Archive for January, 2009

Singapore Chinese New Year (B/w shots)

Posted in Blogroll, Festivals, Food & Beverage with tags , , , , , , , , on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 by Colin Quek

The biggest festive season in Singapore, Chinese New Year starts annually in Chinatown.

Typically most Singaporean Chinese will have their family dinner (aka Reunion Dinner). And then head down to Chinatown to do some last minute shopping or simply to catch the festive spirit. Year 2009, is no different. In fact the Year of the Ox ushered in even more business for the stallholders in Chinatown.

This year I thought to bring us some black and white photos. A different treatment from the commonly seen saturated colored ones. (for my color loving crowd, I’ve include 2 colored photos just for you). Here’s a Wonderful and Prosperous Ox Year to you 🙂

buyingsweets012Since it’s Chinese New Year, let’s start with colors 😀

fuword1“Fu” – Means fortune, prosperity in Chinese

As per tradition, we practice home visitation. Going to the homes of our relatives and friends for a chat and to catch up with one another. And the hosts are always very happy to provide tidbits and small confectionery. As is evident from the next few shots.

buybuybuy1Sweets  are a very common treats one can find during home visitations.
The stalls in Chinatown are decked full of tidbits for sale.

buymysweets1Another tidbit stall – PACKED with shoppers. The shadow to the left is the owner,
shouting into the microphone with
“Come la come la, 1/2Kg for $2 dollars, Boss don’t want goods, he only wants the cash now!”

(this guy’s a very friendly chap, he even turned to me and joked “take picture $5 dollars)

explaining1Of course there are plenty other goodies. These are traditional Chinese pastries,
made mainly of flour and sweet paste.

gourds1These are fresh gourds that are mainly used for deity worship.
I’ve never tasted any before though, so I’m clueless about how they taste like.

stallholder012Another enthusiastic stall holder. This is a cropped shot, and it’s already filled with onlookers.
Yes you cannot imagine the number of people thronging his tidbits stall!

On top of food and sweets, we Chinese also like luck (who wouldn’t). Although fortune telling is a diminishing trade in modern Singapore, it’s not uncommon to find many people thronging the few fortune telling stalls to get their palms read during this time.

fortuneteller2The ‘shifu’ (master) here is skilfully explaining to the lady and her Caucasian friends
what he thought of their fortune for the Ox year.

drawyourname1In addition to fortune telling, there are Chinese art. This man here paints beautiful
Chinese mythological creatures such as Dragons and Phoenixes
to form
the name of his customers. They do make wonderful gifts I would say.

tshirts1Clothes! New Year, New Clothes! What more is there to say, SHOP!

sweatbuckets1This shot has to be colored. The 2 pails are used for storing the takings of the day.
They are attached to a pulley system and will be raised automatically when not in use.
This method has been in used since the very first Chinese businessmen set foot in Singapore.

choosing1Oh did I mentioned “spoiled for choices”? That’s precisely so.
With more than 150 stalls setup, shoppers are kept busy just making a choice.

englishman1“Spoiled for choices” And they come in many flavors.
Erich Wuerstelstand’s German Sausages. I didn’t thought to buy any because
the queue is too long. But that means I’m missing out on something very delicious here
Check out more detail about Erich here

acrobat1And finally, a standing ovation to all the people who made Chinese New Year yet another
warm and heartfelt festive season. Here’s to all the crowd and stall owners and of course You the reader: