Courtesy: Internet Image
Thanks Maithilee and Sanika for dozens of colourful photos! They brought back a flood of memories of our stay in Singapore and the Chinese New Year festivities. Hope my readers will appreciate your enthusiasm that prompted me to craft this blog post.
‘Gong Xi Fa Xai’ or ‘Xin Nian Kuai Le’ the popular Chinese New year greeting at once reverberated in my head. I could almost visualize the street markets being decorated with abundance of red and gold festivities, flowers, posters and traditional Chinese outfits. As if night shopping and impulsive buying is the ‘need of the hour’ Chinese people and expat population flock to the street markets.
Chinese New Year was celebrated on 19 February, 2015. It is the ‘Year of the Goat /Sheep.’ The Chinese zodiac or Sheng Xiao is based on a cycle of 12 years, each year related to an animal sign. As it’s a Goat(or sheep) year, it’s common to hear greetings of Three Goats: profits and prosperity, peaceful, worry free life and plump health.
Now find out which animal represents your birth sign. Chinese believe health, family and fortune depend on the particular zodiac sign and personality traits resemble the animal character. Have fun!
Chinese New Year: Goat mascot
More than a dozen street markets are conveniently located in the Housing Board developments (HDB) that dot Singapore’s geography. But the Pagoda street market, in the heart of Chinatown, is the place to feast your eyes upon. A month-long street light up, hanging lanterns, larger than life themed floats and ways side stalls beckon every pocket.. ‘Have money, will spend’ is the catch phrase. Here is a sample of photos sent by my friend as she headed to Chinatown.
Around the world New Year celebrations differ culturally and in meaning.
For the Chinese around the world, it means flocking back to home and family in China (or at the place of elders in the country) and having a grand Reunion dinner around the festive table.
The items on the menu must include: long noodles, Mandarin and Pomelo, Kumquat fruit, Jiaozi dumplings shaped as currency, candied fruit, leafy greens and long beans, whole fish for fertility and prosperity and a tray of Togetherness with 8 items.
There’s so much local buzz and festivities in China, Singapore and Asia prior to the Chinese New Year – parades, street food stalls, River floats, night markets, street light ups and more. Be part of the festivities next year, if you’ve never seen one.
Till then, Gong Xi Fa Cai.
If you’ve seen Chinese New Year celebrations, do leave a comment about your experiences. What did you like? What did you buy? What did you eat?
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