Posts tagged: bhutan and happiness index

Jan 31 2012

Bhutan And Happiness

New Year Celebrations in Singapore – yet another way to celebrate   by Pushpitha Wijesinghe

Considered as Asia’s melting pot of many cultures the New Year celebrations in Singapore derive their tradition from the country’s Chinese roots. However, residents do rely on the Gregorian calendar for business dealings and other activities, but the major celebrations that ring in the New Year follow the lunar Chinese calendar.

The celebrations that go on in the city on December 31st and all over the world cannot compete with the celebrations that take place towards the end of January for the New Year in Singapore. The festival is known among locals in Singapore as Chun Lie.

Regarded among locals as a Spring Festival, the Lunar New Year is among the more important family holidays of the calendar. It’s not only the longest festival but also one that is steeped in symbolic traditions which have been passed down through the generations.

The importance of the New Year and much of its symbolism is drawn from the associated Chinese myths, often celebrated amongst the more densely populated ethnic Chinese communities. The celebrations and their traditions have slowly seeped into the cultures of those populations around, including the Nepalese Vietnamese, Koreans, Bhutan, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan to name a few.

In terms of general celebrations, families in Singapore usually gather together for dinner. It is a significant meal as the fast pace life of the city affords little time for families to associate with one another, so the dinners take on the form of reunions. It is a common belief among the locals that the fire works have the ability to drive out what is evil and old, so that on the eve of the New Year so that good omens could be ushered in with the New Year.

The Singapore New Year unlike other festivals is spread out across 15 days as Chinese tradition dictates. Prior to the New Year people buy gifts, new furniture, food, decorations and much more. Part of the tradition is that houses are suppose to be kept spick and span, so that ill fortune is done away with making room for good luck and a prosperous future.

Red colored paper cut outs centering on themes such as ‘wealth’ and ‘happiness’ are used to decorate the doorways of homes. The feast in the evening comprises of duck, pork chicken and a varied assortment of sweets. Greetings are usually exchanged between family members who give the younger members gifts of money enclosed in red envelopes. It is a happy time and an occasion for families to draw closer.

To experience a bit of the Chinese tradition associated with the New Year visitors could look for accommodation at a Singapore hotel such as the legendary Raffles Hotel Singapore. This five star hotel in Singapore offers brilliant views from where to watch the festive fire work displays and the friendly and warm staff will make sure visitors feel like they are a part of the in-house family.

About the Author

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.
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