Also known as Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is undoubtedly the most important event in the Chinese calendar.
Starting from weeks prior to the start of Chinese New Year, head down to Chinatown for the Street Light-Up which will see the streets lined with beautifully-designed lanterns. You will also be able to soak in the festive mood throughout the island with celebrations in the form of colourful processions, seasonal markets and lively lion dances.
Above it all, the excited chatter and laughter of people meeting up, exchanging of mandarin oranges for good luck and feasting on special dishes, is an experience not to be missed.
Red is undoubtedly the colour of the season. You’ll see it in the scarlet paper packets filled with money that are given to children and younger relatives. You’ll see it in the bright hues of the brand new clothes people are wearing.
Most of all, you’ll see it in homes all over Singapore, thoroughly spring-cleaned and decorated with touches of crimson everywhere–in the lanterns hung by the gates, in the spring couplets adorning doorways and in the bright ribbons adorning kumquat plants, their yellow fruit symbolising ‘gold’ or prosperity.
Feasting with family
The heart of Chinese New Year is ultimately a celebration of home and family, hence gatherings with family and relatives around the dining table are de rigueur.
And nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the tradition of Reunion Dinner, held on the eve of the new year. Family members rush back home (sometimes from very far away) in order to share this one most important meal of the year with loved ones.
The following days are then spent visiting relatives and friends, conveying blessings of good fortune for the year ahead and enjoying time with the ones who matter most.