With a deafening noise when 128 strands of firecrackers were fired off and a crowd pleasing, 3 minute, firework the celebrations for Chinese New Year officially started Saturday night.
Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng, Dr. Lily Neo, MP for Jalan Besar GRC and many other guests were delighted by the different, exciting performances.
Thousands of Singaporeans and tourists followed the 2 hour long spectacle on Eu Teng Son Street. The lanes in Chinatown were more than crowded and the human traffic came to a near breakdown once in a while.
However the mood seemed to be good despite the current economic situation and the uncertain outlook. People are putting their "hope (and happiness)", which is also the celebration theme, in the upcoming lunar new year, the year of the Ox.
A lot of hope is what people need because the last three Ox years (1973, 1985 and 1997) were dreadful for stock markets. The bulls kind of stayed away from the stock markets whenever their year appeared once every 12 years.
With economies around the world still suffering from the horrible 2008, the coming Year of the Ox seems to be under the same depressing constellation for the stock markets as the last three Ox years.
The 588 street stalls are also hoping for a good enough mood of the visitors to buy and not only "window shop". One category of business did already quite well on the opening night: The food stalls! Eating, Singaporeans favorite pastime didn't show a slow down at all since there were long queues at almost every food stall in Chinatown.A traditional Chinese New Year cake.
Erich's Wuerstelstand was no exemption. It looked like everyone wanted to buy sausages and bread from the "crazy" ang moh who changes his looks according to the season and after Santa is now a "Chinaman".Erich always smiling despite the stressful weeks ahead.
"Chilly, Mustard, Ketchup?"
" Ta pao or eat here?"
Eu Tong Sen Street
If you want to learn more about the ox year, keep it here and check out the next posts.