Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pink Saturday-Chinese New Year Decoration at shopping mall

My contribution for pink saturday will be chinese new year decoration at Chinatown Point Shopping Mall. As it is the year of the Ox, it is decorated with many oxes.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Skywatch-Singapore River Hongbao 2009-God of Fortune and The Singapore Flyer

The Singapore Flyer in the background. It was just reopened on the first day of chinese new year after closing for more than a month due to a electrical fire which stranded more than 170 people. Now it is fixed with a back up winch system. Hope all will be fine now. Maybe the location of the God of Fortune will bless the flyer. :)

A short video of the flyer in the night.
video


For other sky watchers, please hop over to Skywatch blog.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Singapore River Hongbao 2009 - Twelve Chinese Zodiac

The Chinese Zodiac is a 12-year cycle. Each year of the 12-year cycle is named after one of the original 12 animals. Each animal has a different personality and different characteristics. The animal is believed to be the main factor in each person's life that gives them their traits, success and happiness in their lifetime.

According to one legend, the Jade Emperor invited all the animals in creation to a race, only twelve showed up: the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig, and according to their places in the race, the Jade Emperor had given them each a number starting with the Rat who was the winner of the race.

Many legends arose from the Race of the Chinese Zodiacs. One told of the reason why cats and rats shall always be enemies: He and the cat (at the time good friends) were poor swimmers, so they asked the ox if they could stay on top of his head to cross the river. Along the way he pushed the cat off the ox's back. And the cat, incapable of swimming, lagged behind. The rat stayed on top of the ox's head until the ox was almost at the finish line. And as the ox was about to cross it, the rat jumped from the ox's head and became first place. And the cat and rat have been enemies ever since.

Another legend tells that the cat had asked the rat to wake him up the day of the Race. The rat agreed, but on the said day, he did not wake the cat in his greed to win. When the cat finally woke up and got to the racing ground, he found the race to be over. The cat then swore revenge upon the rat. (Source: Wikipedia)

Welcoming year of the Ox

Tiger Zodiac - not a favourite zodiac with the chinese as tiger is seem as being very fierce.

Cute Rabbit

Dragon - a favourite with many chinese and that is why there is always a baby boom during the year of the dragon. This is not good cause getting a place in the school can be a problem when the baby grows up as there are too many vying for a place in a popular school.

Snake

Horse

Goat

Monkey

Rooster

Dog

Pig

Saying goodbye to the year of the rat - see you in twelve years time.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Singapore River Hongbao 2009-Variety Show

Continued from yesterday's post.....the people who were seated in the seats were watching a variety show for the Chinese New Year. The floating platform is a great place for hosting such shows.

Behind the stage are many displays of chinese zodiacs and chinese statues. I had to queue to enter to look at them. The queue is fast moving because the whole place is so huge.

A short video of the show.
video
Please return to visit my blog for more photos of the twelve chinese zodiac.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My World-Singapore River Hongbao 2009 - God of Fortune

These photos are fresh from my camera. :) Took them last night at the Singapore River Hong Bao 2009. This is the giant God of Fortune.

He is holding a couplet that read zhao cai jin bao which means attracts/usher in money and valuables. Now I wish the God of Fortune will visit me. :)

Why are these people sitting here? If you find this place familar, yes, it is the floating platform used during the national day celebration You can find another photo of it in my previous post in here. You have to return to visit to see why these people are sitting here.

Now I am stuck in this queue but not very long, the whole area is very big so the queue moves very fast. As the floating platform is on top of the Singapore River, the breeze from the sea made the whole place cooling and not stuffy. You have to return to see if it is worth the queue, I have so many beautiful photos of the Singapore River Hongbao Show.

Please visit "That's my World" for other parts of the world.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year

A very happy chinese new year and may the year of the ox brings good luck, good health and good fortune to all. This is the most important of all the chinese festivals and lasted for 15 days. I will tell you in brief what to do and what not to do during chinese new year especially for the first few days.



On the first day of chinese new year - For the religious, they would welcome the deities of the heavens and earth and some will head to the temple on chinese new year's eve to be the first to put the first joss stick in the urn of the temple at the stroke of twelve. They hope to be lucky for being the first one.

I will be at home resting after the reunion dinner on chinese new year's eve and watch the live interesting programme on television to welcome the chinese new year at the stroke of twelve...lol.

What not to do: Do not sweep the floor on the first day cause it meant sweeping away all the luck and same for not cutting and washing your hairs on the first day too cause it would meant your luck will be washed away for the whole year but it is not practised in most family nowadays. Of course I will wash my hair, would love to have clean hair when out visiting....lol.

I will not use a broom but I will use the magic clean duster to clear any dust on my floor(a little bit of cheating here)...hahaha.

On the second day of chinese new year - Chinese pray to their ancestors as well as to all the gods.

The Cantonese dialect group will hold a 'Hoi Nin' prayer(hoi=opening Nin=year) to start the 2nd day of Chinese New Year. The prayer is done to pray that they will be blessed with good luck and prosperity for the year.

As late mom is cantonese we, married daughters, are supposed to return for the 'Hoi Nin' on second day for the prayers and rewarded with a big feast....hehehe. Although mom is not around, we still gather at my brother's house.

