Thursday, January 31, 2008

Chinese New Year 2008 - Flowers

Flowers and plants are not to be forgotten during Chinese New Year. Favourites are pussy willow, pheony, red flowers and of course lucky bamboo plants.

This year this is the new addition to the lucky bamboo plants.
Plants and flowers can cost very expensive now but on the eve of Chinese New Year the prices of the plants and flowers will drop.
But if one want free plants and flowers for Chinese New Year, they can come after midnite on the eve of Chinese New Year, they can actually collect these plants from the trash cans of the flower vendor after all the stalls are closed. The Chinese New Year plants and flowers wont be able to sell after that so the vendor has to throw all of them away. What a waste.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wax Duck, Chinese Sausages, Wax Meat,

Wax Duck, Wax Meat, Chinese Sausages are a must during Chinese New Year. The prices are quite high at this moment and most Singaporeans will buy at the last few days of Chinese New Year as most prices will fall during that time and I am one of them And if you go during the eve of Chinese New Year, the prices of most Chinese New Year products will drop tremedously.

But homecooked cookies are best ordered earlier and collected by this weekend as they are in great demand during the festive period.

For more Chinese New Year Food and Cookies:click here

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mini Rice Pot

This is a miniature rice pot. It is like the bigger rice pot where we used to keep our uncooked rice. In my earlier "post, I had mentioned that I pasted the words "chang man on my rice pot.

This mini rice pot had the word "man" which means full on it. There is a small packet of rice with the chinese words "Fa" (mean prosper). This is how businessman tried to make customers buy their products by making their products very auspicious.

Monday, January 28, 2008


The photo may looked I just put the camera through the window and just click the button...hahaha. Cause I dare not looked direct at the sun. I like the colour of the sky but the crane looked out of place.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Chinese Paper Cutting Crafts

Saw many chinese paper cuttings on sale in Chinatown. They are beautifully cut. Chinese Paper Cuttings is part of chinese culture where they are either cut by scissors or paper cutters.

The only paper cuttings that I know how to cut must be the chinese character "Shuang Xi" which means double happiness. I did that long ago during my wedding.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Chinese New Year 2008 Shopping Spree Part 2-Cookies

This is just one of the many cookies stalls in Chinatown. Come Chinese New Eve, the prices of the cookies will be slashed to just 50 cents a bottle. But I aint't like to buy the cookies (they are from the factory) cause I prefer those home made. I hope I have the time to bake some. But I had ordered some homemade too just in case I am too tired to do any baking.
Taiwanese mochi had been a favourite titbits for Chinese New Year too. It was introduced to Singapore not too long ago. Try finding those with durian or mango favours. They are nice.
I will post more food scenes in chinatown to my food blog in the coming days. Just in case those who miss my posting on nian gao and the story of kitchen god in my food blog, click here.
The nian gao or chinese new year cake is a must for chinese new year it meant, the family fortunes or achievements will rise in the coming year.
After Chinese New Year, many will cooked the nian gao and I will post my recipe on nian gao in my food blog after chinese new year.

Ang Pow Lanterns

Ang Pow (hokkien language) or Hung Bao (mandarin language) also known as "red packets". The ang pow contained gifts of money. They are considered extremely auspicious to receive as a gift. They are commonly used for Chinese New Year, weddings, birthdays or happy occasions.

Ang pows can also used to make handicrafts. It is very common to find DIY ang pow lanterns in most chinese homes in Singapore. Only staples and glues are used to form the shapes of the lanterns. Accessories are then added to make them prettier. Ang Pows lanterns can only be found in Singapore and Malaysia but I have no idea who started this trend. The person is a genius who started this.

These are made by me. I am not very good in making them. There are prettier ones make by others. You can view them in here.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chinese New Year 2008 Shopping Spree (Part 1)-Chinese Decorations

Time passes fast. Two more weeks it will be Chinese New Year. Everyone busy shopping for Chinese New Year. And the favourite place must be Chinatown. Chinatown is filled with a sea of red. Everywhere you looked, it will be probably be red.

Shops selling chinese new year decorations. There are many shops like the above selling the same stuff.

The above would look familar to most, they are "chun lian" or couplets. You can see the description in my earlier post .

Some are accessories meant for "ang pow" lanterns. Many Chinese households in Singapore make their own "ang pow" lanterns during Chinese New Year. I will describe this in another post. (See above and below photos)

Accessories for "ang pow" lanterns.
I like these lion dance puppets. They are cute.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Koi Fishes

Koi is the Japanese word for carp.

Keeping Koi is a very expensive hobby. You need a good and big pond to keep them if you want your koi to grow to a huge size and healthily. The value of Koi depend on the colour of the fishes. The price can vary from a few dollars to thousands of dollars.

The kois you see here are not worth much because their colours are not very pretty but then I love them as much. Seeing them so huge and swimming about minding their own business is a joy.
But alas these Kois dont belong to me. The only koi in my home is the koi mould which I used to make "agar agar"....hahaha. You can view them in my food blog

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Palm Tree

This photo was taken during my walks in botanic garden. The place was quite shady and when I looked up I saw this huge beautiful palm tree shading us. It looked like a huge umbrella.

