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    There are many festivals to celebrate in Singapore and recently we had the colourful Tamil festival of Taipusam.

    Little India was dressed up for the occasion:

    I did not go this year, but the the pictures in this InSing article should give a fair idea of the goings on:
    Several streets between Little India nd Tank Road in River Valley was either closed, or severely restricted for three days.


      Chinese New Year is right around the corner and Chinatown is humming with activities.
      The street are decorated for the occasion as always. This being the year of the Wooden Horse the motif is given.
      Main decorations starts from Upper Cross Street/Eu Tong Sen Street/New Bridge Road junction and ends at Outram/Cantonment Road.

      Here is the beginning at Eu Tong Sen Street as seen from the pedestrian bridge between People's Park Center and Chinatown Point:

      And New Bridge Road from the same venue:

      This big Wooden Horse form the beginning of the center divide decorations:

      Followed by a row of 6 smaller horses:


        More hoses on Dragon Bridge:

        There is also prayer wheels placed on the bridge:


          And even more hoses on the center divide, as seen from the bridge:

          Eu Tong Sen Street from Dragon Bridge, looking East:

          New Bridge road from Dragon Bridge, looking West:


            Back down at ground level, Eu Tong Sen Street.

            ​Horses are every where along the road divider:

            And Gold Coins are plentiful above the roads:


              Nearing the end of the decorated streets. The monsoon drain is open:

              With horses galloping on either side:

              Reflections in the drain:


                We did not venture into the narrow streets in Chinatown and did not look at the decorations in South Bridge Road (yet).
                Here is why. The streets were crowded and hot:

                The ques to buy Bak Kwa at the most popular shops stretched "around the block":


                  Chinatown cannot hold all those who wants to sell decorations and special foods for CNY,
                  Some had set up shop outside Chinatown Point:

                  There were also a "Wishing Tree" near by for those who are looking for good things in the Year of the Horse:

                  ​Others had set up shop outside People's Park Complex:

                  In case you wonder if this was some "wild east" with everybody just trowing up a "shop" where ever they could fine a space, the answer is NO.
                  In well organized and regulated Singapore that is not the case. All necessary permits must be in place and somebody will charge them for the use of their premises.


                    Inside People's Park Complex was also decorated:

                    They obviously didn't have a horse handy, so why not display a blow-up statue of the good of wealth and prosperity, Tsai Shen:
                    ​This is one of the most popular of all the Gods and Goddesses in the Taoist and Shinto religions

                    ​PS> If the fuse blow and the fan stops the "God" would deflate. Would that signify a very bad year to come??


                      But it is not only in Chinatown where special food and decorations for CNY is sold any more, nor is it the only place that is decorated.
                      Most of the big Shopping Centers in Orchard Road and the Malls in the heartland of Singapore is also involved. (No pictures yet)

                      In fact CNY has become as commercialized a X-mas, with the difference being that the gifts are almost always "Red Packets", (called Hong Pau in Cantonese) :
                      These mostly contains money, the question is only; HOW MUCH???? Usually it is an auspicious number.

                      Someone appears to try to mix CNY with X-mas. This decoration was seen outside Albert Court Hotel in Albert Street, near Little India:

                      It is made up of branches of Pussy Willows, which is commonly used to symbolize Spring in Chinese tradition. (CNY = Spring Festival)

                      That's all about CNY for now.


                        Thank you Ombugge – I very much enjoyed the Chinese New Year photos. The horse certainly makes for some particularly spectacular decorations and motifs.
                        Special photo applause for your shots of the horses and reflections in the monsoon drain


                          I forget the context, but there was a brief mention in the news the other day about the coming Chinese New Year, and my first thought was - ah, pictures from Ombugge. And here they are. What a glorious show, especially of the horse decorations. It is almost impossible to find favourites but I do like #921 and 923. Then again, the other photos are a riot of colour, too - like the one in #926 with its display of hanging pineapples(?).
                          Looking forward to the Orchard Road pics.

                          "To thine own self be true.......
                          Thou canst not then be false to any man."


                            More CNY.
                            It's only two days to CNY Eve and the traditional Reunion Dinner, which used to be strictly a family affair, with home cooked food and lots of it.
                            Today many people prefer to let others do the cooking, rather than "contaminating" their expensive kitchen with food smell.

                            If you should happen to be in Singapore for Chinese New Year this year, here is suggestions for things to eat and places to go from Hungrygowhere website:


                              Now we are in the 2nd day of CNY and family visits is going on at high gear still. Unofficially CNY goes on until the next full moon, 14 days from yesterday.
                              But the time when Singapore shut down for CNY is over. Many shops and restaurants are operating "as normal", although with non-Chinese staff mostly. (At least local Chinese staff)
                              Of cause all essential services function and things like the Port is not slowing down.

                              Yesterday we visited my In-law's place, which overlook Tg Pagar and Brani Container Terminals and the activities were at normal level, with ships coming and going and containers being loaded and discharge 24 hrs. a day:

                              But more on that in the Ports of the world thread later.

                              Let's have a look at the frantic preparations for CNY, starting at Thiong Baru Market, which has been our regular wet market for many years. (In fact, some of the stall holders were in our wedding some 39 years ago)

                              It is a hive of activities, with people of all ages,all races and social standing, including more and more "Expats" from Europe, USA, Australia and even Japanese:


                                Charles, also known as; "the Pork man", is busy these days:

                                You see him there in the nearest stall with a refrigerated display desk and overhead cooling unit.

                                Fresh vegetable is a must for CNY. The crowed is dense in the Vegetable section:

                                Less crowded around the fruit stalls today:

                                Although Mandarin Oranges is a traditional "must" for CNY. They represent wealth (gold) and is given together with the red packets. (Sometime "recycled" several times)

                                Another "must" is Pineapples of different kinds:

                                Used to make Pineapple Tarts, which is another "must",

                                Together with these traditional cakes: