Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kung Hei Fat Choi from Singapore


Today is the equivalent of our Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve all rolled into one. If we were in the Philippines, the Chinese New Year dinner with my mom's side of our family will be tonight as it is the eve to welcome in the new year. We normally don't stay up till midnight with fireworks, just wearing red and having the whole clan together for dinner is enough. When we were kids I remember that sometimes we got Ang Pao (red envelopes with lucky money) too.

For the first time in the two years we've lived here, we're actually in Singapore for Chinese New Year.

Here are some of the highlights:

1. Chinese New Year is celebrated over 2 days. This year, it falls on January 23 and 24. Our office gave us the afternoon off last Friday, so that's a 4 and a half day weekend to celebrate. Sofia has 2 days off from school, and last Friday, they had a Chinese New Year Party instead of regular lessons.

Each kid had to bring 2 mandarin oranges
They exchanged with one another for prosperity
The school gave everyone Ang Pao (In singapore red envelopes are called Hong Bao)
CNY School Project: Fire Cracker Decoration
My favorite part of Chinese New Year in Singapore is that our office gives us Ang Pao too!
Ang Pao from the office in 2010 and 2011
Since I was a kid, I normally just put the ang paos that I get in my drawer. Then whenever I wanted to buy something that my parents did not want to give me money for, or when I got older and I wanted something that I did not want to pay for from my cash flow, I used my ang pao stash to pay for it.

2. The best time to visit Singapore is a few weeks before Chinese New Year. Stores are always on sale! It may even be a better time than the Great Singapore Sale because it's not as hyped up, so you don't have to compete with the tourists for the sale stocks.
G2000 313@somerset mall
Zara at Great World City

There is also a superstition that you should be wearing new clothes to welcome the new year. You should wear it on the first day, which means January 23, Monday for this coming year of the dragon. The numerous stores on sale make this easier on the pocket.

This is what I plan to wear:
Cotton-on Sundress from the Cotton-On outlet in Anchorpoint Mall
Footwear: Still undecided between the ballerines from Timmy or the sandals I've bough but never worn

I bought so many pairs of shoes from the Charles and Keith Outlet Store. 
I told myself this was all for my new job. Hahaha.
Now I'll need to shop for the dresses to match them.
No rush, I don't have a new job yet. Hahaha.
Since I believe in preparing for the future, I also bought this for my next winter holiday.
I bought this winter jacket for my sister because it was on sale in Zara
SG$39 from SG$129
It's my mirror that's dirty. Not the jacket :p
I got mine in white
Since there is no winter vacation planned yet, my note to self: Must find some place freezing to go to this year with Tim (who also shopped for winter clothes at Zara) and Ady :)

3. Shopping Malls and Restaurants also have various Chinese New Year or Prosperity Promotions

My favorite Prosperity Meal is McDonald's
 For SG$8.08 you get a Beef Prosperity Burger, Twister Fries, Orange Fizz, Pineapple/Apple Pie and a pack of Hongbaos
It was only when I went back that I realized you could still order the Double Prosperity Burger
They don't advertise it, but they'll give it to you when you order it
This is super yummy!

Pepper Lunch had a special Prosperity Meal that was discounted
Pepper Steak with Egg at a special price

Orchard Central combined their Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day promotions
Free Love Toaster or Candy Dispenser and Hong Baos with minimum amount spent
We chose the love toaster because it was pink
and we wanted our toast with Love. Hahaha.

Sofia also practiced writing letters the other day by writing on the Hong Baos
These are her pasalubong for the aunts and grandparents who spoil her in Manila
4. There are also a lot of activities in Singapore to celebrate Chinese New Year

I've been hearing about the River HongBao, the biggest Chinese New Year carnival in Singapore. I hope we get a chance to visit it this weekend. If we're not too lazy.

There's also free admission to all the National Heritage Board Museums. I'm thinking of bringing Sofia to the Singapore Philatelic Museum, or the stamp museum in more common speak. They have a TinTin exhibit currently on-going.

Then we also might go to the National Museum of Singapore, so she can see the painting's from the D'Orsay Museum. I need to tell her of course that we need to see it in Paris, since the D'Orsay is my favorite museum, it was previously a train station so it really has a lot of character, not to mention the one of the biggest impressionist collections.

Our other favorite museums in Singapore include the Asian Civilizations Museum, near Boat Quay, which always has a good Halloween Event, and the Singapore Art Museum.

Also on our list is to take yaya (the nanny) to the Istana Open House on the second day of the New Year, 24th January. We only figured out that the Istana is Singapore's version of the white house when we stumbled upon an Open House there in 2010. They are open to the public only five days of the year: Chinese New Year (2nd Day), Labour Day , National Day, Hari Raya Puasa, and Deepavali.                              

If you're visiting Singapore this weekend, it may be a good idea to call the restaurant or mall you want to go to before hand to see if they're open. If they're closed, just refer to the list of activities above to keep yourself entertained. Just Saying.

No comments:

Post a Comment