Today is Lunar New Year aka Chinese New Year. I am not familiar with as only Japan does not celebrate the Lunar New Year in Asia, I think. However I got to taste bits in New York with my Chinese-American friends, exchanging gifts and enjoying special dinner in Chinatown.
Although I was traveling during my first Chinese New Year in Singapore (last year), I learned some practices are unique to Singapore according to my Chinese teachers. For example, pineapple decoration, some practice like Yu Sheng (魚生).
Because 80% of population is Singaporean-Chinese, it is no surprise that Chinese New Year is a biggest festive season in Singapore. People spend a lot, really lot! Banks, retails, restaurants and any commercials encourage customers spend crazily.
Another observation is a gift giving, just like old day’s Japan’s Year-end gift giving. In Japan, we normally present something useful, say some food during first three-day of New Year celebration and towel…trying not to overlap the same items. I do remember my mother spent so many hours at department store in December to select what goes to which household just because a family of 3 or 5. In Singapore and perhaps the rest of world celebrating Chinese New Year, quite similar items go around and majority is baked and fried snacks. Yet, all signifies prosperity.
Lastly, this is my obsession this year, Lime and Mandarin Orange Trees displayed at the entrance of building, perhaps at the door if landed house. Normally pair, right and left, which reminds me of Japanese “KADOMASTU” (Pine Trees at Gate?), which symbolizes longevity, prosperity and purity, serving as a spiritual proxy that invites the year’s god into the house. And I just found it is brought from China. No matter where we are, what we want to feel is the same. Peace all!
The year of monkey brings you a lot of happiness! 新年快乐！
Thanks for stopping by.