Gong Xi Fa Cai! Chinese New Year Singapore Style.

One of the really nice things about living in Singapore, is the exposure to so many different festivals celebrated around the world.  The next big one for this year is Lunar Chinese New Year (CNY), celebrating the year of the Goat.  Here’s a little more about CNY, which falls on 19 February this year.

It marks the start of the new year for the Chinese calendar, beginning of the second new moon after the winer solstice and ending on the full moon fifteen days later.  It is marked by visits to family and friends, special meals, fireworks, and gift giving. Before the celebration, people will normally completely clean the house and display traditional New Year decorations, very similar to Diwali.

Red is undoubtedly the colour of the season. You’ll see it in the scarlet paper packets filled with money that are given to children and younger relatives. You’ll see it in the bright hues of the brand new clothes people are wearing.  Most of all, you’ll see it in homes all over Singapore, thoroughly spring-cleaned and decorated with touches of crimson everywhere – in the lanterns hung by the gates, in the spring couplets adorning doorways and in the bright ribbons adorning kumquat plants, their yellow fruit symbolising ‘gold’ or prosperity.

red packetkumquatlanterns

The heart of Chinese New Year is ultimately a celebration of home and family, hence gatherings with family and relatives around the dining table are de rigueur.

And nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the tradition of Reunion Dinner, held on the eve of the new year. Family members rush back home (sometimes from very far away) in order to share this one most important meal of the year with loved ones.

snacksnack 3snack 2

goat

Chinese New Year 2015 is the year of the Goat. For people born in the year of the Goat (1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003 ), 2015 is considered an auspicious year. Some random facts for those born under the goat sign (we know it sounds so uncool)-

  • Lucky Colors: brown, red, purple
  • Lucky Numbers: 2, 7
  • Lucky Flowers: carnation, primrose

If you know a Goat, then maybe this may resonate with you, we’ll let you be the judge.

People born in a year of the Goat are generally believed to be gentle mild-mannered, shy, stable, sympathetic, amicable, and brimming with a strong sense of kindheartedness and justice.

They have very delicate thoughts, strong creativity, and perseverance, and acquire professional skills well. Although they look gentle on the surface, they are tough on the inside, always insisting on their own opinions in their minds. They have strong inner resilience and excellent defensive instincts.

Though they prefer to be in groups, they do not want to be the center of attention. They are reserved and quiet, most likely because they like spending much time in their thoughts. Goats like to spend money on fashionable things that give them a first class appearance. Although goats enjoy spending money on the finer things in life, they are not snobbish.

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The Goats display in Chinatown. Didn’t know goats could look so impressive.
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Auspicious gold coins and goats lined up in Chinatown.

This blog I am super lucky to have a guest appearance blogger, my gorgeous 8 year old daughter, Arshia, who is going to give you her take on CNY.

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Hi every body I am Arshia and I am going to write about Chinese new year.20150213_190126_resized

This year it will be the year of the goat.  It will take place next wednesday.

Why do they have the year of the goat and other years you ask I will tell you why.

Many many years ago there was a Chinese Emperor and he said that all the animals that he knew of will have a race. So all the animals started the race and the rat said to the cat that there is a fish in the lake but the cat did not know how to swim but went in the water anyway and drowned.

So that is why they have all the years in Chinese new year. Now why do the young give oranges to there elders, well they give the oranges to elders to wish them good luck and the elders give the red packet called “hong bao” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_envelope) in Chinese to young to wish them good luck to. Okay now that is all of it for Chinese new year but yesterday I went to Chinatown and got all cool magic tricks it is lots of fun and all you guys should go there.They have a big goats and little goats in the picture above it is good and fun for your kids and you well I have to go now so bye!

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So here is wishing all of you a very prosperous and joyous Chinese New Year, whether you are a Goat or not, eat, drink and be merry!  Gong Xi Fai Cai from all of us at Forty Red Bangles.

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