Let me confess that before I landed in Singapore before 10+ years, I was quite clueless about Chinese New Year. Had read a bit about it in some fictions during childhood but didn’t really bother to remember it.
We arrived in Singapore in December and just after Christmas, the whole atmosphere decked up for CNY – short form of Chinese New Year. By the way, in Singapore, we use way too many acronyms and I must write one separate post for that.
A bit of a backgrounder of Chinese New Year for readers who don’t have much idea about it.
Chinese New Year AKA Lunar New Year is celebrated to mark the start of the year. It also marks the arrival of Spring. Each Chinese New Year is represented by a particular animal and there are 12 animals for a 12-year cycle.
Auspicious Red all around you
Well coming back to the Chinese New Year, the first thing that caught my attention was beautiful red color decoration that included red lanterns and golden pineapples outside the door of my Chinese neighbor and lots of stuff toys, figurines of Pig around the area – in supermarkets and malls everywhere…
I don’t know why but newbie like me felt immediately at home due to this festive spirit. I like people who believe in the age old traditions and follow them meticulously though personally I am not too conventional when it comes to festivals and all. I also loved the similarity between Chinese traditions and Hindu traditions…Lantern festival which is kind of Deepavali and We have month to remember departed loved ones just like Chinese ghost month. Somewhere down the line, all humans are connected with the same thread!
Which animal you are? Check here:
Another thing that makes Chinese New Year fun for me is the Animals of Chinese Zodiac. I have 2 dragons at home and I know it thanks to Chinese astrology predictions that I keep reading every year. Okay, I am not telling my own Chinese Animal here obviously because which woman wants her age to be known? Not at least me. LOL.
I am as curious to read Chinese Zodiac predictions as much as I look forward to know what my Sun Sign holds for me every year.
Which animal you are, check below:
Also read your astrology predictions for 2018 which is the year of the Dog. If you are a believer then read carefully, if not just read for fun.
Foodie Heaven during CNY
Festival means food, isn’t it? Chinese New Year means Pineapple Tarts, Reunion Dinners, Yusheng and lots of other treats…By the way, each food is associated with something auspicious. Example: Oranges are for hope and wealth and Fish indicates Money and Prosperity. Long long noodles are for longevity. Such nice thoughts behind all this, isn’t it?
Reunion Dinner is a joyous occasion that brings entire family and extended family under one roof to enjoy moments of togetherness while bonding over sumptuous food. To enjoy all these foodie goodies, am ever-ready! Restaurants like Lotus Vegetarian always have something special for vegetarians like me!
If you are in Singapore, you MUST experience Yusheng. Yusheng is a prosperity toss of salad to put it simply. Higher you toss, more the prosperity and happiness for you!
Though Yusheng’s main ingredient is Raw Fish traditionally, it has taken some modern twists and contains many other ingredients and condiments now.
- Salmon (or Vegetarian Fish)
- White Radish
- Red ginger
- Crushed peanuts
- Sesame seeds
- some more spices and ingredients
Pre-Chinese New Year is relatively a relaxing period. Weather is great and atmosphere is full of festive fervor. Chinese New Year is the biggest celebration in Singapore and we have at least 2 days holidays. Some offices have a week long holiday too. Schools celebrate Chinese New year and students get to wear traditional clothes.
Malls have loads of promos and ongoing CNY special sale and all are in their best state of mind.
When everyone around you is happy, of course that makes you happy too!
One mandatory thing is to visit Chinatown where Chinese New Year can be witnessed in its complete glory. Lanterns, Bazaars, Food galore, ethnic clothes shopping and roaring crowds – Chinatown looks even more beautiful during Chinese New Year period.
This year Chinese New Year of the Dog falls on 16th February. What’s your plan for CNY weekend?
Gong Xi Fa Cai to all of you and May the year of the Dog bring happiness, health and prosperity us. Have paw-some time this Chinese New Year you all…
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