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So Chic Guide To Chinese New Year In Singapore

Lunar new year is one of the most important celebrations of the year among East and Southeast Asian cultures and especially in Singapore. This celebration is usually celebrated for multiple days and we never know where to go or what to do! This time, So Chic has prepared for you a little guide for Chinese New Year in Singapore.

Chinese New Year Eve – 21/01

On CNY Eve you might struggle to find food as families get together early to prepare dinner and shops close. So be prepared in advance and flexible on what you can eat. It is also possible to make a reservation at a Chinese restaurant to experience the full family tradition, but you have to make sure to book in advance.

Where can you go? Stroll down the streets in Chinatown to see all the colorful New Year decorations and animations on New Bridge Road, South Bridge Road, Upper Cross street and Eu Tong Sen Street. In the evening, there will be a countdown party on Kreta Ayer Square with animations and live performances from 10.30om to 1am.

Chinese New Year days 1 & 2 – 22/01 & 23/01

On Sunday and Monday all Chinese shops usually remain closed and Singapore will be relatively quiet so food & shopping options will be limited. With some exceptions like western, Malay or Indian restaurants but service will be longer. You can also make reservations at high-end Chinese restaurants with special Chinese New Year menus but be sure to book in advance!

There are some exceptions! Main attractions and sites do keep their usual opening hours! This is the case for the Gardens by the Bay and the Dahlia Dreams Showcase in the flower dome, the River Hongbao lantern display and stage performances, and the Garden of Abundance at Marina Bay Sands. It is also the case for all activities in Sentosa like Universal Studios.

Cultural traditions to follow

“Pas de faux pas” this year! Here is a list of simple traditions you can follow to enjoy the celebrations this weekend.

  • A big spring cleaning of your home. Deep cleaning symbolizes in chinese culture a brand-new start for the new year and invites good fortune into your home.
  • Decorate your doorway with New Year decorations. For better luck, hang up red lanterns and auspicious couplets on the door. You can find them in any shop in Chinatown.
  • Wear red, one of the most auspicious colours in Chinese culture. The legend is that the monster ‘Nian’ (‘year’ in Chinese) used to terrorize villagers on the 1st day of spring. To appease him, they offered him food, wore red and made a lot of noise. Since then, the color red symbolizes good luck, happiness and prosperity.
  • Discover Lo Hei other known as prosperity toss. It consists of a large plate containing various colourful elements each with its own flavour and meaning. The ritual involves a group of people tossing around the contents of the plate while saying auspicious sayings before sitting down and eating it.

    What not to do?

  • Wear black, white or torn clothing
    Give clocks or sharp objects as gifts.
  • Objects with sharp ends are a symbol of bad luck in Asian culture and giving a clock signifies attending a funeral ritual.
  • Bring cut flowers as gifts. These are associated with funerals and are a sign of bad luck.

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