Celebrate a Prosperous Chinese New Year
Also known as Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is undoubtedly the most significant event in the Chinese calendar and was traditionally a time to honour both traditional deities and familial ancestors.
While the celebrations for this year are a little more subdued, you’ll still be able to soak in the festive mood with various exciting celebrations across the island. Find creative ways to capture the festive spirit with joyous family and friends reunions; exchanging Mandarin oranges and feasting on sumptuous new year dishes in a safe manner.
SIGNIFICANCE OF CHINESE NEW YEAR
The traditional Chinese New Year was the most important festival on the Lunar calendar, where the entire attention of the household was fixed on the celebration. During this period, home and family were the principal focuses, business life takes the backseat.
In preparation for the holiday, houses will be thoroughly cleaned to rid them of bad luck, which might have collected during the previous year. Cleaning is also meant to appease the gods who would be coming down from heaven to make inspections.
Ritual sacrifices of food and paper icons were offered to gods in hope for good planting and harvest season. People posted scrolls written in calligraphy with auspicious messages on household gates and set off firecrackers to ward off evil spirits. Elders gave money to children as a blessing.
Many of the rites carried out during this period were meant to bring good luck to the household and long life to the family—particularly to the parents. Today, many of these traditions remain as a huge part of Chinese New Year celebrations.
Read on to find out about the fun and exciting activities lined up for this year’s CNY celebration.
CHINATOWN LIGHTS UP THE NEW YEAR
Usher in the year of the Golden Ox with good fortune and abundant happiness. 2020 has been a very challenging year globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic. May this new year bring new hope and stability for all of us.
Celebrate the auspicious new year with Chinatown Chinese New Year celebrations from 23 January to 12 March 2021.
The Chinatown Street Light-up will see the district’s streets lined with beautifully-designed lanterns, all in line with the year of the Golden Ox. Cruise along New Bridge Road, Eu Tong Sen Street and South Bridge Road and immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere.
The official light-up and the opening ceremony will be launched virtually on 23 January 2021, from 8pm to 8:50pm, and visitors to the event are in for a multisensory extravaganza. Be mesmerised by a powerful lion dance, cultural and acrobatic performances.
Expect to be enchanted by vendors selling an assortment of delicious snacks and traditional CNY goodies offline and online.
Head on to the Chinatown Festivals social media page for a slew of virtual games, contests and online workshops.
CNY FESTIVE GOODIES WORKSHOP
Curious to learn how to bake Kele’s signature pineapple ball? Learn all the tips and tricks from the virtual workshop that will be live-streamed on 24 January 2021, from 10am to 11:30am via Chinatown Festivals Facebook page.
Purchase your baking kit curated by Kele before 23 January from the link below to enjoy a hands-on experience during the live-stream session.
ADOPT A LANTERN
Since the launch of “Adopt a Lantern” by Chinatown Festivals Organising Committee in 2014, there has been a steady increase in the adoption of recycled lanterns by the general public in support of reducing waste and being environmentally friendly.
For this year’s Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebrations, “Adopt a Lantern” campaign is back again for the general public to adopt one or more lanterns after the Street light-up ends on 12 March 2021.
Adoption is free but interested parties will have to submit an online application via the link below, arrange their own transport and manpower to collect their adopted lanterns upon receipt on notification of successful application from the Organiser.
Application will be on a first come first serve basis. The Organiser reserves the right to review the application and distribute the lanterns based on applicant’s requirements and its purpose to adopt the recycled lanterns. Starting date of application is 22 February 2021. Closing date of application will be on 28 February 2021.
Successful applications will be notified on 5 March 2021. Collection for the adopted lanterns will start from mid-March 2021. Appointed contractor will contact successful applicants to arrange for the collection of lanterns. Do note that you will need to arrange your own transport and manpower to collect the lanterns.
Enjoy these festive activities with your loved ones. Here is wishing everyone a safe and happy Chinese New Year!