Michelle and Cello

Music art and Cello

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry-go-Round: How do you celebrate Christmas/holidays?

It's time for another ride on the merry-go-round! Jump on and join a group of artists/crafts-women as they link around the world and tell you a little about their lives in art and craft.

This month's question is: How do you celebrate Christmas/holidays? What traditions do you have?

As a Chinese, the most important holiday to us is the Spring Festival. It is first 3 days of new year according to Chinese calender.

In Singapore, everyone will forget about their work and take rest during this period. The people who work the hardest such as small business owners also take at least one and half day to celebrate the Chinese new year. They usually work 7 days a week. If you only eat Chinese food, during the Chinese New Year, you have to cook yourself. Because most of the eating places are closed. Only MacDonalds and Pizza Hut are still open.

Red is the color of Chinese New Year. A lot of people buy a whole set of new clothes for Chinese New Year from underwear to outside dress with red and yellow. Red is a auspicious color that symbolize good luck. Hongbao or red packet is red. It is used for people to wrap money to give to unmarred people or children. Children will go to relatives houses to show respect and gather red packets. It is a big activity for them during Chinese New Year. I guess, Chinese people are more direct. We usually don't send gift to each other, but red packets.

One of the big activities in Chinese New Year is the pray for good luck. It is also very direct. In the street and shops in Singapore, you hear all the Chinese New Year special songs that wish money god to show mercy to you to make you rich in the new year. I was amazed when I was first hear those songs that I never heard in China before how straight they are to ask for rich and money. For example, one song sings

"Wish you good luck in the new year, if you buy lottery, you will win instantly, if you do business, you will gain great with little investment".

Food is big thing in the Chinese New Year. New Year eve is the gathering of all family members to have the dinner together. All other days, relatives visit each other. You need to prepare goodies and various kind food to treat them.

I like the atmosphere of Chinese New Year. When I was small, I loved it because this was a special day that my parents allowed me to play till very late without worrying about my homework. It was also the only day I can wear new cloth and got so much food to eat.

Now, I love the relax mood of the Chinese New Year. It is such a change from normal days that you see so many shops are closed. Singapore is a very competitive place. People always walk fast and there are always things to do urgently. But in the Chinese New Year, you just forget about all this.

There are so much more I can write. But to finish this post I have to stop here.

Please do drop by others to find out interest things about holidays

7 comments:

Marian said...

How interesting Lily. And when exactly is the New year in China?
I love red and the combination with gold is a very pretty one indeed. It's nice to hear that people slow down a bit and the directness is not bad at all... after all, you get money and YOU choose what to get or do with it!
Nice reading about such a different way to celebrate this time of the year.

Easterya said...

It feels like the Chinese New Year festival sets you up for the months ahead, praying for luck, wishing for a rich life, I am sure this is only the tip of traditions which go much deeper...This is such an interesting read Lily, Thank you for this lovely glimpse of Singapore!!!

Half an Acre said...

Very interesting! shame that McDonalds etc just can't shut up shop for a little big though! I'm learning all kinds of things this month - pink panties in the Netherlands, red ones in China!

Karen Faulkner said...

I went to a Chinese New Year celebration several years ago that was held by a group of Chinese-Americans locally. It was very interesting and festive, with the red envelopes containing dollars for the children and the dancers in the dragon costume!

'fancypicnic' said...

Such an interesting post, Lily - thank you! I've learned so much. It's great to find out just how much things differ from country to country.
A very happy new year to you Lily - see you in 2009.

I've only just published my post...bit late!

meherio68 said...

I too find it interesting that you point out how different the mood is all around. The change of pace is infectious, even whatever the way you celbrate...

I finally got around to publishing my own post...

A very Happy New Year to you - now and on Chinese New Year!

Sara's Texture Crafts said...

I'd love to see Chinese New Year in China, I have seen some of the traditions here in London where there is a community in central London. I love the colour, the friendly atmosphere and most of all the tradition. Beautiful!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sara x