Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first day of year’s first month of Chinese lunar calendar. However not always the date is same i.e. it fluctuates from one year to the other but lasts for about 2 to 3 days. It is interesting to know that while all the customs and rituals are followed in these 2 to 3 days but other celebrations continue for around 15 days. These days in Singapore are full of color and joy. Chinese New year is not just limited to the Chinese people residing in the country but also to the Chinese communities spread around the world.
History related to the festival
The history of this celebration dates back to around thousands of years from now. As per legends, this holiday was introduced in 2637 B.C by Emperor Huang Ti. However the authenticity of this fact is not known. All that holding important now is that Chinese New Year is the most important festival of the Chinese community. Talking about the celebration conducted by Chinese communities spread around the world, the first and most prominent one is that conducted by the Chinese residing in Singapore.
Celebration begins a month before
The people here start preparing for the day at least a month before. They clean the house, shop some new accessories for the house, get themselves new dresses, prepare foods and plan for get together at home. Another tradition followed by people belonging to this group is giving money as gifts to the children in red small envelops. This red envelop is considered to be the carrier of happiness and good luck. Apart from these, people here also take part in cultural activities like lion and dragon dance, taking parts in parades, visiting the local temples and ringing the bell, lantern festivals, firework displays others.
Reunion and Dinner- Best part of CNY
Of all the activities, the prime attraction of this festival is family reunion and dinner. This is what people in Singapore refer to as Hotpot or steamboat dinner. Here a bowl of hot soup is placed on the table in between and other foods like dumplings, sliced meats, raw vegetables and fish are thrown in this soup bowl and cooked in front of everyone’s eyes. Though this type of meal is prepared often but making it on Chinese New Year day is a must for Singaporean-Chinese. It is somewhat similar to the live cooking station set up in restaurants.
Myriad of scopes for enjoying CNY
Apart from all these celebrations, there are also many things in store which you can explore visiting Singapore during these 15 days. Chingay Parade which takes place on the 8th day is worth viewing. This is somewhat a street parade having a carnival like ambience. Though after 15 days of this New Year Day, but the River Hongbao festivity is another important part of the Chinese New Year celebration. The celebration takes place on the floating platform of Marina Bay and Esplanade waterfront promenade. The program offers you with a plethora of opportunities to enjoy yourself to the fullest. Over and all, it can be said that you will miss out the essence of Chinese New Year celebration without visiting Singapore.