Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chinese New Year in Singapore

My friends told me about the way the Chinese New year is celebrated in Singapore. So I decided to go and check it out. I was very excited to see the Chinese New Year celebrations for the very first time.

So I conducted a Google search to find out the best events and programmes that take place during this time. I also tried to find out the places and markets to visit in Singapore. I was particularly interested in the celebrations at Marina Bay. The celebrations were to take place from the 24th of Jan to the 1st of Feb. Most of my friends went back to India to spend their holidays. I missed them a lot.

I went to the River Hong Boa near the Esplanade theatres. The atmosphere was so welcoming. Near the entrance, a small stage performance by local groups was being held. The roof was beautifully lit up and was very nice to look at. It had shades of pink and purple. I did not understand a word of what they sang. It was all in Chinese. But nevertheless, it was pleasant to hear. Cotton candy was being sold near the theatres and this was the first time I saw this in Singapore. I was so excited, I wanted to grab one for myself (but it didn’t taste too good… but anyway I was happy just seeing it)

The audience was silent during the performance. This is one thing I've observed about Singaporeans. They are always silent and very shy (Even during the seminars I attend hardly anyone asks any questions). But there was an old man who noticed that the spirit of the crowd was not too high so he stood up and walked to the center of the stage and started dancing. The crowd was surprised and the best part was he was really good at it. He had some very fascinating moves to show off. He made the crowd come back to life. After that everyone began clapping and shouting.

After this we moved on to the floating stage. The red lights around us were amazing. It was a wonderful sight. Inside the floating stage they had statues of the 12 signs of the Chinese Zodiac decorated with colorful lights, Chinese buildings and some flowers and soldiers. They were calling this 'a festival of lights' just like we call 'Diwali' that. People were rushing to take pictures near each sign of the zodiac. The crowd was full of families and kids.

We also saw a wishing well. The well had a wall behind it. There were 7 bells hanging on the wall. Each bell had a card that carried words of blessings. We had to aim at the the bells with our coins. Hit any one and the blessings are yours. If you miss, it doesn't really matter. All the money goes to charity anyway. I hit the prosperity card.

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