Some are sound checking their speaker systems in order to get more attention from potential customers, or just to be LOUDER than the neighbor. It’s sometimes funny to watch these hawkers, when everyone is monitoring closely every move the neighbor is doing: He got a bright spot light, mine must be brighter then. His music system is disco ready, well then, mine must be open air concert approved! The louder, the brighter, the more we’ll be able to sell! That’s the concept.
Walking through the narrower than usual lanes in Chinatown during CNY however is always as exciting as strolling down Orchard Road during the Xmas season. It is so great to look at all the colorful items displayed, all the red stuff, the sausages, waxed ducks and oranges or to inhale the sweet smell from the varieties of food sold.
Chinatown business association and the respective committees are trying to do their best year by year. More stalls than ever have been set up to please customers with their goodies.
I’m aware that some avoid Chinatown this time of the year because of the masses slowly moving along the stalls or the high noise level.
But we shouldn’t complain because No.1 it is part of the Chinese culture and tradition which has to be carried on by the young (a very important point) and this also means that our economy is doing well again after a few years with unfortunate events as September 11, SARS and a poorer economic performance.
Look at their faces and you see people seem to be happy and confident again, despite some downturns in the US.
Isn’t that enough reason to celebrate? So let’s all get out and celebrate the coming year of the rat, forget (at least for a while) about our ‘kiasuism’, selfishness and give a smile to our neighbors, our colleagues or even to ‘strangers’ like ang moh’s and tourists. It doesn’t hurt but it shows our willingness to open our heart to the world. I’m very sure our friendliness will be appreciated and returned.
So see you in Chinatown!!
If you haven't been there yet, lets stroll together and soak in the vibrant atmosphere spread by a fusion of traditional and modern array of festive goodies:
Early Saturday afternoon it was starting to get crowded
Everyone and everything was ready to welcome visitors
All the traditional and not so traditional things are displayed and waiting for buyers: Candies to symbolize a sweet and abundant year ahead
Candid lotus roots to symbolize numerous offspring
The closer it got to 7pm (Start of celebrations) the more crowed it became
The young man getting new cloth's for CNY Chinese handicrafts
Decorations are an important feature of the celebrations for the Chinese New Year.
luck in terms of long life, wealth etc. One of the main forms of decoration are Chun Lian - 'Red Couplets', which are Chinese good luck sayings written on red paper, often with gold trimmings and usually made up of four Chinese characters which ask for luck in terms of long life, wealth etc.
My favorite! Not traditional but most delicious: Various chocolate covered fruits
My tip: Try the Durian or Strawberries. A must!!!
Melon seeds symbolize a long line of decendants. Pistachio to not just symbolize a long line of decendants but also a joyous new year. The name of the nut in Mandarin literally means " a happy fruit" becuase the half cracked shell resembles a smile.
Every traditional Chinese household should also have live blooming plants to symbolize rebirth and new growth. Flowers are believed to be symbolic of wealth and high positions in one's career. Lucky is the home with a plant that blooms on New Year's Day, for that foretells a year of prosperity.
The Chinese firmly believe that without flowers, there would be no formation of any fruits. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to have flowers and floral decorations.
They are the emblems of reawakening of nature, they are also intimately connected with superstition and with the wish for happiness during the ensuing year. The bamboo is very popular as a symbol of life, longevity and strength. It stays firmly rooted even in the face of fierce winds. For the Hokkiens, the bamboo plants represent their shelter from the evil demons that terrorised their ancestors during an ancient dark evil era.
The Chinese refer the brown plant below as “Pussy Willow” or “Yin Liu” in Mandarin. You will be surprised that the Pussy Willow is actually a common tree in the forests and wetlands of Canada and northern Alaska or Europe. In Cantonese, “Yin Liu” sounds like “Yin Lou” which is similar to “Yin Liang” (money). Therefore, having this plant around during Chinese New Year would represent the invitation of abundant luck and prosperity into homes.Delicious chinese black mushrooms
Roasted peanuts another symbol for a long line of decendants. The same way a peanut grows to yield many plant shoots.
Waxed duck and Chinese sausages
Walking around makes thirsty. Stanley prepares the right drink for everyone, thirst quenching and refreshing. Latest drink: Germany's No. 1 Mineral water: Gerolsteiner
And last but not least the stop at Erich's for Sausages, meatloaf or salami.
and get buns or pretzels from Helen
Caring about a dessert? The "Prosperity Muffins" are an excellent choice!!!
Erich and his team are pleased to serve you! Hope to see you soon. Click here to see more:
|Chinese New Year 08|