Chinatown is indisputably the best place to soak up the festive atmosphere of Chinese New Year in Singapore. Although the annual street light-up in ranges from 19 January to 11 March 2013, the best dates to visit will be during the official light-up ceremony on 19 January or tonight with the Chinese New Year Countdown Event as well as the final evening for the festive street bazaar! Given that we are ushering in the Year Of The Snake, you know you are in the right place when you see this huge lantern snake!
Made of numerous squarish oriental lanterns, I thought the snake looked pretty good but a few of my friends beg to differ. It’s hard to please everyone….
Besides dolling up the streets, Singaporeans purchase Chinese New Year decorations to spruce up our homes and have it beautifully adored for guests and relatives.
Traditional paper cuttings and door scrolls are also conveniently available in stickers format nowadays for easy stick on and removal.
Small pots of plants with auspicious symbolic meanings such as Fortune Bamboo-Layers are a popular ‘green’ decoration with Singaporeans.
There’s also the larger versions for vases. Lucky bamboo can be bent and twisted into auspicious shapes to bring prosperity, fortune and happiness to the family.
These bright yellow Bottle Gourd signifies abundant of riches and wealth. Specifically the bottle gourd is also a common Chinese symbol for longevity as well as good luck.
Pussy willows usually have white silvery buds which look like silk. But this year, they come in a range of vibrant colours. I love the shocking pink!
Although Chinese New Year is traditionally celebrated over 15 days (probably due to vast distance and less convenient modes of transportation in olden days China), Singaporeans usually complete our relative house visits within the first 3 days. And we make it a point to entertain our guests with loads of new year sweets and savoury goodies!
If you are a bargain hunter, the eve of Chinese New Year will be the best time for you to prowl the market for new year sweets and savoury goodies. Once the countdown is over, prices are immediately slashed in a frenzy manner to clear their stock and close shop for the Chinese New Year!
Free samples are available for your tasting pleasure.
I am not a fan of festive nuts…. too lazy to peel.
Hmm… shall we just get one of each?
All ‘kids’ that have yet to get married are given Red Packets (Ang Baos) by elders. They are monetary gifts that symbolizes good luck and is supposed to ward off evil spirits.
Ang Baos these days comes in all sorts of design – even Angry Bird!
Besides these common Chinese New Year stuffs, other items such as waxed duck, barbecued sweet meats and even shoes are also found at the bazaar!
If you are tired after all the walking, you can take a break and watch entertaining night cultural performances at Kreta Ayer Square before heading off to the Festive Fresh Flower Fair a little distance away.
Walking through rows of beautiful fresh flowers at the fair was truly therapeutic.
Feast your eyes on the gorgeous bloom while they last.
Citrus Lime Tree also known as Kamquat looked like golden nuggets on trees. They signify efforts that have blossomed into excellent results hence are extremely popular with Singaporeans.
I will be heading down again tonight to soak in the festive Chinese New Year atmosphere at Chinatown, look forward to see you there!
You may also like to check out my posts on other exciting travel destinations here