1. Discover the joys of playing mahjong.
Historically, the board game was used in the 1920s and '30s as a means for Chinese Americans and Americans to bond. The game has been building communities since then. Learn how to interpret the characters on the tiles and engage in a game of mahjong in the spirit of solidarity.
Ralph Lauren mahjong set, Rustan’s Makati, 813.3739
2. Learn to make your own dim sum.
Probably the most popular starters ordered at Chinese restaurants, dim sum requires precision and practice to perfect. Take time to learn how to swaddle savory viands in delicate wrappers and how to steam them to fully appreciate the art. Take a dim sum making class at Shangri-La at the Fort from January 24 to 25.
3. Feast on Chinese spreads to your heart’s content.
Located at the City of Dreams in Manila, Crystal Dragon has come up with a menu that ushers in the Chinese New Year with luck, happiness, and prosperity. The colorful shredded roast duck with fresh fruit salad is delightfully refreshing, finding the right balance between sweet and savory. The duck symbolizes fertility, while the melon is meant to convey family unity, growth, and good health. The salad is drizzled in peanut sauce to signify health and long life. Another notable item on its set menu is the roasted chicken roll filled with foie gras and wild truffles, where the truffles are meant to symbolize longevity. The meal ends with a stunning three-flavor nian gao platter in dried shredded coconut, water chestnut, and cashew nuts broken with red bean, representing togetherness, good fortune, and gold.
Shredded roast duck with fresh fruit salad
Wok-fried Shanghai rice cake sliced with seafood and roast chicken roll filled with foie gras and wild mushrooms
Marco Polo’s Lung Hin gives you the option between Yin and Yang menus. Both menus offer a vibrant Prosperity Toss Yu Sheng salad with fresh salmon to start, and a pan-fried coconut and brown sugar sticky rice cake (tikoy) combination to finish; the Yang menu includes a popular deep fried Hong Kong pigeon.
Deep fried Hong Kong pigeon, coconut and brown sugar sticky rice, and Prosperity Toss with salmon fish 'Yu Sheng'
Experience an untraditional Chinese feast with Vask putting their tapas spin on a sharing menu. Good for 10, the menus feature mahi-mahi yee sang, lychee oysters, and cochinillo, with most dishes served round to symbolize wholeness and good luck. Gift certificates will be hanging from the money tree as their take on ang pao.
Following troupes of dragon dancers, guests at the Crimson Hotel may head to a special brunch at the Grand Ballroom where platters of assorted roasts and a whole suckling pig await.
Roasted suckling pig and assorted roast
4. Exchange tikoy.
Tikoy is a non-negotiable at every Chinese New Year celebration, so Conrad Manila set to create the unexpected by coming up with a gift set that features three variations of the Chinese treat in traditional, coconut, and passion fruit flavors set to mimic a koi pond in design.
5. Get lucky.
In Chinese culture, red is believed to be a lucky color as it is said to ward off bad spirits and welcome fortune and some believe that you must also wear new clothes during the celebration. As always, gold stands for prosperity or money.
Ascot Chang red pencil stripe shirt and Adami & Martucci sterling silver yellow gold-plated earrings
John Hardy Legends cobra 18-carat necklace and ring with diamonds
Michael Kors block heel and purse set; and Jet Set travel wallet
6. Consult a feng shui expert.
Feng shui master Joseph Chau when he comes and visits the Manila Hotel on the eve of the holiday. He and his son will be sharing predictions on how to increase you luck this year and perform a blessing ceremony for guests.