We went to the Esplanade on our second night in Singapore last weekend. I couldn’t remember whose idea was it and why did we choose to go to Esplanade of all the places. Maybe it’s due to tiredness and sleep deprivation, roaming around the whole day and night with only 3 hours sleep on the day before was not the best way to enjoy Singapore. Alas, we were there and there was Lunar New Year bazaar going on outside the durian shaped building, so we went to check it out.
First of all, River Hongbao was not a river in Singapore, it’s a festival which has been held in Singapore for the past two decades, though I have never heard about during my time living there. Now days, whenever I visited Singapore as a tourist, I kept discovering new things and tradition. It made me wonder what the hell did I do in Singapore for the 8 years.
A part of Chinese tradition, Hang Boa, is a monetary gift which is given during holidays or special occasions. It’s usually given by married and/ elderly to the younger generation. Putting two and two together, I am guessing River Hongbao refers to a flow of abundance. Yes? No? Singaporean friends, help please!
It’s safe to say that the monkey population in Singapore increased dramatically in the past couple of weeks.
What could be a better symbol of a majestic monkey than Sun Wukong? With the Monkey God; See No Evil. Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil monkeys, this was one of the most elaborate Lunar New Year decoration I have ever seen.
I was so excited when I saw this Mr Vadai’s 10 for $3 mini vadai (Indian donut) shop. I used to buy these every year during the Ramadan (fasting month) in Singapore from Arab Street which was just opposite of my office.
They had various flavors: crab, chili, fish, vegetables. You could choose and mix. At the end, it actually didn’t matter much because all tasted the same anyway.
I offered to my cousins, no one was tempted. To be fair, it was never meant to be a delicious treat, but more like happy memories triggers. And it worked. I munched on all the 10 mini vadai happily.
Here you were supposed to throw coins at those bells, if you succeed you were believed to get the blessing written on that particular bell. If you missed, at least your coins were being collected for the charity. A win win deal.
They had impressive looking lanterns from all the Chinese zodiac to a whole replica of a temple. I heard they also had fireworks every night during the Lunar New Year festival, unfortunately I missed it.
Not long after we decided to go home and recharge our mental and physical batteries. That night, we also took this pink monkey home, with plenty of beds we thought why not. Unfortunately, we lost her the next morning. Fortunately, I got to see her again in the evening. Life..
Happy Lunar New Year filled with blessings to all my friends who are celebrating. What did you do to celebrate this year?
Read More: The time I celebrated Chinese New Year in Beijing // The time I scored Indonesia’s 2007 Chinese New Year stamp in Singapore – I am now looking for Indonesia’s 2016 Monkey zodiac // The first time I celebrated Lunar New Year in Singapore.