Ah, Chinese New Year (CNY) is about to end in Singapore..with the feasting and catching up with friends and relatives tailing off. Not that I don’t eat and catch up on regular days but CNY brings family and friends closer together. I have to say that it’s one of the of festivals (besides Christmas) that I love lots and residing in multi-racial Singapore, we have alot of festivals! In addition to Singapore, it was great to see CNY being celebrated throughout Asia in China (where else!), Malaysia, Japan, Korea and Indonesia. Thanks to ChannelNewsAsia for highlighting the festivities in other Asian countries.
Back to Singapore – pre-celebration activities include making an essential visit to the markets and food streets but the best place to soak up the new year mood and to get essential CNY goodies is Chinatown!
Despite the heavy rain just before the run up to festivities, we saw determined shoppers make their way to their favourite markets to ensure they had their steady supply of bak kwa (barbecued pork), cookies, kwa chee (melon seeds) and chinese sweets. In fact, my guess is that the rain helped people come out after the showers because the weather became cooler.
This is what we caught on the day after the shower.
I do especially like the picture below which is of an Indian temple in the middle of Chinatown. Displayed on the huge humongous door is a festival banner wishing all a Happy Lunar New Year. Religious harmony at work in Singapore!
After all the shopping for food and goodies, one needs to start celebrating! Family and friends play a huge part in these celebrations. I’ve had the good fortune this year to participate in a Peranakan style Chinese New Year lunch as well as a lovely traditional Cantonese celebration. In addition to the ubiqitous Yu Sheng, I found the familiar favourites Mee Siam, Kueh Pie Tee and Roast Pork laid out before me. So absolutely yummy!!!
A little different for the Cantonese style of celebrating:
‘Carrot cake’ which is actually shredded white radish then compressed and steamed. It is then sliced and pan-fried. Good bowl of rice porridge topped with fragrant ginger and delicious morsels of shredded chicken and spring onions.But whether you’re celebrating Peranakan or Cantonese style in Singapore, Yu Sheng is a must have dish to kick off the meal. These are the basic condiments – radish, carrots, sweet dried fruit, crunchy pomelo, crunchy crackers (similar to wonton skins), oil, raw sliced ‘ikan parang’ (some use salmon), plum sauce, lemon juice and a little coriander.
Everyone partakes in this ‘toast’ to the new year and you hear wishes for good health, easy paths to riches and overall well-being for everyone! Can’t wait for next year’s celebration 🙂