Although we are 2 degrees north of the equator, Singapore is a garden city with many huge trees shading us.

You might like to know that we will have another huge garden in the city beside botanic garden. It will be known as Gardens by the Bay. It is still under construction (will be completed around 2010) and when completed will be very beautiful.

Gardens by the Bay will consists of three different gardens. It will grows flowers that are not able to grow in Singapore with the help of technology. In fact some of the flowers are already booming in nursery. For more photos of our future garden:Click here

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Samsui Women

Today my post will be dedicated to a group of strong and independent woman. When I was very young, I used to count the number of samsui woman in Chinatown that I saw when my mom's car passed by them. The red hear gear is outstanding that caught my eyes.

The statue in front of Chinatown heritage is dedicated to a group of Samsui women in Singapore.

They are a group of mostly cantonese women from Samsui (means three water) province in China to travel to Singapore during their teens or mid twenties to work on construction sites in the early 20th century.

Some came here to work to escape poverty in China while some came here to gain independence.
Samsui women worked on construction sites alongside with the men. Their trademark being the red headgears that they wore. There was another group with blue headgears from Sun Yap another province of china but they were few compared to the Samsui women.

Most of them lived in cramped shophouses in Chinatown and most of them vow not to marry and usually tied their hair in a bun. They choose to work in hard labour rather than to be prostitutes.
The following is a newspaper cutting(from the Straits Times) few weeks back about a late Samsui Woman. You may pity her for picking up cardboards to sell but she is one independent and proud woman to accept any help from the government. There are many who are like her and share her attitude. Today there are about less than 100 of them still alive and they are in their 80s and 90s. They are being cared for by the Samsui Association in Singapore.

This is a restaurant advertisment with the Samsui Woman as its icon. The owner's grandmother is a former Samsui Woman. The signature dish for this restaurant is the Samsui Chicken.

The Samsui Women saved and ate very thrifty in order to remit monies back to their home in Samsui, China. During Chinese New Year, they would steam a chicken and dip in shredded ginger marinated in some stock and seasame oil. Today that chicken is known as Samsui Chicken.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Year of the Rat 2008

Yes, it is the year of the rat. At least at this Chinese New Year decorations, there is no Mickey Mouse

And if you find this familar, this is the same place where the christmas decorations titled colourful whirl of christmas is. Only difference are the mouse decorations are in and the Carousel Horse decorations are out.

Kitem asked me: "I read on the net that the Rat is not such a nice character, I hope it's not true, will you tell us about the Rat character later on in your blog?"

I am not a fortune teller but I can tell you from sources I read...hahaha

The year of Rat arriving on 7th February 2008

The year of the Pig was a very unstable one. It is believed that 2008 the year of Rat is going to be an easier year for most of us in general. (Let's see if this is true.)

If those who are interested to know the character of the chinese zodiac, read on.

Source: Way OnNet Group (I got this source from a book send to us from Singapore Post)

Rat-Gentle, simple, optimistic, observant and meticulous. Inquisitive behaviour to get to the roots of matters.

Ox-A solemn, obstinate and quiet personality with ample patience and empathy. Down to earth, hardworking as well as loyalty towards friends.

Tiger-Highly motivated in work, righteous and public-spirited, coupled with exceptional organizing qualities in the company of challenges and pioneer spirit.

Rabbit-Gentle,kind,active and caring. Strong in achieving goal without being constrained.

Dragon-Impressive-looking,optimistic,direct,confident,dilligent in handling matters whilst set with a far-sighted goal.

Snake-Mysterious,careful,vigiliant and intelligent. Carry a sense of beauty depicting an artistic ability.

Horse-Traits of generousity, influential, independent, bold and unrestrained. Great versatility, often seen as a centre of attention.

Goat-Well-mannered, friendly and affable, sentimental, honest and magnanimous. Dislike putting on a front for others.

Monkey-Energetic, humourous, clever, agile,strong self-confidence and likeable.

Rooster-Full of vigor,gentle,modest and prudent with an eye for detail. Enjoy life and a fashion-conscious person.

Dog-A perfectionist with character of loyalty, honesty, hardworking, obedient, responsible and righteous.

Pig-A firm disposition, direct and friendly personality, beckoning someone of trustworthiness. Calm and steady character with good management of monetary affairs.

If you like to know your chinese zodiac, check out this website:

Friday, January 18, 2008

You Make My Day Award

Clarice gave me this award and now I am passing to the following ten bloggers. (Not an easy task, those who are not in the awards it is probably I had yet to get to know your blog well.)

The award rules say: "Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times."


Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Chun Lian" or couplets

Clarice asked if red represent luck? I hope you can find your answer in today post. :)

Red can represent luck, happiness and joy but red can meant fire and power too. Legend had it that "Nian" a monster would attacked the villages during the spring festival (also known as Chinese New Year), but "Nian" is afraid of loud noises and the colour red. So the villagers frighten the monsters away by lighting firecrackers and pasting red papers all over the villages every spring.

Today the red papers comes with wordings and known as "Chun Lian" or couplets.

