Unique Chinese New Year in Chinese Singapore
Singapore is 75 percent Chinese, the most concentration of ethnic Chinese outside China and its territories, and explains why Chinese New Year is the most widely observed tradition in multicultural Singapore. But Singapore is not China, so that their Chinese New Year celebrations are anything but similar.
Celebrated between Jan. 21 and Feb. 20, Chinese New Year marks the transition from winter to summer in Singapore, the start of the New Year in the lunar calendar used by the Chinese, and is sometimes referred to in Singapore as the Spring Festival.
Chinese New Year, as in China, is considered a major holiday in Singapore, a time of year when most shops and commercial centers in Singapore are closed. Celebrations of the Chinese New Year are composed of the traditional firecrackers and feasts, Chinese style. Singapore Chinese that is.
Accompanying the firecrackers is the world-famous Lion Dance of China. A typical Lion dance seen in Chinese New Year celebrations in Singapore imitates kung fu moves, itself an age-old Chinese tradition.
Throughout the festival, the Singapore district of Beach Road in Bugis and the Singapore Chinatown experience intermittent firecracker roar, as some sort of herald to the Lion Dance roaming the district. There is nothing like Bugis and Chinatown in Singapore during the Spring Festival.
For accommodations in a Singapore hotel deep in the heart of the Chinese New Year celebrations, Singapore visitors can log on to the official website of the Beach Road and find a hotel in Singapore that is in the vicinity of the Chinese New Year celebrations.
By nightfall, the firecrackers are put in a sharp counterpoint with the merrymakings of the revelers in the Chingay Parade of Dreams at the Esplanade Park in the eastern district of Singapore, an outdoor party that Singapore has added to the vibrant atmosphere of the traditional Chinese New Year.
Usually held to cap off the Chinese New Year in Singapore, the parade is set in a grand scale that rivals the Mardi Gras, complete with painted faces, colorful costumes, festive music, and a palpable air of cheer.
Another aspect of the Singapore Chinese New Year is the cultural expo at the Esplanade Park. Called the River Hong Bao, this exposition in Singapore of the Chinese culture is named after the cash-bearing red envelopes handed out during the festivities.
With Chinese cuisines, cultural performances top-billed by the Theater Group of Tibet, and elaborate Chinese myths and legends brought to life through various art forms, the River Hong Bao is indeed a bearer of treasure for most people living in Singapore.
In the new year there is now a regular on the popular modern society do traditionally red packets are also handed out to younger generation by their parents, grand parents, relatives, and even close neighbors and friends during Imlek. Nowadays giving red packets as a bonus at the year-end by employers becomes popular and Imlek parcel is also a tradition of giving to business associates or relatives.
Giving Imlek parcel to employees prior to the New Year is also a good idea. This can be either a gift or a bonus. If it is as a gift, the money should be just right for a gift. If as a bonus, you may enclose a check in the parcel gift and hand it out in an office.
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