A common staple during Malaysian Chinese New Year is ‘yee sang’. Yee sang is a dish that consists of fish or seafood, pomelo, lime, radish, carrots, cucumber, dried dyed noodles and crunchy flour crisps. The ingredients are arranged in separate segments and everyone at the dinner table will toss the ingredients together. People are encouraged to toss the yee sang as high as they possibly can while calling out their wishes for the new year. It is said that the higher the yee sang is tossed, the higher one will climb in their career, wealth and prosperity.
The lion dance is a traditional dance in which two dancers share a colourful lion costume and mimic a lion’s movements through dance. The lion dance is a key element during the Malaysian Chinese New Year and can be seen almost anywhere especially in shopping malls. The lion dance is also accompanied by music consisting of gongs, cymbals and drums.
Firecrackers are also set off during Chinese New Year. Traditionally, firecrackers are lit because they are believed to drive away evil spirits and at the same time, awaken the guardian spirits and deities of good health and fortune.