Saturday, January 25, 2014

Chinese New Year 2014 at Chinatown, Singapore

Beautiful flying horses at Chinatown, Singapore

After work, my hubby and son were waiting for me at Chinatown. Every year we would visit Chinatown when days were getting near to the Chinese New Year. We went there to feel a different atmosphere.

Nian gao (CNY cake) sold at Da Zhong Guo shop in Chinatown

This is the place where people would come and visit especially during Chinese Festive seasons, such as Chinese New Year and Mid-Autumn Festival. These two held the utmost importance for Chinese society. In Singapore, ethnic Chinese is the majority in the country, holds more than 70% of the total population. With the arrival of new Chinese citizens from other parts of Asia, like from China, Indonesia, Philippines, etc., the figure might increase a lot these days.

Various dried meats and ham to cook delicious CNY reunion dishes

Other than Singaporean who went there to shop for CNY goodies, tourists played the big role too to experience the different ambience in Chinatown.

Sellers were competing each other to sell their products. Some used microphone, some were shouting out loud to attract the passer-by attention. Seemed like they were fighting for me hehe...

Free sample of Taiwanese jellies were distributed to passer-by. Some seller would give a forcing-people-to-buy look after giving out the sample. Lolx! Some was opening the jelly bare-hand, which you wouldn't know what he was touching before that.

Same items could be sold with different pricing even it was located just few meters away. So it would depend on your luck when buying the items there.

Fruits for prayer

Many unusual items were sold especially for Chinese New Year such as: CNY house decorations, cherry branch and its accessories, various fake and real flowers or plants (to be put in office or home), dried meats or sausages, CNY cookies (pineapple tarts, love-letters, peanut cookies etc.), nian gao (CNY cake - usually cut, dipped with egg, powdered with flour and deep fried), tidbits (peanuts, dried persimmon, roasted Chestnut), and so on.

CNY decorations at Chinatown,  Singapore

Many photographers took this place as a good place to practice their photography skills. You could find children holding the cute balloons that floating in the air (there was cute Doraemon balloon too :D). Some restaurants were full house and people were still queuing in some place.

Fake and real plants and flowers to beautify the house or offices

It was really crowded. Some stall showed the DVD of people singing Chinese songs as if it was ge tai or live performance. Some shop turned on the Chinese New Year songs to liven up their stall. Many salesman sang hard promoting their products, demonstrated on how to use it and told people what benefits they would get if buying it.

Lanterns and crowds at Chinatown, Singapore

We had to walk very slowly and within the crowds, at the same time to protect our belonging. Although Singapore is a safe country, we still have to be vigilance. "Low crime doesn't mean no crime" - this was the slogan that the Singapore Police Force always promote.

Various CNY cookies and tidbits

Three of us had mala hotpot, dumpling soup and hot & sour soup for dinner before browsing the area. We walked for more than two hours. Overall it was a great experience and adventure. The ambience was really unique and one of my favorites :)

This was considered just a normal queue as their main products were sold out.  The shop was still far ahead

There were shops selling bakkwa (in Hokkian), rou gan (in Chinese), or salty-sweet dried meat products, usually pork, and similar to jerky. This was the best time for the bakkwa sellers to earn money. People would queue as early as 5 am whereby the shop would only open at 9 am. Some buyers would hire Bengala construction staffs or ask their maids to queue on their behalf so that they could buy what they wanted easily. The bakkwa price would usually increase too during this period. Lots of time the bakkwa would be sold out during midday. At night the shop would still open but selling the other stuffs that were still available. It's just a tradition for Chinese to eat bakkwa during Chinese New Year and this tradition was passed on from one generation to another.

CNY walk with Baobei @Chinatown :)

Well, my son kept asking us to go home fast as his both legs were paining as we walked too much. Perhaps next generation had lost interest in this kind of tradition and culture, preferred to stay at home playing their electronic gadget and lied down comfortably on their bed. Haiz... Hope he would miss this moment when he grows up one day, the time spent with his both parents near to CNY period....


Anonymous said...

Where is the stall that is selling the sack of loose ground peanuts? Please advise. Is it easy to find?


Rima Reyka said...

Hi Lynn, you can find it easily there. Don't worry about it. Happy browsing!

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