This post is going to be full of REDS!!
We’re only about 8 days away from Chinese New Year, which is also known as the Lunar New Year. This is a big celebration for all of the Chinese people around the world and my family and I are preparing to usher the New Year with lots of excitement!!
So for those of you who would like to understand what Chinese New Year is all about for the Chinese community around the world especially here in Asia and Singapore, I’ll let Wikipedia explains in details of the occasion. 😀
Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. In China, it is known as “Spring Festival,” the literal translation of the Chinese name 春節 (Pinyin: Chūn Jié), since the spring season in Chinese calendar starts with lichun, the first solar termin a Chinese calendar year. It marks the end of the winter season, analogous to the Western carnival. The festival begins on the first day of the first month (Chinese: 正月; pinyin: Zhēng Yuè) in the traditional Chinese calendar and ends with Lantern Festival which is on the 15th day. Chinese New Year’s Eve, a day where Chinese families gather for their annual reunion dinner, is known as Chú Xī (除夕) or “Eve of the Passing Year.” Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the “Lunar New Year“.
Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festivity in the Chinese calendar. The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old and gains significance because of several myths and traditions. Chinese New Year is celebrated in countries and territories with significant Chinese populations, such as Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and also in Chinatowns elsewhere. Chinese New Year is considered a major holiday for the Chinese and has had influence on the lunar new year celebrations of its geographic neighbors. These include Koreans (Seollal), and Bhutanese (Losar).
Within China, regional customs and traditions concerning the celebration of the Chinese new year vary widely. People will pour out their money to buy presents, decoration, material, food, and clothing. It is also the tradition that every family thoroughly cleans the house to sweep away any ill-fortune in hopes to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red colour paper-cuts and couplets with popular themes of “good fortune” or “happiness”, “wealth”, and “longevity”. On the Eve of Chinese New Year, supper is a feast with families. Food will include such items as pigs, ducks, chicken and sweet delicacies. The family will end the night with firecrackers. Early the next morning, children will greet their parents by wishing them a healthy and happy new year, and receive money in red paper envelopes. The Chinese New Year tradition is to reconcile, forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone.
So, in preparation of getting our home ready for the big celebration, the hub and I took the afternoon off yesterday to go shopping at Chinatown and the nursery! And we certainly had a great time braving through the streets, crowd and under the hot sun!
Our first stop was in Chinatown, which is currently buzzing with activities. There were lots to see and buy and both the hub and I took a slow walk along the streets of Chinatown, stopping every now and then to inquire on the goodies, bargaining and made the final purchase.
Here are some of the photos I took when we were in Chinatown, filled with lots of REDS (literally means lots of good luck and fortune!! 😉
Our next stop would be the nursery where we bought plants to decorate our home.
We were absolutely spoilt for choice!! There were too many beautiful plants that I felt I want to buy them all!! *laugh*
Thank God for the hub that he was there to stop me from picking almost all my favorites. I think my “ooh-ing and aah-ing” over them can be heard miles away! 😀
Anyway, we tried not to overdo the home, you know, just enough “reds” to make sure we are showered with good fortune and luck at the start of the New Year. Based on the Chinese zodiacs (there are 12 animals altogether), this year is the Dragon year (I was born in the Ox year. I’m a lazy & sleepy cow! *laugh*) which many Chinese believe is a good year………………to get married and have babies! Good luck to those of you out there! 😉
So, here are our loots from Chinatown and the nursery.
We got these Pussy Willow from the nursery and decorated it with lots or ornaments and flowers. They’re like Christmas tree decorated with ornaments but this is the Chinese style.
The stalks are frequently decorated with gold and red ornaments – ornaments with colours and text that signify prosperity and happiness. Felt pieces of red, pink and yellow are also a common decoration in South East Asia.
The catkins of these willow come into full flower and they are covered in fine, greyish fur, leading to a fancied likeness to tiny cats, also known as “pussies”. Once the tiny brown shells dropped from the willow, they will bloom into furry “balls”. Very cute indeed!
And we bought these plants too. I’m not sure what it is called but I think it it some sort of a money plant.
This plant looks like some twisted bamboo shoots.
We decorated our main gate with this dragon die cut and also couplets (not shown here) with some themes either on good fortune, happiness, wealth or longevity. I can’t read Chinese so I need to ask the hub to translate the couplets. ;p
We have also received red envelopes from the banks that are mainly presented at social and family gatherings such as weddings or on holidays such as the Lunar New Year. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck and is supposed to ward off evil spirits (that’s the Chinese beliefs). So, all the little kiddos and unmarried adults will receive these red packets filled with money from married couples, parents and grandparents, and friends as well for good luck during this coming Chinese New Year.
Are your eyes seeing only reds now? *laugh*
Don’t worry, we get lots of that too since our home is now filled with red decorations. But they really signifies lots of good fortune and luck so we don’t mind having them graced our home for the next 2 weeks or so. They make us happy too. 😀
That will be enough for today. I have tons to catch up tonight, photo-editing from my photo shoot earlier this morning of a friend and her family (will share that in due time), my latest Koream drama craze City Hunter (I love Lee Min Ho!! He is so cool! *laugh*), finishing up my photo compilation for my Project Life week 1 and 2 (I’m trying to catch up) and some quiet time with the boys.
I’ll be back soon for my Project Life updates once I’m done.
Have a great weekend everyone!