A few weeks ago, A and O dragged another friend G and went to Singapore’s Chinatown to see what the area looked like during Chinese New Year (CNY) period!
It was a hubbub of sights and sounds – the colourful traditional shophouses, all the CNY decoration and goodies on sale, the crowd – both locals and tourists alike – clamouring about their business… The place was just bursting with so much life and culture.
(A’s comment: Some people might find it superficial, like everything is a show for tourists, but I have a thing for this kind of atmospheres, and I loved it!)
Anyway, we won’t write much so just enjoy the pictures that we took while we were there! 🙂
And we thought, while we’re on the topic, we’ll insert some interesting trivia on CNY traditions that we sort of grew up observing. If you celebrate CNY, it’ll be fun to see how many of these you actually observe too. And if you don’t, well… these just might come in handy when you travel to a place that celebrates CNY and find yourself plonked into the thick of the activities!
Olivia’s Chinese New Year Traditions
- Wear Red. It is believed that by wearing red, you’ll bring in more prosperity and good luck! 😉 So have you gotten your red dress / shirt?
- Singles get ang bao (red packet), married folks give ang bao! 😀 So all the single folks, make sure to put a BIG smile on your face, clench your right fist, cover it with your left hand and bow your hands 2x while saying “Gong Xi Fat Chai” on CNY! 🙂
- No house chores during Chinese New Year – so make sure to do your spring cleaning beforehand!
- No haircut during Chinese New Year as sharp items are believed to snip off your good luck.
- Bring oranges to your relatives / friends house. By bringing oranges, you are wishing for an auspicious New Year to your hosts! So don’t be silly by bringing wine for the hosts (that’s a big NO NO!!)
- Last but not least, toss Yu Sheng with your chopsticks while saying your wishes for the new year. Make sure to toss it real high as the higher you toss, the greater your fortune will be 😉 I’m not sure if Indonesians toss Yu Sheng as well as I hardly celebrate Chinese New Year in Indonesia (in fact, almost never!)
FIREWORKS! Firecrackers make such a racket and this is believed to ward off evil so people light up a lot of those during CNY. I don’t really believe in the stuff, but I LOVE fireworks and my family always lights up lots of sparklers and actual fireworks during CNY. You can’t really do that in Singapore, but in Indonesia… heck yeah.
So there… some pointers from us on Chinese New Year traditions that you may / may not know! The two of us, and a lot of our friends, are traveling to spend the festivities with our families and loved ones. So if you are making a journey, may it be home or wherever, TRAVEL SAFE! 🙂
More from our Chinatown adventure:
Happy Chinese New Year in advance everyone! Hope this new year will bring happiness, prosperity and more blessings for everybody! 😀