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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Tips for Surviving Chinese New Year in Singapore
Joanna James Joanna James
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Tips for Surviving Chinese New Year in Singapore

Chinese New Year in Singapore is a vibrant burst of colours and exotic encounters. Here are some tips for making the most of this fabulous holiday when in the Lion City.


Make Sure you Pay Attention to the Special Colours

Chinese believe red is the colour of happiness, which prevents bad luck from approaching and having lots of red around, especially during the Chinese New Year, ensures your household is favoured with plenty of good luck. As such, walking around Singapore during this holiday, you are going to be seeing lots of red. Accessories and decorations in this colour will be visible in household decor, banners across shops, offices and homes as well as, clothing. So, get in the grove, go red and invite some good luck to take over. Of course, you do not have to go 'all' red especially when visiting Chinese friends, just add a splash of the colour, with items like a red handbag, shoes or belt.


Get a Kumquat or Mandarin Orange Plant

Orange is another lucky colour for the Chinese, especially as the word 'orange' sounds like the Chinese equivalent to wealth. Kumquats are mandarin orange plants that are loaded with the orange fruit; quite a sight to behold, these plants can be bought from nurseries located at Thompson Road. You will find that even the best luxury hotel in Singapore, adopts these ancient customs by changing d├ęcor to accommodate these rich colours. Mind you the lush fruits are not to be eaten, so do make sure the kids and adults in your group are kept updated of this fact!


Avoid Black and White Like the Plague

Black and white are associated with death and mourning, by the Chinese, hence, these colours are taboo during the Chinese New Year. Do not show up for parties in any form of black or white garments, and do not take white flower bouquets. You will find that yellow flowers are much favoured while the pink plum and cherry blossoms are much loved, as they blossom in spring, and so symbolise hope and new beginnings. You will find that areas like Marina Bay, just minutes from Grand Park City Hall, are some of the most vibrant precincts to explore during the Chinese New Year in Singapore.


Enjoy the Art of Gift Giving

The 'Red Packet' is the traditional gift of choice. The red packet is a symbol of happiness and good luck; which are generally given to unmarried people and children. In Singapore you will find the 'red packet' or ang pow, is also given to service providers, such as hairdressers and manicure artists. Today, it is traditional for banks, hotels and some stores to hand out red packets to customers. And if you want to get into the gift giving spirit, head over to the shops on Pagoda, Temple Street in Chinatown and Sago to purchase the packets. Inside the packets are placed crisp new dollar notes, which many obtain from banks before the new year.


Dollar Notes from Banks

If you are planning on gift giving, remember to get to the banks well before the New Year. A busy time for the banks it's quite common to see long lines of customers waiting to pick-up fresh new dollar bills. You will also find out that since banks find it a mammoth task to issue 'brand new' notes to meet the high demand, it has now become acceptable to offer 'good as new' notes in those red packets.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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