New Year in Singapore
Home to many cultures and customs, Singapore turns into a hub of celebrations around New Year. Unlike other festivals in Singapore, New Year’s Eve is celebrated in Chinese tradition. Also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival (Chun Jie), it is considered as a major festival for the people. Based on the traditional lunar calendar, the New Year Festival in Singapore is celebrated over a period of fifteen days. The more widely celebrated New Year’s Eve, followed on 31st December all over the world, is a pale shadow when compared to Chun Jie in Singapore, which starts in the last week of January. Explore this article to find out more about the exciting New Year celebrations in Singapore.
New Year Celebrations in Singapore:
New Year is one of the most anticipated celebrations in the Chinese Lunar Calendar and is celebrated with full vigor and fervor in Singapore as well. Also known as Chun Jie (Spring Festival), the festival has everyone in the family welcoming the spring with colorful festivities, steeped in age old traditions. There are feasts meant for reunion of the family and the exchange of hongbao (red packets) for good luck.
In Singapore, the excitement of celebrating New Year can be seen everywhere. Markets are bedecked gorgeously and special dinners are organized. People are dipped in celebration mood, pouring their money to buy presents, decoration, food and clothing. Celebration starts with cleaning of the rooms thoroughly. This is basically done to sweep away ill fortune and bring in good luck and affluence. Since red is deemed as a lucky color for Chinese, it also dominates New Year celebrations. It is assumed red frightens off the Chun Jie monster ‘Nian’, who arrives at this time of year and destroys crops and homes.
On New Year, Chun lian (couplets) with popular themes of happiness, wealth and longevity are hung at the doorways. Modern Singapore sees the display of auspicious character, placed upside down deliberately, as the Chinese pronunciation of “upside down” is the same as “arrival”. Food ranges from pigs and ducks to chicken and sweet delicacies. Children greet their parents the next morning by wishing them a healthy and happy New Year, and receive money in red paper envelopes.
Chun Jie tradition is a great way to reconcile, forgetting all grudges, and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone. It mainly symbolises the reunion of family members. The celebrations throughout the country wont fail to enchant you in high spirits. It becomes a festive zone for the entire two weeks, making the entire area glocal with its vibrancy and colours. On New Year, Singapore is thronged by both residents and guests alike and relishing the last few moments in the country will keep you mesmerised throughout your life.