Checking out this year’s Chinatown Chinese New Year festive light-up.
It’s that most wonderful time of the year, as the song goes. In the case of Singapore and at this time of the year, this wouldn’t be Santa Claus and adorable reindeers, but Cai Shen and auspicious golden animals. Yup! In three weeks’ time, a matter of days really, a brand new Year of the Dog would upon us!
*woof!* *woof woof!!*
That’s me being silly. Here are pictures from my requisite excursion to Chinatown and its festive market. Like last year, I did these on a weekday so as to avoid the worst of the crowds. If you’re using my pictures to estimate human traffic … it should be obvious enough. It felt like a weekend. But it was actually Monday!
At Chinatown Point
Unlike previous years, I began my evening not at the Outram Park end of Chinatown, but Chinatown Point. Other than to avoid the massive road construction works at Outram, I also wanted to check out the Chinatown Wishing Tree. This is listed as one of this year’s attractions on the official website.
Goodies at the Festive Street Bazaar
The heart of each year’s Chinatown Chinese New Year Light-up is, of course, the Festive Street Bazaar. And each year, I notice the same phenomenon. Despite many of the goods being available elsewhere, such as at residential district CNY fairs and shopping malls, people still flock here. Most people would also buy something; I myself make it a point to at least get some titbits. Is this because of tradition? The nightly shows? Ambience?
Conversely, when I was living right beside the bazaar eleven years ago, I made it the point not to buy from it. Well, at least not till the stalls start discounting on the final night.
Festivals do bring out the best, and the weirdest in us. Agree?
The Festive Street Bazaar Itself
Unfortunately, the first thing I overheard while snapping pictures of the festive light-up was how last year’s decorations were “prettier.” Grudgingly, I have to agree that the Dog is visually not a match for the Rooster. No thanks to the latter’s gaudy feathers, curvy curves and all else.
But, woofy is still man’s best friend, yes? Man’s most faithful companion too? While not as vivid, the centrepiece at Eu Tong Sen Junction does have a certain, I don’t know, valorous feel to it? I wouldn’t mind having such a noble pup for a buddy. (Just one, not a whole litter!) As you can see, the golden festive lights have planted funny ideas in my head.
The above two pics were, of course, taken from the sweet spot I mentioned in last year’s CNY post. On this, I was pleased to discover that while the café is closed, the entire area is still open to the public. Better still, there was no one, believe it or not, when I arrived at six-forty. I wouldn’t recommend you bet on this, though, if you’re heading there for your own pictures. Nearer to seven, photographers did start turning up.
Chinatown Chinese New Year Light-Up is ongoing till Mar 16. The festive bazaar ends one month earlier on Feb 15 i.e. Chinese New Year’s Eve.
Click here to view this year’s lanterns and fireworks at River Hongbao 2018!