Chinese New Year
31) The 9th Day of Lunar New Year
The number 9th day of Lunar New Year is a day where we offer our thanks to God of Heaven. It’s a big event to some Chinese. But I set up some simple offerings for my thanks giving. Some cookies, cakes, fruits and paper gold for prayers (not too good for the ozone layer though) and also a pair of sugar cane.
Ever wonder why is sugar cane significant to this big event of the Lunar Calendar?
Some legend began way back to the old era in China, in the province of Fujian (Hokkien). The story has it that villages in Fujian tried to escape from the killings and rummage of robbers on the 9th day of Chinese New Year by hiding themselves in the sugar cane plantation. Their lives were saved. Thus, from then, villagers offer a pair of sugar cane on this 9th day of Lunar New Year to thank the Heavenly God for the good blessings, protection from natural disasters and a year of good harvest in return.
Besides, ‘sugar cane’ in Hokkien pronounciation coincidently sounds like ‘thankful’ in meaning. That’s how the fable arises.
I gift-wrapped my pair of sugar cane in red-paper, hug him with good luck while I offer it to the Heavenly God, and wishing that he hugged me in return.
10) Wishes in Lunar New Year
Today is the first day of Chinese New Year. I managed to set up a simple offer to the Lord of Heaven.
These fruits and Nian Gao – New Year cake are to show my appreciation for the past one year in Safe and Healthy condition.
And also, thank you divine, protect me for the past one year.
Hope that in this coming 2013, I’ll be able to learn how to cherish simple food, knowing more about gratitude,
looking more things at the bright side!
And finally, peace in the mind, peace in the world!
9) Sydney is out for lunar party fun again!
Tonight is Lunar New Year Eve. Sydney is out for party fun again! In tradition believes, you must find someone to be with you in reunion night.
If not you’ll be stay alone forever!
Omg! How can Sydney do that to me?
In fact, I got something to plan for myself.
I have actually invite one of my girl friend to be my dancing partner tonight!
Let me proudly introduce to you, my girl friend! CoCo!
We are going to open champagne and toast it up!
Shall we start dancing and Karaoke No More lonely night?
Forget about Sydney’s lame story!
Forget about that grasshopper!
Let’s dance like a lion and wishing everybody Happy Chinese New year!
30) Caring is the core of this festive season
The hall behind the Sri Mariamman Temple is a place to offer a reunion dinner to those new immigrants and the underpriviledged. Early days, immigrants from overseas go through hard life, many were earning token just to fill up their stomach. So it is understandable that they live alone and did not start a family. This temple was also used as a refuge camp to hold new immigrants. During Chinese New Year, you will see them gather here to celebrate the festive season irregardless of race or religion.
This is the front view of Sri Mariamman Temple. It is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore. It was founded in 1827 and built to dedicate Mariamman, a Goddess, famous for her healing power of epidemic diseases.
Banana and mango leaves hanging over the temple door, welcome and purify visitors with a fresh reborn life.
Mango leave will withered after a few days and closed up by itself, this symbolizes a humble society, caring for the surrounding and to make way for their passing by.
Isn’t it sending a clear message across? Being caring and benevolent are the cores of this festive season!
7) What is the most atmosphere for CNY?
I’m looking for something but it is not on this red withering flower.
Hairy caterpillars say, wait for me to grow up, I’ll tell you!
He said, for the time being offer you a mini mandarin orange.
Or a deep pocket with full itinerary.
What about a blessing to carry along?
Let’s make it double!
Or let the water snake stick by you whole year through!
And come in a pair!
Note: One blogger mentioned to me earlier that CNY atmosphere is diminishing. I totally agree with this! We know we can’t change the way it is but on the other hand putting some thought and effort can change the way you perceive it.
This year is a year that is graceful to me. Being able to spend my time blogging and sharing my thoughts with the world. I feel I have created the atmosphere for myself and it lives in my heart.
This is the most memorable year I had!
26) One week before CNY, in wet market.
We can feel the joy and heat coming from this wet market before Lunar New Year. One typical characteristic of a wet market is, prices are cheap and foods are always fresh. Unlike supermarkets where meat and seafood were usually frozen, in the wet market, vegetables, seafood, meat and other foodstuff are bought directly from wholesalers and skip the packaging process for cold storage.
Bargain is the most common language between hawker and customers.
Wet market in Singapore is segregated in wet and dry segment. Any food you want under the sky is under one roof.
As CNY is just around the corner, the price of seafood will shoot up accordingly.
Vegetables sold in bundle with reasonable price.
How can eggs be left behind where most traditional cakes can’t go without it.
Round pomelo makes your year all round prosperous.
