Gong xi fa cai!

I love walking around Singapore during this time of the year. It’s the lunar New Year and the island nation is immersed in celebration. If you’re here, you can’t help but absorb the red and gold spirit of the season. According to Chinese tradition, red represents good fortune and joy, and the gold adds elegance.  

Oranges are another speciality of the season. I read somewhere that the word orange sounds similar to the Chinese word ‘wealth’ and is considered as a symbol of prosperity and happiness. So people exchange oranges as an auspicious symbol. A heart-warming practice is to give ‘ang pao’ – red packets of money to children (children will include all unmarried men and women); it’s a channel for sending good wishes and luck. Another beauty of the season is the reunion of friends and families. The usually silent neighbourhoods come alive with chatter and frolic. I can feel all the love and happiness is in the air.

Ana is also excited about Chinese New Year. Her school is adorned with decorations and its gala mood cannot be missed. She’s going to wear a Cheongsam (the traditional attire) for her class party tomorrow. It’s wonderful how Singapore shows such racial harmony; we all love to be a part of the celebrations! Here’s wishing you all happiness, love and prosperity in the coming year. May your parents be your guide and your children, your blessing in the coming year. Gong xi fa cai Singapore!

– Rashmi –