Chinese Lunar New Year has been an integral part of every country with significant amount of Chinese communities around the world. In which it has been closely observed and celebrated, including Singapore. But what really is Chinese New Year? And how come the Chinese get to celebrate New Year twice?
Chinese New Year, or also known as ‘Lunar New Year’, marks the beginning of the Chinese calendar which usually falls either late January or early February. In Singapore, CNY 2017 falls on Saturday, 28th January and is a two-day national public holiday. Although the celebration doesn’t end after this but extends to 15 days from the first day of the festive period. This particular holiday is very important and grandly celebrated as New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day as well as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in western countries.
2017 is the Year of the Fire Rooster
Astrologers believe that the year of the rooster is the time for resolve, achievements and getting things done. The fire element by nature is the element associated with brilliance, warmth, passion and spark. Expect a promising year to those who are focused on achieving their goals.
The Legend of Chinese New Year
Legend has it that CNY is celebrated to commemorate the victory over Nian, a savage beast that used to attack the village. One day, the villagers saw that the beast was scared off by a child wearing red. Ever since then, the colour red has been associated with celebration and victory. Firecrackers were also lighted up as it was believed that loud noises and bright lights scare the beast away.
Spring cleaning and decorations
Just a few weeks before Chinese New Year, Chinese families will start to give their homes a deep and through cleaning. For it is believed that cleaning drives away the bad luck of the previous years and prepares the home for the incoming luck and blessings. During this time, decorations will also be put up such as cutout of auspicious phrases and other auspicious decorations that symbolizes prosperity and wealth – all comes in the auspicious colours of red and gold.
Giving red envelopes or hongbao
Giving red envelopes during celebrations such as birthdays, weddings and Chinese New Year have been a custom closely followed by the Chinese. It is believed that wrapping money in red envelopes will bring happiness and blessings on to the receivers. In exchange of receiving hongbao, the receivers are expected to wish elders a happy new year, good health and good fortune before accepting the red envelopes.
Reunion dinners are the magnet of the season that brings all family members together. It is considered the most important part of the celebration. Anything round in shape is a symbol of completeness thus the family reunions are always held in round tables as a symbol of unity within the family and that it enables everyone to be close to each other in harmony; and to ensure that everyone will have a fresh start with the New Year, families take this opportunity to make peace with everyone. Note: check our previous blog to learn more about the essential foods and dishes to be served during reunion dinners.
Celebrate Chinese New Year in Singapore
Singapore is definitely one of the countries that celebrate Chinese New Year grandly. You can experience the festive mood all throughout the island, from brightly decorated shopping malls, to seasonal street markets and even shop houses. All carrying Chinese New Year essential goodies such as pineapple tarts, mandarin oranges, bak kwas, and decorative paraphernalia. Make sure not to miss Chinatown, the must-go place during this season. Better hurry though, as you wouldn’t want to be stuck there with the many people doing their last minute shopping. Although, being there with all the many people anxious about the celebrations kind of makes the festive atmosphere even more enjoyable. There’s also the River Hongbao on the Marina Bay floating platform and the Esplanade Waterfront promenade.
NOT TO MISS: The Istana grounds will be holding an Open House to the public on 29 January (Sunday) from 8.30am to 6pm.There will be several performances such as lion dances and opera performances, as well as a display of birds by wildlife Reserves Singapore and a Chinese Calligraphy booth.
Entry to Istana grounds is free for Singaporeans and permanent residents. All other visitors are required to pay a $2 entrance fee. Source: Straits Times
That’s Chinese New Year 101 for you, time to revel in this season and take the opportunity to reconnect with your roots. Wishing you all a Happy and Prosperous Lunar New Year, from all of us in Liebherr Appliances. Gong Xi Fa Cai!