My favorite fruit store stock up with variety of fruits with a humble price tag.
Sweet and sour tidbits always challenge your taste buds.
Nuts and traditional cookies come in loose form and authentic taste.
Some toiletries top-up for a fresh new year.
Dried stuffs and canned foods at one corner conquering the heart of every customers.
Happen to lose your shoes along the way? Not to worry, just pick up one and carry on with the marketing!
Monster ‘Nian’ will not approach this scarlet red shop.
Prayer stuffs all ready for Gods and ancestors.
Live seafood make their stay in aquarium.
Pray for guardian and protection for a better year.
Flowers are all bloomed and ready, what about you?
20) A story of Lunar New Year – Nian (年)
The mythology side of Lunar New Year was originated from a monster ‘nian’ (meaning ‘year’). The beast had a head like a lion and a body like a bull. It lives in deep sea for the whole season.
Every spring around the lunar month or Chinese New Year it will come ashore to destroy farms and attack humans. Villagers were helpless. They discussed how to make the ‘nian’ stay away from them and leave them in peace. So they started hanging red cloths and lighted red lanterns, pasting red couplet outside the houses in the hope to deter this ferocious animal. Whenever, the animal appeared, the villagers make loud noises with drums and gongs, chopping vegetables /meats loudly and ignite fireworks to subdue the beast. Somehow, ‘nian’ was back off by these intimidations. It left the village and never returned again.
Thus, the villagers realized that loud sound, the color of red, bright lights and fireworks etc were effective deterants to ‘nian’.
Since then, people have kept the tradition alive by beating drums and gongs on streets, and lighting fireworks to drive the beast away during the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival. They wish each other ‘Gong Xi” for a new life of survivor, this is the mythology of how the Lunar New Year come about.
The three scarlet friends humming along in their harmony home.
25) Glimpse of a Snake in Chinatown
A night scene with a wave of square lanterns appear in Chinatown, Singapore which was captured my me this evening. As this is the Lunar year of Water Snake, I guess that’s why the lightened up decorations come conversely with fire red colour. To me, the deco resembles more like Loch Ness than snake, most probably they belong to the same species. Or I might be wrong..
The illuminated boxes come with twelve zodiac and auspicious words on them. May all my wishes be fulfilled with the dedicated inscriptions, I wish!
Coincidentally, the red break-lights of vehicles match so well with the festive atmosphere.
The much sought after and infamous dried sausages and dried duck legs (also known as wax sausages/duck legs) store give an extra touch to the New Year’s air.
A good technique in bargaining might earned you an extra sausage of joy!
An elder earning his own keeps with his talent earned my appreciation of some dollar notes.
Lim Chee Guan, the well-known BBQ sweet pork shop has been working non-stop day and night through weeks to cater to the long waited customers. Waiting time can be as long as 2-3hours if you have the patience to wait for it. When you see this, you know, the festive seasons is just at the corner!
18) Check you luck over here
Sydney bump into a shopping complex “Nex” in Serangoon Central, saw twelve animals talking about their luck in 2013!
Sydney share with you.
Before listen to their conversation, please check your Birth year below and zoom into which animal you belongs to.
Year of Rat
Year of Ox
Year of Tiger
Year of Rabbit
Year Of Dragon
Year of Snake
Year of Horse
Year of Goat
Year of Monkey
Year of Rooster
Year of Dog
Year of Pig
Hope the resolution is fine to you! If you can’t see it clearly, this might be your another kind of luck too!
Sydney believes luck, is all in you!
And this is just a fairy tour!
19) Few steps to CNY
Wooden clogs are versatile shoes appear in and out of your house in olden days. I remember during my childhood, I saw my mother wearing it into the toilet to do the laundry. Another pair is placed outside the corridor, she wear that to do her gardening.
It is also part of street hawkers’ attire in those days. So it’s hard to miss out the “clark, clark, clark” sound throughout the busy food street.
Wooden clogs are uncommon these days. But as the scent of Lunar New Year gets closer, I realize I need a pair of wooden clog for this festive season. Traditionally, it signifies “步步高升” literally means “higher steps” for the prosperous year ahead.
This pair is meant for the ladies. The shape resembles a woman’s perfect measurement! In the past, it is common footwear for housewives to walk down the street doing bargains with their marketing or sometimes chasing their kids with a cane with it!
The male version comes with broader shape. It is not only domestic footwear for hawkers or coffee shop baristas, it is also ideal footwear for wearers to alert their movement with the sounds it created.
I shall dedicate these two pairs of wooden clogs to all fellow Bloggers and Followers.
Wishing all taking their steps higher and higher, with good health and a very prosperous Lunar New Year!