Singaporeans are encouraged to take their TraceTogether tokens with them when visiting this CNY. PHOTO CREDIT: MAX OH VIA UNSPLASH


Trust me, no one will fault your paranoia in a pandemic (and hope that no one picks up on the fact that you can download the TraceTogether app on your phone).

4. The yusheng is a little too “sheng”

Yusheng (raw fish) is a CNY tradition that involves tossing raw fish and vegetables to welcome an auspicious start to the new year.

This CNY activity has always been a germaphobe’s nightmare, with that uncle who gets a little too excited shouting “huat ah” into the strands of carrot flying near his face.

Unfortunately, this year’s advisory to wear masks and not shout while tossing the yusheng, means that you can’t attribute your (very real) tummy ache to your relatives’ saliva.

Perhaps the fish was a little too raw for your delicate tummy to handle this year? Take this week to practise your best constipated face and hope that you put up a convincing show for your relatives on Valentine’s.

5. Your annoying aunt will probably let you go anyways

The years of enduring your aunt’s questions about whether you have a boyfriend or girlfriend will come to an end this year.

You finally have a partner to spend Valentine’s with!

Break the news to your aunt that as much as you enjoy her company and cooking, your date wouldn’t appreciate you missing out on such a romantic occasion.


CNY gatherings are prime opportunities for your aunt to hound you with questions about your dating life, so use this to your advantage to get out of your gathering for your date. PHOTO CREDIT: RODNAE PRODUCTIONS VIA PEXELS


Your aunt will be overjoyed that you found yourself a loving partner that she’ll probably escort you out the door and into your date’s arms herself.

Be warned: now that she knows of the existence of your partner, prepare yourself for the “So, when are you getting married?” questions for the next CNY.

Good luck and Happy Chinese New Year Valentine’s Day to you!

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