CNY Greetings

Wishing you a blessed and prosperous Chinese New Year!

A nice Chinese new year blessings in Proverbs:

🍊心想事成 Ps 37:4 God will grant us the desires of our heart

㊗万事如意 Rom 8:28 In all things God works together for the good of those who love Him

🍀岁岁平安 Phil 4:7 The peace of God will guard our hearts and minds in Christ

🍊事业有成 Jer 29:11 God knows the plans for us to prosper us and give us a future and a hope

👣步步高升 Eph 2:6 God has raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus
💖金玉满堂 Prov 15:6 The house of the righteous is filled with treasure

🍊红运当头 Deut 28:13 God has made us the head and not the tail (as a result of Jesus’ shed blood)

㊗笑口常开 Ps 105:43 God brings His people out with rejoicing, and His chosen ones with shouts of joy.

Last weekend to catch the Chinatown streetlights

I love street lighting. The first time I saw one was at the Tivoli Gardens in Denmark in 1994?

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Pineapples represent food fortune as it sounds in Hokkien (Ong Lai) that luck is visiting you.

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This years street lights. Further down you see dogs crafted in lanterns, this being Year of the dog.

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But its impossible to take photos unless there is a road closure.

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More oranges for house visiting.

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Chinatown is crowded. I want to visit!!! But himself is busy busy.

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Do you know where this wall mural is?

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Near Chinatown complex!! A very familiar sight in the old days when most people were illiterate during British colonial period and had to rely on professional letter writers to write letters home. During CNY, they make more income by also writing auspicious calligraphy on red paper that you paste on doors to scare away the Nian 年!

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What to eat:
Michelin soya sauce chicken $14 for a whole chicken.

Getting there:
NEL MRT Station: Chinatown

Happy Birthday to you

Today is the 7th day of CNY, traditionally it is everyone’s birthday 人日 (renri)! Because man was created on 7th day, according to Chinese myth.

On this day, the Southern Chinese 广东潮汕地区 will eat 7 types of vegetables. Whatever the custom or myth, it gives the body digestive system a rest after a few days of feasting.

7 vegetables for CNY 人日

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Play of words – sounds like

1) Chinese Leek –  (蒜 = 算)- Calculation – adequate wealth to calculate. 精打细算、会划算;

2) Chinese celery – (芹 = 勤)- Hardworking and Diligence

3) Chinese coriander (园香菜 = 缘)- Good destiny

4) White cabbage (大白菜 = 清清白白)- clean character. Or any type of cabbage 大菜 dacai, meaning 大财 dacai, or 大人会发财。 Adults will prosper

5) Spring onion (葱 = 聪明)- Intelligence. In a Teochew version, it sounds like 康 kang, meaning good health

6) Chinese chives (韭jiu 菜 = 长长久久)- Everlasting 

7) A type of mustard green  (春菜 – 青云直上)- Progression. For Teochews we eat 飞龙 poeyleng or Chinese Spinach, representing speed and endurance.

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Stirfry Chinese spinach with mushroom and garlic.

Other versions include long beans 豆dao meaning 日日到dao, mushroom (hiuo gou) to marry a good man (hodapo)

According to Baidu, greet each other with auspicious words:
合家清清白白,新年回春,聪明勤劳,诸事合算,百事无忌

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Why not grow them in your own vegetable patch.

https://www.budgetpantry.com/7-vegetables/

A gift for the occasion

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Two years ago we gave a plate designed by a local designer. If you look at the centre of the plate, the koi fish are swimming around a 发 fa, symbolising 发财 – prosperity. Around the rims is the roman form of the Hokkien word “Huat” and the Chinese words are what we use for Lo Hei. Tossing of the fortune.

Best writeup for the CNY greetings and explanations can be found here:

http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_177__2009-01-08.html

http://www.nomsaurus.com/2014/01/yu-sheng-what-to-say-when-you-lo-hei.html?m=1

From Nomsaurus
Ingredient #1: Raw Fish (生鱼, Sheng Yu)
Phrase: 年年有余 (Nian Nian You Yu)
Meaning: “Abundance throughout the year”

Ingredient #2: Pomelo (柚子, You Zi)
Phrase: 大吉大利 (Da Ji Da Li)
Meaning: “Good luck and smooth sailing”

Ingredient #3: Pepper (胡椒粉, Hu Jiao Fen)
Phrase: 招财进宝 (Zhao Cai Jin Bao)
Meaning: “Attract wealth and treasures”

Ingredient #4: Oil (油, You)
Phrase: 一本万利 (Yi Ben Wan Li) and 财源广进 (Cai Yuan Guang Jin)
Meaning: “Make 10,000 times of profit with your capital” and “Numerous sources of wealth”

Ingredient #5: Carrot (红萝卜, Hong Luo Bo)
Phrase: 鸿运当头 (Hong Yun Dang Tou)
Meaning: “Good luck is approaching”

Ingredient #6: Green Radish (青萝卜, Qing Luo Bo)
Phrase: 青春常驻 (Qing Chun Chang Zhu)
Meaning: “Eternal youth”

