Myself, Melissa, and Monty the Beagle
See more photos here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/140043503@N03/PJAg3e
To fully experience Chinese New Year, my friend Melissa graciously invited me to her family gathering at her parents’ home. Melissa lives in Singapore, but I originally met her four years ago while we were both on exchange in France. At her family’s Chinese New Year celebration, I met her parents, siblings, uncles, aunts and cousins along with Melissa’s incredibly cute dog, Monty. I’m glad I decided to wear my red dress, because it is considered to be a lucky colour in the Chinese culture. All of Melissa’s family members wore a little bit of red. Melissa and her sister each brought two oranges which represented prosperity and gave them to Melissa’s mother. Red envelopes were also distributed and I was very thankful to not only receive one, but two!
Everyone chatted while tasting an assortment of sweets, cookies, and goodies (all very delicious) along with tea. This was to balance the “hot” and “cold”. For lunch we had chicken rice which is very popular in Singapore!
Melissa also mentioned that her and her friends partake in Lo Hei or Yusheng, also known as a prosperity toss. It is a tradition in Malaysia and Singapore, where people use chopsticks to toss pieces of a raw fish salad into the air. The higher the pieces fly, the more prosperous you will be in the coming year. It sounds fun and I would like to try it one day.Overall, celebrating with Melissa’s family was a great way to experience some of the traditions and customs embedded in Chinese New Year.
In the afternoon, I ventured to Singapore’s “Little India”. It’s composed of many crowded blocks with Indian restaurants, shops, temples, and more. I was so full from Melissa’s house couldn’t eat anything!
I continued walking and found Clarke Quay. Although, it is one of the main districts for nightlife it was pretty to see during the day as well.
When I reach Chinatown, it was decorated to the nines with lanterns, lights, and roosters. It was great to walk around there in the evening, especially when everything was alight. Unfortunately, many of the hawker stalls were closed there because of the CNY holiday.