On the third day of chinese new year - The third and fourth day of the Chinese New Year are generally accepted as inappropriate days to visit relatives and friends. On these days, quarrels and arguments are easily aroused.

On the seventh day of chinese new year - it is everyone's birthday. Legend has it that the goddess (nuwa) created the animals on different days, and human beings on the seventh day after the creation of the world. On this day, we would toss yusheng (raw fish). You can read more information on yusheng in here. When tossing the yusheng, we need to read the chants for luck and fortune...lol. You can find out more about the chants in here.

On the ninth day of chinese new year - it is a important day for the Hokkiens. This is the day they will offer thanks giving prayers to the Emperor of Heaven. Offerings will include sugarcane as it was the sugarcane that had protected the Hokkiens from certain extermination generations ago.

Now we come to the last day, Fifteenth day, of the new year - this marks the end of the chinese new year. This day is also known as Chap Goh Mei or Yuan Xiao Jie. Singles would toss mandarin oranges into the sea, hoping to find a good husband.

I hope you all enjoyed the little stories/myths behind each day of the chinese new year.

Source: Wikipedia.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chinese New Year 2009 - Plants

Plants and flowers are a favourite during chinese new year.
Especially well like must be the bamboo plants. Bamboo plants are also known as lucky bamboo. A Lucky Bamboo with a red ribbon and an attached peanut would enhance, exponentiate its meaning within the objects and translate into something like:

lucky bamboo- luck, money, quick achievement

bamboo- youth (spring of ones life), suppleness, strength, endurance, flexibility, longevity,

green colour- growth, spring, hence new and strong beginnings

red (colour)- good luck, expansive, blooming, reaching upwards, celebration, happiness, joy, vitalityfire,

red (Five Elements)- good luck, money, respect, recognition, protection, vitality

peanuts- health, long life, birth of prosperity, continuous growth, multiplication in wealth and good fortune, stability

This year I noticed a new type of plant that looked like mushrooms.

The lucky bamboos are arranged in heart shaped maybe to be recycle for valentine day?

Other plants like the kumquat and wishy willows are also a favourite.


Here's wishing all who celebrates the festival, a very Happy Chinese New Year and have a sumptous reunion lunch or dinner today. And may the Year of the Ox bring good luck, good health and good fortune for all.

I will be having steamboat for our reunion dinner with my own family tonight. :)

Yesterday already had an early reunion lunch with my brother's siblings but did not take any photo of the food.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pink Saturday-Taiwanese Muah Chee

My contribution for this week pink saturday, got to be this pretty pink boxes and titbits. They are Taiwanese Muah Chee. The taiwanese muah chee is more chewy and is different from our local muah chee. I had posted a recipe of our singapore muah chee in my food blog. Muah Chee is made from glutinous rice. You can view how the singapore muah chee look like by clicking the recipe.

Getting ready to start the business. Note that pink box of muah chee selling for $15, the price will go down as the days nearer to chinese new year.

These are the loose muah chee (not in boxes). They are sold at $1.50 per 100 gm and as I post this today, the price had gone down to a $1 per 100 gm and on the eve of chinese new year, you can fill 1 plastic bag full of muah chee (regardless of how much you stuff into the designated bag) for only $5. Hubby will get them on chinese new year eve....lol.

Now if you wondered why the stall owner has a sad face(below photo). He must have a poor business and I think I know why.

It is so sickening, his assistant was pestering me to try the cuttlefish sweet. The worst part was that he removing the sweet wrapper for me to try (faints*). I dont like to try sample of food in this way but if you look at his dirty black fingernails, you will agree with my policy of not trying sample food...yucks. Most promoters let us remove the wrappers by ourselves or using tooth picks to try their food.

For more pinky participants, please visit Beverly of How Sweet The Sound.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Skywatch-Friday-Chinatown

Today, my contribution to skywatch must be the chinese new year decoration in chinatown.

Take note of all the different shophouses with different designs. Shophouse consists of shop on the ground floor and residential accomodation on the higher floor. These shophouses have a long history and some dated during the colonial times.







Shophouses decorating their shop front with chinese new year greetings and lion dance mascots.

For other sky watchers, please hop over to Skywatch blog.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chinese New Year 2009 - Part 4-Educational Tour for Kids

Childcare teachers bringing the kids out for an educational tour in Chinatown to feel the Chinese New Year atmosphere.




Kids shopping for chinese new year with daddy and mummy's money. :)

One for the album - Say Cheese!
video

A short video of the kids in chinatown.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chinese New Year 2009 - Part 3 - Chinese New Year's Chun Lian/Couplets

Chun lian is a special type of Duilian, or couplet. It is used only during the Chinese New Year as part of its celebration. While duilian is permanent, chunlian is a temporary decoration to be placed on the entrance of the house, somewhat akin to Halloween and Christmas decorations.

Duilian comprises of a couplet written on vertical strips of red paper in the best calligraphic style one can muster.

The first (called upper) line is posted on the right side of the front door.The second (called lower) line is posted on the left side of the front door.

In addition, a third horizontal piece may be posted across and on top the door.
(Source: http://www.chinapage.com/duilian/chunlian0.html)

The above are known as "duilian which are placed at the side of the doors.



The above are chun lian and the more commerical ones comes with cute pictures.