新年快乐 (Happy New Year) and 恭喜发财(May Prosperity be with you)! Chinese New Year officially began on February 3rd but it will last for the next two weeks. In China everyone gets 2 weeks off, here in Singapore it’s only a long weekend (4.5 days) but no complaints from my end! I’ve been learning a lot of new things so I’ll just write about that and of course post pictures! The new year time is generally a time to visit families, pay off any debts and clean houses. When people visit families, they usually bring two mandarin oranges. The oranges represent abundance and good fortune and as it was explained to me, the oranges are given in pairs (two/four/six) because couples are better than singles (aka it’s better to be married than single :X). Mandarin orange trees also line the entrances of housesand businesses.
Hong baos or more commonly known as “red packets” are given to wives by thier husbands and by the elders to the younger kids. The big incentive for kids to visit the families are the hong baos and to see how much money they can collect! Although they are traditionally supposed to be red, they come in all designs and colors these days (except for black of course).
Chinatown is PACKED every night with barely any room to walk. There are nightly performances, everything from pop stars to dragon dances
There are lots of temp food/product stalls from cookies to specialty black melon seeds. The problem is that every stall owner has a microphone and is yelling their special price/package so it can get pretty loud (not that I really understand what they’re saying anyways…)
And of course, lots of red things to buy to decorate doors and houses with
I love love LOVE cherry blossoms, maybe because they remind me of the quad. When I grow up I want a cherry blossom tree in my yard but for now I’ve decided to buy some fake ones to decorate my apartment with!
Since it’s the year of the rabbit, lot of rabbit displays around the city! I think they’re all really cute!
I love festival time in any city, the atmosphere is always so energetic and lively! And I love learning about all the traditions, it seems like everything has symbolism and meaning in Asian traditions which is always so interesting to learn about.