Chinese New Year is just around the corner, and families around Singapore are preparing to spring clean, packing hongbao, ordering their reunion dishes and purchasing mounds of CNY clothes and gifts.
As the festive season rolls around again this year, many people enjoy talking about traditions for CNY. We talk about taboos and trends, like not washing hair or avoiding sweeping the house during Chinese New Year, which are old practices done by Chinese folk all around the world.
But there are certain Chinese New Year customs that are specifically done or made special by Singaporeans – let’s check them out below!
Chinese New Year Masses
Churches like St. Mary of the Angels hold mass on the first day of Chinese New Year, and even give out blessed oranges to attending people. Since 1984, the Holy Family Church in Tanjong Katong has celebrated Peranakan midnight mass on the eve of Chinese New Year. This mass is conducted entirely in Baba Malay! They celebrate the unique blend of culture and heritage, making it a truly special occasion.
River Hong Bao
It’s one of Singapore’s largest annual Chinese New Year festivals, and a truly ironic event! The River Hong Bao has been part of Singapore’s festival celebrations since 1987, and is a hot event for both locals and tourists alike. Since covid, they’ve even offered virtual experiences!
This vibrant festival offers a unique Chinese cultural experience, complete with mouthwatering food, Chinese decorations, music and lanterns. They have events such as amusement rides, exhibitions and music performances.
Some Singaporeans believe that there are auspicious days – and times! – to deposit money into their bank accounts. They normally do it on Li Chun as they believe it will boost their wealth, and ensure good luck for the year. Older people even wear lucky colours, and calculate an exact sum of money to deposit for a little extra luck.
Singapore Lion Dances
Lion dances are traditionally performed all around the world during Chinese New Year. The dance is usually accompanied by a combination of drums, gongs, and cymbals.
However in Singapore, these dances are performed to the Singapore drum, rather than traditional Chinese ones. They have a softer resonance as compared to traditional ones, but still create a festive and joyous atmosphere all the same!
Chinese New Year Events in Singapore
We’ve got a few amazing highlights for you to visit this year!
When it comes down to Chinese New Year, you can’t miss out on Chinatown. Get into the heart of the festivities after the subdued celebrations during covid season. Towering street displays run across the town, lighting up the streets every night. There are weekly stage performances and festivities, as well as an incredible food fair featuring more than 280 stalls of CNY treats.
If you have a family with children, visit the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall for performances, bunny exhibitions and workshops for kids. Workshops include tang yuen making, Chinese drums and even lion dances. On Jan 22nd, there will be lion dances and dragon performances, and children get to rub shoulders with the God of Fortune.
Another colourful celebration includes the Chingay Parade, a series of floats in celebration of the new year. Brought together by Singapore’s diverse talents and youth, this year’s parade will be taking place in front of a street-style art container backdrop, a collaborative art piece done by Sam Lo and over 480 local youths.
As always, Gardens by the Bay is a stunning show-stopper with its Chinese New Year showcase. Stop by the Flower Dome and enjoy hundreds of colourful bunnies, lanterns, sculptures and figurines alongside over thousands of fresh Chinese New Year flowers. Go a little further into Marina Bay Sands and enjoy the life-sized, light up display of peach blossoms and golden rabbits.
Shop For Your Chinese New Year Hamper 2023 with Simply Hamper!
If you’re looking for CNY corporate gifts or hampers for your family reunion, look no further. Simply Hamper is prepped with the best Chinese New Year gifts, ready for the upcoming festive season! Check out our Chinese New Year section today and get set to celebrate your CNY with a bang. Order online today and enjoy free delivery on all orders.
Hard to pick just one? Check out our blog on Our Top Chinese New Year Hampers to make your selection process easier! We have CNY goodies and hampers for everyone.