Beautiful lanterns and papercuts
It is almost the Year of The Ox, and it is hard not to get swept up with the colour of the Chinese New Year celebrations. The newspapers are full of special promotions, CNY recipes, gift ideas, hints and tips.
Around the HDB estates, apartments are decorated with swinging lanterns, red banners, and potted tangerine plants. How lovely it would be to have your family just a taxi ride away to spend this hopeful time with.
I am always amazed at the paraphernalia that goes with Chinese New Year. I had a walk around the pedestrianised streets of Chinatown the other day and there is so much STUFF on sale...some of it kitch, but all of it with some symbolic meaning. Of course the colour red is prevalent, but there's also a fair share of gold/yellow.
Decorations in the forms of Oxes are everywhere, along with pineapple shaped lanterns, fish, dragons, and cherubby children. Prior to New Year's Day, Chinese families decorate their living rooms with vases of pretty blossoms, platters of oranges and tangerines and a candy tray with eight varieties of dried sweet fruit. You can find tasty treats such as the egg rolls, pork slices, pineapple tarts, melon seeds, mandarins and a dazzling array of little sweets around Chinatown.
There's something for everyone here, so take some time to wander around and soak up the atmosphere. Even in these difficult economic times, or perhaps because of them, these traditional celebrations are extremely important to Chinese families. The 15 days of celebrations is all to ensure that the coming year is prosperous, healthy and abundant. I hope it shall be.