Spring festival, 15 days of celebration !
Updated: Jan 23
春节 chūn jié，the spring festival is traditionally fifteen days of celebration. This year without exception, the party will last from January 22nd until February 5th.
Day 1: fireworks and hong bao
Normally, at midnight sharp firecrackers (banned in Singapore and in major Chinese cities) and fireworks announce the arrival of the new year. This first day of the year is usually spent with the paternal grandparents. Kids don't even have to say 红包拿来hóng bāo ná lái, "red envelope please!" », to have their 压岁钱 yā suì qián, the money that will protect them throughout this new year. In Singapore, you often find amounts of 2, 6, 8 or 10 dollars in the envelopes.
Day 2 : at Mom's house
回娘家 huí niáng jiā, married women return to their mothers' house on this day to wish a happy new year. In the old days, it was one of the very few occasions for married women to return to their parents' house.
Day 3 : quiet at home
Rest at home. Visits are not welcome.
Day 4 : around dining table !
灶神 zàoshén, it is the day of the kitchen god. The legend says that this god comes to count the number of mouths to feed in the family, so everyone home for dinner!
Zàoshén : dieu de la cuisine
Day 5 : dance with lions.
财神 cáishén, it is the birthday of the god of fortune. This is the busiest day for lion and dragon dancers. Outside the pandemic period, you can admire the lion dances in companies, in malls or even at neighbours' houses.
Day 6 : goodbye garbage !
送穷鬼 sòng qióngguǐ, "goodbye to the demon of poverty", people can once again throw away garbage and used objects. Indeed, during the first 5 days, it was necessary to keep everything so as not to lose luck, happiness and fortune.
Day 7 : the longer the better !
人日 rén rì，the day of man, of humanity. 吃面条 chī miàn tiáo，eating noodles, a symbol of longevity, are in the spotlight to wish us all a very long and peaceful life.
Day 8 : plenty of wheat
谷日 gǔ rì, Wheat's birthday. Let's wish and pray for good weather on that day in order to have a good harvest during the year.
Dieu de la prospérité
Day 9: at the temple
天公诞 tiān gōng dàn, the birthday of the jade emperor who lives in heaven. Temples generally organize important celebrations. In Singapore, the 2 busiest places are Thian Hock Keng Temple – Telok Ayer street, and Loyang Tua Pek Kong – 20 Loyang Way. Sugar canes, which symbolize success and sweet happiness, are essential for these ceremonies.
Day 10 : solid as a rock.
石日 shírì, even the rock is celebrating its birthday. Be careful, do not move or break the rocks on this day ! This is how the Chinese thank the nature that protects us.
Day 11 : summons to stepdad.
Fathers-in-law invite their sons-in-law to ensure a happy year for their daughters.
Day 12 to day 14: lanterns
Preparation of lanterns for the Chinese carnival.
Day 15 :The festival of light
元宵节 yuánxiāojié, the Festival of Light marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebration. Outside the pandemic period, during the day, there are still the joyful lion dances and in the evening, the whole family goes out with lanterns in their hands. People eat 元宵 yuánxiāo, a kind of round and sweet dumplings, contemplating the moon which symbolizes the dearest wish of the Chinese 合家团圆 héjiā tuányuán， harmony and family reunion.
article written by Ling Long for Singapour Live
In Singapore, the traditional Chingay Parade will take place on February 3 & 4 at 8 p.m. at F1 Pit. It will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Chingay Parade. No spectators but live broadcast on TV and online again this year.