lunar new year

Gong Xi Huat Cai!

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How is your preparation for the Chinese New Year coming along?

Luckily for us, we started Spring Cleaning early this year. We spread the chores
over the span of several weekends so it wasn’t really a chore to us.

There is no point pushing everything off till the last minute because we still have to do it in the end and not to mention that it’s hard work having to finish off everything at one shot.

Recently, my Dad was diagnosed with diabetes but thank God his was just a minor one. No medication needed but he has to watch his diet to keep his condition under control


As a result, we didn’t buy a lot of festive goodies this year
due to health reasons

That means, n
o Pineapple Tarts, no Bah Kwa and no tainted Melon Seeds from China

Except for our salary,
everything else is going up which includes our glucose levels, cholesterol and blood pressure

Therefore, go easy on those Bah Kwa and soft drinks, will you?

Afterall, health is wealth, right?

Now, what is Chinese New Year without walking through the sights, the sounds, and the smells of Chinatown? I believe it’s the only way to fully immerse oneself in the festive mood!



Happy Chinese New Year!


Pearl’s Center, the tallest landmark in Chinatown

Come to think of it, whose idea was it to paint Pearl Center with red, yellow and green? It’s so painful to the eyes…

You can find this stall selling waxed items at the Chinatown New Year Bazaar every year without fail. They are almost like the anchor tenant!


You can find waxed-anything here…


From Lup Cheong (Waxed Sausages)…


…to Waxed Duck and Fish


Okay, maybe NOT everything


What do you call 佛手瓜 in English?

Buddha’s Hand Gourd? 有点牵强吧?哈哈哈!


Kumquats

It’s a family tradition to place a pair of Kumquats beside the pillow for good luck.


Quachees


Accessories for you to hang on the Pussy Willow

Somehow, I feel I’ve just said a dirty word.


Customized car plates!


I loved these little tigers!

I find them very adorable but didn’t buy any because I have no use for them. But still, I took a picture to serve as a momento. I even had a name for my imaginary friend – 虎儿!


What are these?


They sprout!


Festive red everywhere!


Couplets


Trishaw outside the Chinatown Heritage Centre


People queuing up for Bah Kwa outside Lim Chee Guan


Even foreign workers are queuing!


I think they were under orders from their boss to queue for the BBQ pork.

Here’s wishing everyone a Healthy and Happy New Year!

Are you ready for…

The Annual Interrogation-tion-tion-tion-tion
*echo*




A Recap Of My Lunar New Year

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HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR!

It’s already the 6th day (年初六) of the Lunar year. Pardon my lack of entries for the past week. It’s not that I’m particularly busy, but I’m just too tired to come up with any new posts.

Regarding the last two posts (here and here), it was an exaggeration of how irked I was to find ashes drifting into and dirtying my house after I have finished Spring Cleaning.

I’m very pissed with these inconsiderate people burning kim zua. Not that I had anything against them, I respect all religions and their practices but can’t they exercise caution and common sense when burning kim zua?

It was bad enough to find ashes on my window sill and on my bed during Lunar New Year Eve but having to find them back there again on the actual day itself is ridiculous! Can’t they place the burner somewhere in an open space which is not so near to the houses? To burn kim zua right under someones’ window is plain selfish and inconsiderate!

Anyway, during Lunar New Year Eve, I accompanied my parents to the Jurong East Market which has undergone a facelift recently. Renovations were completed and the stall holders have shifted back into the Market from the temporary makeshift stall.

The Market was really crowded with the aunties and their sweaty armpits! We braced ourselves and charged into the crowd trying to distract ourselves from their bodily smells. After buying alot of stuffs, we had a very expensive breakfast because the hawkers jack up their prices before they closed business for the Lunar New Year. (Okay, they didn’t jack up prices but they shrunk the portion of food instead…)

(un)Happy Lunar New Year!

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With the imminent arrival of the Lunar Chinese New Year, the butterflies in my stomach seems to be fluttering around much more vigorously as the days goes by! I mean, I do like the ang pows folklore and the food traditions behind the festival but what I dreaded most about the festival was the visiting part and having to go through The Annual Interrogation.

cny_interrogation
Don’t the aunties ever get bored asking the same questions from the ten-year series year after year?

During this part of the year, I would be led into believing I’m a criminal on death row, waiting to be executed by the firing squad except what’s shooting out from the tip of the gun barrels are not bullets but endless questions about my job, marital status and what nots

Sometimes, I may have to resort to pretending that I’m deeply engrossed in the TV show, (which has been recycled to death by Mediacrap year after year and THANK GOD for Animal Planet and NGC!) so that I could avoid eyes contact and ignore them.

Despite that…

I still love the Lunar New Year! I am proud of my chinese roots and the traditional customs passed down by my forefathers. I love that warm and fuzzy feeling when the whole family gathered round the hotpot during the reunion dinner and I love all that red decorations around the house.

I love the festive mood and I love all the food! I love everything about the Lunar New Year except maybe for The Annual Interrogation.

Yes, the Lunar New Year will be a much happier festival for me if without The Annual Interrogation.

scissor_line

財神到﹗﹗

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I was at Chinatown yesterday to immerse myself in the festive spirits.


When I got there, the streets was filled with thousands and thousands of people out for a good bargain at the LNY bazaar. It was literally people mountain people sea and it was almost impossible to walk. The ground that I was treading on was filled with potholes of dirty water due to the rain earlier and I had to take small little steps to manoeuvre myself round them. I’m effing mad with those irritating idiots who stood in my way, refusing to budge and blocking everyone’s way. I had to shovel and elbow my way just to move forward.


I was so busy watching out for potholes that I didn’t have a good look at the different wares each stall had for sale but most of the stalls I managed to see are hawking the same muah chee candy from Taiwan.  Piang


Very soon, I ventured into the Chinatown Food Street where there are significantly lesser people. Seriously, I find the food here way overpriced. A small pathetic bowl of wanton mee here costs $4! That is daylight robbery!


I’m afraid the poor carrot head who was conned into parting with that $4 was yours truly. I shudder to think of  the other poor unsuspecting ang mohs who fall prey to such evils! As I finished the very last strand of mee in my bowl, I sat up straight and immediately, what came before my eyes was the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.


I was dumbstruck by the sheer sight of the temple because the exterior of the architecture was really a magnificent sight to behold!


Was that a sign? A sign of what? Is Buddha trying to tell me something? Have I gained enlightenment already?






Thus, I make my way towards it and paid my virgin visit the temple. The interior was 金碧辉煌and really 庄严。This has got to be the most 金光闪闪 temple I had ever gone to!


I realised that there was a 浴佛 service so like everyone else, I queue up and waited for my turn to pray for my parents’ good health and harmony in the family.


By that time, the temple was closing soon hence I made my way to the pasar malam over at Neil Street. I walked one round and realised there was nothing much to see so I went to take a bus home. Too bad I had forgotten to bring along my camera so I was unable to take pictures of Mickey Mouse lion-dancing and Pooh Bear dragon-dancing.