Chinese-language daily Lianhe Zaobao has lined up a slate of initiatives and programmes to lift readers' spirits amid the Covid-19 curbs for this Chinese New Year (CNY).
Highlights include a CNY microsite, an online tool to guide readers through silent lohei, and a docu-series on sending love across borders.
In addition, the public will be given free access to all content on zaobao.sg over the long weekend from tomorrow to Sunday.
Premium content will be available to all readers, including non-subscribers, on Zaobao's website and mobile application, and will include the e-papers for Lianhe Zaobao, Lianhe Wanbao and Shin Min Daily News.
Zaobao and Wanbao editor Goh Sin Teck said yesterday that he foresees many readers staying home during the long weekend due to the pandemic and in the light of Covid-19 visiting rules.
Thus, he said, Zaobao decided to make an exception and go against the tradition of not publishing on the first day of Chinese New Year.
This year, it will release a special publication that will be the newspaper's first print publication on the first day of the lunar calendar in 98 years.
"Aside from news, readers can look forward to a variety of content curated for the long weekend, to keep them entertained," he said.
For instance, an online tool called Lohei Butler will play videos and recordings of auspicious cheers for users as they toss yusheng.
The Ministry of Health has said diners should avoid shouting auspicious phrases when engaging in the tossing of yusheng or lohei.
This will minimise transmission risks from the spread of viruses through droplets.
Lohei Butler can be found on Zaobao's Chinese New Year microsite at bit.ly/zbsg_cny2021
As border restrictions have made reunions difficult for families with members on both sides of the Causeway, Zaobao has collaborated with Wanbao, Shin Min, radio stations UFM100.3 and 96.3 Hao FM, and Malaysia's Sin Chew Daily to put together a docu-series titled Wish I Could Come Home For CNY.
The series features the stories of three readers and how they have connected with family members across the border, and will air on zaobao.sg from today.
To round off its festive offerings, the paper will stream three shows on its platforms.
The first, a Chinese New Year countdown show, will be live-streamed tomorrow at 11.30pm.
On Friday, a CNY music programme will be shown at 3pm.
Finally, a show presented by the Singapore Press Holdings' Chinese Media Group and River Hongbao will premiere in two parts next Tuesday at 7.15pm and 9pm.