Ingredient #7: White Radish (白萝卜, Bai Luo Bo)
Phrase: 步步高升 (Bu Bu Gao Sheng) and 风生水起 (Feng Sheng Shui Qi)
Meaning: “Reaching higher levels with each step” and “Progress at a fast pace”

Ingredient #8: Peanuts Crumbs (花生粉, Hua Sheng Fen)
Phrase: 金银满屋 (Jin Yin Man Wu)
Meaning: “Household filled with gold and silver”

Ingredient #9: Sesame seeds (芝麻, Zhi Ma)
Phrase: 生意兴隆 (Sheng Yi Xing Long)
Meaning: “Prosperity for the business”

Ingredient #10: Golden crackers (薄脆饼干, Bo Cui Bing Gan)
Phrase: 满地黄金 (Man Di Huang Jin)
Meaning: “Floor full of gold”

Ingredient #11: Plum sauce (酸梅酱, Suan Mei Jiang)
Phrase: 甜甜蜜蜜 (Tian Tian Mi Mi)
Meaning: “Sweet and loving relationships”

Finally, 恭喜发财。

Where this dish originated, no one remembers. Raw fish slice, yusheng 鱼生 are eaten by 潮州 (Teochews), the Chinese group I come from, for the longest time, all year round in hawker stalls.

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To combine it as a dish with raw vegetables and popularised with tossing during the CNY and replicated in restaurants is popularly regarded as Singaoore in 1964 simply because there are more Chinese Teochews in Singapore for the dish to catch on as a fad.

NLB infopedia traces the origin of the dish.
http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_177__2009-01-08.html

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Whoever invented it is not the point, thank God its not patented. It celebrates the Chinese diaspora and our common heritage of a tradition that started during the Song dynasty, improved by southern Chinese immigrants in the Malayan Peninsula and brought back to China.

If you are in Singapore during the CNY period, participate in the fun and joy.

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DIY at home. Meidiya supermarket retails prepared takeaway packs at $24.

Happy CNY 2018

The traditional Lohei tradition which started in Singapore by local chefs. My brother’s in laws made this to welcome year of dog.

White body is shredded radish which sounds like good luck. Crackers represent gold bricks. Fish represents abundance with leftovers – play of words. Toss the salad and wish each other blessings. Good way to make the kids and adults eat vegetables.

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Outside Bay Hotel, opposite Vivocity. Some ingenious carpentry to make a flowering tree as plum blossoms dont bloom here. Plum blossoms bloom in winter and represent resilience.

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Bought your red clothing?

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Lovely pavilion outside Vivocity at Harborfront MRT station.

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Happy Year of Golden Monkey to you

My favourite time of the year is here, eve of Chinese New Year.

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Gardens by the Bay

Catch the flower display at Gardens by the Bay.

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Lego display of the Rafflesia

We have our reunion CNY dinner and our louhei, a Singaporean toss your vegetable dish traditionally served with raw fish because fish鱼 sounds like the word for abundance 年年有余.

Shredded carrots, vegetables with crackers – and pepper with honey. May your streets be filled with ingots and your lives with sweets.
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Toss with your chopsticks as high as you can.
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Married women give out red packets 红包 with money to younger folks and parents. As long as you’re not married, you’ve a right to receive money.

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How appropriate, artist Chen Wen Hsi’s gibbons for this year! 马上奉侯 the word for monkey sounds like the title of nobility. Wishing you steps of progress and promotion. 步步高升

Tomorrow on the first day I’ll be going to my mother in law’s place early in the morning to wish her new year greetings with two mandarin oranges. In Chinese orange is the same sounding word as good fortune 吉利. Note that you cannot use sublist oranges but the wrinkled ones from Swatow, China – the village our ancestors came from.

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We are going to eat out pineapple tarts – because pineapple in Hokkien means good fortune coming your way.

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Not to forget the sweet glutinous rice flour cake – eaten in slices and deep fried with batter. Tradition goes thar every housewife needs to offer such cakes to the kitchen god so that when he makes a report to the heavenly emperor, he’ll have good things to say. If not, hopefully his mouth will be glued tight by the sticky rice flour cake.

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Dahlia dreams at Gardens by the Bay

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Lion dance performance

A very well done site on the different types of Chinese New year goodies:
https://www.behance.net/gallery/23260743/Lunar-New-Year-

Wishing you a prosperous year of the monkey

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Display outside 313 Orchard Road with cherry blossoms.

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Outside Centrepoint, shake the golden coin tree. Peonies.

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Rain on me.

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Waiting for the light up in Chinatown.

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I’m just displaying some fittonia and little characters. Do they pass off as monkeys?

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Awaiting the blooms from my pussy willow  blossoms from Taiwan. Seller sells Taiwan not exporting  next year, is it true? They’re rounder than the Chinese ones which are thin and longish.

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My bougainvillea suddenly bursting into flames of flowers with life of its own.

No goodies to show. We’ve no self control  –  they’re three quarters gone. The pineapple tarts and BBQ pork slices.