With an amalgamation of culture, language, heritage and traditions, Singaporeans have unique rituals for the Chinese New Year. Join the Singaporeans to usher in the festivities of New Year just the Singapore way! Cleaning the house, buying new clothes and bursting firecrackers is akin to Diwali celebrations in India. However, there are some customs followed by the Singaporeans as a part of their tradition. We have specially listed down a few that will help you get familiarised with the festival.
1. ‘Fu’nky souvenirs
In the Chinese culture, 福 (Fu) symbolises good luck and fortune. Bright red colour adorns the bazaars of Singapore and Fu is inscripted in golden. Red denotes good fortune and golden denotes prosperity. Gift your near and dear ones souvenirs like lamps, cards, key chains, dolls and many more that bear the ‘Fu’ symbol on it. ‘Hong Bao’ envelopes are given from parents to children, married couples to single friends, bosses to staff, from any senior to a junior as a symbol of prosperity and good luck. These envelopes are filled with money (in even denominations) and are red in colour inscribed with 福 (Fu) on it.
2. Wishes do come true on a tree
Wish for something to come true? Then, take a piece of paper, jot down your wish and tie it on a string attached to an orange. At some places, foam oranges are used in lieu of Mandarin oranges. One such lucky wishing tree is at Chinatown. At Chinatown, you will have to pay merely $2 for hanging your wish on the lucky tree. Kreta Ayer Seniors Activity Centre will receive all the proceeds from the collection. A noble investment of funds, isn’t it? This way you can help, someone else’s wishes come true as well.
3. Surreal display of lights at the River Hongbao Festival
The 9-day long carnival is packed with tonnes of activities, food stalls, handicrafts and fireworks. The carnival takes places at the floating platform in Marina Bay and huge lanterns adorn the bay. God of Fortune, Tiger Mountain (bunch of tigers on mountain), and The Prosperity Gate are some of the gargantuan lantern displays that will pop your eyes out.
Dates: February 17, 2015 - February 28, 2015
4. Fortune from food
No kidding! Chinese associate a large amount of luck with numbers, colours and food. To begin with, Mandarin oranges are exchanged in pairs during the Chinese New Year to usher in good luck. Legend has it that the Chinese words for luck and wealth sound like orange. ‘Yusheng’, a traditional salad made out of raw fish is prepared during the Chinese New Year. There is a thought process behind every ingredient that goes in the making. Fish symbolises abundance, the green radish is a metaphor for eternal youth, fried noodles and peanut crumbs are put to call for gold and silver in the household, oil is encircled over all the ingredients indicating the flow of money from all the directions and a sweet element like plum sauce is added so that your life also sweetens. Sweets like pineapple tarts, kueh bangkit (tapioca cookies) and love letters (flaky biscuit rolls)are savoured all throughout the festival. Imagine, if food really bought all that luck, how fat we would become! Remove be
5. Chingay Parade
An over-the-top parade that celebrates Chinese New Year like none other. Celebrate Singapore’s 50th birthday with a flashy display of costumes, dances, music, games and much more. Join the Singaporeans as they ring in the new year with lion dancers, magic shows, firecracker displays, giant floats and much more. Chingay Parade mirrors the cosmopolitan image of Singapore in true sense.
1. Chinese New Year is also called as the ‘Spring Festival’ or ‘Lunar New Year’
2. This year, the Chinese New Year will be celebrated on February 19, 2015 (Thursday). It is a public holiday in Singapore.
3. Windows and doors are ornamented with red paper cuts, symbols of 'Fu' and couplets of fortune, happiness, longevity and wealth are written on it.
4. Chinese New Year is celebrated all across the world in Chinatown.
5. Chinese burst firecrackers on the new year day as they believe that it scares off the evil.
So, wait no more! Book a Singapore tour package and get your Singapore visa to join the festivities.
Author: Winnie Karnik