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The 8 Relatives You Run Into Every Chinese New Year

Relatives you meet during Chinese New Year

If you’re of Chinese descent in Thailand, then once a year you’ll have a feast where your entire extended family come together for a truly dysfunctional gathering. As much as you love them, there’s just something about jamming all of them together in a room that always seems to end in disaster.

To help you prepare, here are the 8 relatives that everyone seems to run into at the annual Chinese New Year family gathering. See if you can spot them during this year’s reunion dinner.

1. The nosy auntie

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Whether they’re caring or just looking for gossip, you just know that a couple of aunties are going to be asking some uncomfortably personal questions about your health and dating life. Since CNY is so close to Valentine’s, you best prepare a watertight excuse for why you didn’t bring a boyfriend or girlfriend along this year. Or your aunt is probably going to be setting you up with some poor soul who is experiencing the same thing at their own CNY gathering.

2. The future investor

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Every kid knows that Chinese New Year means that they’ll be getting that red packet. Some kids, however, are extra keen and laser-focused on making sure every dollar is accounted for. They’ll even make note of which uncles and aunties are extra generous, so they know who to butter up to next year. The makings of a real investor.

3. The ball of energy

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A couple of hours in and most of us will be exhausted from socializing with relatives that we haven’t seen in a while. But there’s always one child that seems to find that extra gear that, for better or for worse, reenergizes you for round 2.

4. The picky eater

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You know the one. Chinese New Year is a time to feast on some super delicious Chinese food, but there’s that one person who’ll insist that there’s pizza, or some other thing that’ll stick out like a soar thumb, because they don’t like Chinese food. And you’ll grab a slice too, even if you feel a bit guilty afterwards.

5. The competitive eater

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One of your relatives has one goal at this gathering, and that goal is to eat. You can’t help but admire their singular goal to enjoy the feast. It’s a little worrying that they’ve brought along tupperware for the leftovers though.

6. The ultra-achiever

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The star of the family. The ultra-achiever has always been the most successful in the family from school and now their career. The stories of their success seem otherworldly and you struggle to believe it.

7. The social media star

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Whether it’s photos or selfies, there’s inevitably that one relative who is always capturing the moment at the gathering. So much so that you swear that despite being there in person, they’ve only seen your face through their phone monitor. There are so many photos you wonder if it’ll be a smooth video if you stitch it together. But wait, they’re starting to livestream this year!

8. The drama king/queen

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For the drama king/queen, every conversation is an opportunity. Watch as they turn your simple statements into full-blown soap operas happening just behind the scenes. Just stay quiet, nod, and pray like hell that they’ve not gotten a hold of that saucy gossip you were involved in this year.

Surviving CNY family gatherings

Do you recognise your relatives from this list? And what about you? Which one do you think you are to your family?

We hope this CNY proves auspicious and fulfilling to you!

For ways to up your luck this CNY, check out our guide to how Thais avoid CNY misfortune. If you’re looking for activities and promos during the holiday, check out our things to do article here or our promos article here.

Cover image adapted from: AI-generated via Midjourney