Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!

It's now past midnight of the first day of Chinese New Year, so a very happy Chinese New Year to my Chinese and non-Chinese friends out there!

We had a steamboat dinner just now, and tomorrow I'll be a busy beaver at my relatives' house eating all the yummy snacks. I've eaten plenty of kueh lapis and pineapple tarts already, so I'm excited to chomp on some bak kwa tomorrow. Bak Kwa is barbequed pork, it's all sweet and yummy and oh so fattening, but since I only eat it once a year I'm making the excuse that it's okay. 

These are my nails for the past few days, I've already done something different for CNY which I'll show you next time. 

It's so nice and Chinese New Year-ish, definitely put me in the mood.

I'd like to share with those who aren't Singaporean a bit about how we celebrate CNY in Singapore. We have a reunion dinner on the eve of CNY, which is a dinner with your close relatives, and we usually eat steamboat. The first and second days of CNY are public holidays, so we visit our relatives and those who are young and unmarried get to collect red packets, which is money stuffed in a tiny red envelope. We usually receive money in multiples of 2 because it's good luck. I don't know why, but yay money!

There's a lot of significance to many of the traditions that we carry out, but I can't remember some of them, and some of them have lost their meaning to me. For example, we can't sweep our houses because it's considered bad luck to be "sweeping" your luck away. But in this modern day and age I use a vacuum cleaner at home so it really isn't that relevant for me.

We also give two mandarin oranges to the hosts of the house which we visit, and as we give it to them, we also say some Chinese "blessings" to them, most of which is wishing them good fortune/prosperity/progress/health. Then all the married couples in the house who are also visiting the hosts start to give out red packets to those of us unmarried ones. It's funny when people who are 30 or 40 over years old aren't married but get red packets because they have to endure the annual nagging: "When are you getting married?"

CNY is all about gathering with your family and celebrating the start of a new year, and I do enjoy meeting my relatives whom I don't meet that often otherwise. There's also an enormous amount of food which we consume so we all have to watch our diets. Somehow this year I'm looking forward to these gatherings a lot, though usually I'm very reluctant, but I think it's because I just need a break from school.

So to everyone out there, 恭喜发财,万事如意! (Wishing you prosperity and success in everything!) If you celebrate CNY, how do you do it?


  1. LOVE the mani! Isn't red considered a lucky color in Asian cultures? And thanks for sharing some of your traditions with us! Very interesting!

  2. Happy Chinese New year. Gorgeus nails :)

  3. Kung Hei Fat Choi! I like your nails=)

  4. Thank you ladies!

    @ The Peach: Yup, red is considered lucky! Black is unlucky so we can't wear black clothes to visit too!