Usher in Chinese New Year with a “singing” red packet

Usher in Chinese New Year with a “singing” red packet

The Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre’s limited-edition Chinese New Year red packet “sings” about the well-loved festive tradition, lo hei.

With just 10 days to Chinese New Year, many people are busy gearing up for the festive season – buying new clothes, putting up decorations, and making festive treats.

Another customary practice that hasn’t gone out of style is the exchange of red packets filled with money – a symbolic gesture of passing on well wishes. Indeed, the tradition often inspires creative red packet designs, such as the one recently released by the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre (SCCC).

The SCCC’s limited-edition red packet “sings” about the well-loved tradition, lo hei, where diners say auspicious phrases while tossing the popular festive fish salad, yusheng.

On the cover of the red packet is an artwork by homegrown illustrator Lee Kow Fong, which depicts his comic characters tossing yusheng. The reverse side of the packet has a QR code that links to a music video with a catchy tune by composer-pianist Peng Chi Sheng, and lyrics based on the auspicious sayings for lo hei.

The repetitive melodic hooks in Peng’s song, titled The Lo Hei Song, and its simple lyrics are meant to encourage people to sing-a-long and be familiar with the cultural significance of lo hei.

The unusual red packet commissioned by SCCC is part of its bid to reach out to the public, and to get them to learn more about Singapore Chinese culture and traditions in new and interesting ways.

Peng says the lyrics, “Tradition connects generations/Tastes inspire memories”, convey his hopes for the song – that it will help the public “remember that traditions are the glue that keep human relationships going strong”, and that “the flavours and smells of Chinese New Year rekindle fond memories of our childhoods.”


Listen to The Lo Hei Song here, and redeem a set of the SCCC’s limited edition “singing” red packets (while stocks last) at its exhibition, So Much Fun – An Ah Guo Special Exhibition. Details on the exhibition here.

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