Couplets are always red and contained Chinese good luck sayings written on them. Pasting red couplets has been an important part of the Chinese New Year's celebration since ancient times.

The wordings are alway written in gold colour. They are usually pasted in the kitchens or on doors or door frames. But nowadays people pasted them all over the house. I was taught by my late traditional mom that the right wordings had to be placed in the correct position.

These are my old couplets . We need to change new couplets every chinese new year.

The above couplet reads "Zhao Cai Jing Bao" which means usher in the wealth and riches. This couplet can be pasted in the kitchen or on doors.

The above read "chang man" which means always full. So this is pasted on rice pot so that the pot will forever be full of rice and we wont go hungry.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Chinese New Year 2008

I saw these beautiful decorations in front of the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Chinatown. I am not sure if they are part of the Chinese New Year Decorations or for prayers purposes. Anyway I find them attractive and cute so I just snap them with my camera.

I noticed most of them have lotus flowers with them. As this is a buddhist temple, the lotus flower has a meaning.

In Buddhism it is believed that the lotus is a water lily that grows in murky ponds and takes its roots in the black soil. Just as the beautiful lotus blossom grows from the mud, human beings can also detach themselves from suffering, to rise above the earthly and blossom as Buddhas.

Significantly, the color of the lotus too has an important bearing on the symbology associated with it:
1). White Lotus (Skt. pundarika; Tib. pad ma dkar po): This represents the state of spiritual perfection and total mental purity (bodhi). It is associated with the White Tara and proclaims her perfect nature, a quality which is reinforced by the color of her body.

2). Red Lotus (Skt. kamala; Tib: pad ma chu skyes): This signifies the original nature and purity of the heart (hrdya). It is the lotus of love, compassion, passion and all other qualities of the heart. It is the flower of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion.

3). Blue Lotus (Skt. utpala; Tib. ut pa la): This is a symbol of the victory of the spirit over the senses, and signifies the wisdom of knowledge. Not surprisingly, it is the preferred flower of Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom.

4). Pink Lotus (Skt. padma; Tib. pad ma dmar po): This the supreme lotus, generally reserved for the highest deity. Thus naturally it is associated with the Great Buddha himself."


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Chinese New Year Decoration 2008 (Year of the Rat) at Chinatown

These are this coming Chinese New Year decorations for 2008. The chinese new year mood is not here yet and many stalls are still in the process of putting up their goodies and wares for Chinese New Year for sale. The chinese new year mood will be very high come end of this month and especially during the night.
Winnie the pooh and friends have decided to come to Singapore to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Why? Because they are celebrating the year of the rat with Mickey Mouse. Mickey is seen in many Chinese New Year Decorations and Cards, etc for the year of the rat.

Closer look at Mickey and Donald donning the lion dance suit. They looked cute.
Can you see Mickey and Minnie in the centre of the decorations?
Closer look at Mickey and Minnie Decorations. Have you noticed the chinese character "FU"? It's the only time when a Chinese word is hung/pasted upside down intentionally. The reason being "Fu dao" means "luck or fortune has arrived". But the word "dao" can also means upside-down or arrived. So, the character 福, fu, upside-down is a play on words implying fortune has arrived.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Integrated Resort, Sentosa, Singapore

SENTOSA OLD FERRY TERMINAL...............NOW YOU SEE IT................

NOW YOU DONT....................
Sentosa old ferry terminal is gone, demolished and make way for the much talked about Resorts World at Sentosa . The integrated resort will have hotels, water park, maritime museum,etc and of course the Casino and Universal Studio. It will be completed in a few years time. The other integrated resort will be at Marina.
I am looking forward to them, now I dont have to travel to USA to visit Universal Studio, and I think Singapore will be a more exciting place to visit for tourists.
Not to worry that the sea in front of Vivo City will be polluted with rubbish. The boat man above is there to take care of the cleaniness.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Terracotta Replicas at chinatown antique shop

I found these terracotta warriors in front of an antique shop in Chinatown. Well I believed these are not the real terracotta warriors from China. If they are the real thing, the owner will keep them under lock and key instead of just displaying them along the "5 foot way". ( A covered corridor in front of a row of shophouses measuring about 5 feet in width).

I find them interesting. This poor warrior is missing a head. I guess these terracotta warriors replicas are bought from the now defunct Tang Dynasty Village theme park. (There are plans to bring the 1,500-year-old Shaolin Temple legacy and culture, as well as its famed warrior monks, to Singapore in the form of a new tourist attraction, possibly based at the now-defunct Tang Dynasty Village theme park in Jurong.)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Antiques at the lobby of Singapore Swissotel Merchant Court

When I went to the Ellenborough Market Café at Swissotel Merchant Court Singapore for buffet, something beautiful caught my eyes besides the gorgeous and yummy buffet.

These antiques displayed at the lobby of the hotel are so beautiful that I cant resist taking photos of them.

The below photo is an antique bowl on displayed. It is a very huge bowl and the designs on the bowl are very lovely.

The vases on displayed are very tall about 6 feet. I think they are lovely and must be very expensive.

You need to go to the hotel for their sumptous buffet and dont forget to admire those beautiful art pieces.