A Prosperous Year of the Horse
Chinese New Year is a host of traditions, feast and fest...
- Yu Sheng: A refreshing salad made of raw fish and shredded vegetables topped with a variety of condiments and sauces. All gather around a table to toss the beautifully arranged ingredients high into the air with their chopsticks while shouting auspicious wishes. The higher you toss, the more prosperity you can expect. This tradition typically Singaporean was introduced by four local master chefs in the early 60s. Tham Yew Kai, Lau Yoke Pin, Sing Leong and Hooi Kok Wai became so popular with this recipe that they became known as the “Four Heavenly Kings” in the Chinese culinary world. Although Yu Sheng can be offered in several variations, you'll find the original version at the Lai Wah Restaurant on Bendemeer Road (Boon Keng MRT station), which was the world's 1st restaurant to serve Chinese New Year Yu-Sheng in 1964.
- Nian Gao: A sticky rice pudding cake that represents self-improvement and good luck. It has the property of increasing prosperity every year and its round shape symbolises family reunion.
- Pineapple Tart: The delicious tart or roll is made of pastry and pineapple jam. Pineapple is meant to bring wealth, luck, excellent fortune. While visiting a home, by eating some of the addictive treat you’ll bring good luck and prosperity to your host.
- Bak Kwa: This popular snack is a flat and thin sheet of pork meat, marinated with sugar and salt then barbequed for a smoky flavour. It is believed to bring you a long fortune ahead. Easily found throughout Chinatown, Bee Cheng Hiang, Lim Chee Guan and Fragrance stores on New Bridge Road are some of our favourites (Chinatown MRT station Exit A).
- Pen Cai or Fortune Treasure Pot: This fortune pot can feature vegetables, meat such as beef, pork, duck and chicken and some precious seafood ingredients including abalone, prawn, dried scallop, fish maw, sea cucumber, dried oyster, black moss seaweed and flower mushroom, all braised to perfection in some succulent stock. It is sure to bring wealth, abundance, unity and happiness to those who share it. Available in most Chinese restaurants and most hotels of the city with a Chinese restaurant.
- Mandarin: They are typically considered as symbols of prosperity and good luck and visitors often exchange a pair of them each time they enter a house. If you choose them with the leaves on, they will bring longevity! Yet make sure you don't put them in fours as it is representative of death.
- Kueh Kapit or Love Letters: Made from baking sugar, eggs and coconut milk, they can be prepared folded into fan-like shape or rolled up and stored in tins. As the name suggests it, love letters were lovers' favourite mean of communication in the olden days.
- Tray of Togetherness: Given as a gift or offered as snacks, the Tray of Togetherness is made of 8 compartments, filled with dried fruits and seeds such as preserved kumquats for prosperity, coconut for togetherness, longans to bring many sons, and red melon seeds for happiness.
- Prawn Rolls: The small deep fried spring rolls wrappers are filled up with some hebi hiam, a salty mixture of dried shrimp paste and ground sambal chilli. Eaten as snacks, they represent happiness, good fortune and wealth.
- Whole Fish: During Chinese New Year, it’s not time for a Fish Head Curry! The fish is served whole from head to tail to wish for an abundant and lucky year ahead from start to end.
Truly, there’s nothing like a cheerful family dinner during Chinese New Year to boost your morale and get ready for the coming year.
- Official Opening and Light-Up Ceremony with the presence of Tony Tan Keng Yam, President of Singapore and special feature of Firecrackers after being banned for 32 years. 11/01
- Chinatown Wishing Tree. From 7/01 to 14/02
- Nightly Shows. From 11/01 to 30/01
- Festive Street Bazaar. From 10/01 to 30/01
- Chinatown Walking Trail. On 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26/01
- Lion Dance Competition. On 18 and 19/01
- Mass Reunion Dinner. On 26/01
- River Hongbao. From 29/01 to 8/02
- Countown Party Chinatown. On 30/01
- Chingay Parade 2014. On 7 and 8/02
- Chinatown Yuan Xiao Jie . On 9/02
- Hua Yi Chinese Festival of the Arts. From 6 to 16/02
- Smith Street is now opened to the public
- The Year of the Horse starts from the 31st of January 2014 and ends on the 18th of February 2015.
- 31st of January and 1st of February 2014 are public holidays in Singapore