Covid-19 and the movement control order (MCO) which has been extended to Feb 18 have dampened the festive mood in the country.
Software developer Winson Cheong, 26, who works in Penang, has to cancel his plans to celebrate Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day with his fiancee in Klang, Selangor.
“I was supposed to head home to Ipoh to spend some time with my family before surprising my fiancee in Klang.
“I made the plans since I was expecting the MCO to be lifted on Feb 4.
“However, due to the extended MCO, I have to cancel my plans, ” said Cheong.
He is still figuring out how to celebrate Valentine’s Day with his fiancee.
“I want to make our first Valentine’s Day away from each other as special as possible.
“Perhaps we will have a date through a video call, ” he said.
Florists who offer delivery services have started receiving some orders for Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year.
Florist Vivian Lim said that due to movement restrictions, people were opting to send flowers to their family and friends.
“The popular blooms are red pussy willow for Chinese New Year, and roses for Valentine’s Day.
“The flowers are preserved and can last, ” she said.
In Penang, state-level open houses and many Chinese New Year events including the Jade Emperor’s birthday celebration at Chew Jetty and Chneah Hoay (flame-watching) ceremony at Hai Choo Soo Temple in Tanjung Tokong have been cancelled.
Penang Chinese Town Hall has also announced it is cancelling its festive events.
Penang Kwangtung and Tengchow Association chairman Datuk Lee Wing Kong reportedly said the association had also decided to cancel all Chinese New Year activities this year.
The annual Miao Hui, Penang’s popular Chinese New Year celebration, will go fully virtual from Feb 12 to Feb 20 (the first to the ninth day of Chinese New Year).
Meanwhile, hotels are focusing on bringing gourmet meals to people’s doorsteps.
At G Hotel, its communications director Christina Tan said Yee Sang, Mini Monk Jumps Over the Wall, a barbecue platter and cookies could be ordered for Chinese New Year.
“We want families not to worry about preparing food.
“They can hold their Chinese New Year reunion dinners without any fuss, ” said Tan.
The hotel is also offering a takeaway high-tea set for sweethearts wanting to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home or anyone wanting to enjoy teatime delights.
“We do offer dine-in services for two per table as well since this is now allowed, ” she said.