The majestically and flamboyantly prosperous island of Singapore is lovingly known as the "The Lion City" and is famous throughout the world for its extravagant New Year celebrations. The Singaporeans, like most of the world, do not follow the Gregorian calendar as far as this event is concerned; hence, they do not celebrate New Year's Eve on 31st December. They follow the traditional Chinese lunar calendar, according to which they bid a joyful farewell to the old year and extend a colorful welcome to the coming year with tremendous 15-day vivacious festivities that begin in the last week of January.
Here, New Year is traditionally known as Chun Jie, which basically means Spring Festival as it is celebrated at the time of the onset of spring season in the mainland China. The spectacular celebrations of this event are carried out on a grand scale in Singapore, which are so extraordinary that they seem to pale rest of the New Year celebrations held around the world, in comparison. Here, all of the streets, markets, and buildings are lit up in multi shades of decorative lighting and every citizen becomes an enthusiastic part of the 15-day carnival. Go through this article to unravel many more interesting details about exceptional New Year's revelry held in the pristine island of Singapore.
New Year Traditions
During the festivities of Chun Jie, all of Singapore is decked up like a bride, every nook and corner of the island sparkles with twinkling lights with government as well as private buildings, all being part of the vivid colorful decorations. This is considered an auspicious time to make new purchases, thus the markets are filled with latest merchandise, along with various lucrative sales offers. Since one can get latest and best products on competitive prices here, the place buzzes with many shopaholics from around the world.
During this time, people usually organize special dinners, where friends and families can get together and spend some quality time with each other. Singaporeans believe New Year's Eve to be a time of bringing old and new relations close to each other, a time to strengthen personal ties with near and dear ones. All traditional Chinese dishes are cooked on this occasion, with basic ingredients as fish, pork, duck or chicken. Loved ones exchange various gifts, including hongbao, which are basically red packets with some token money as these are considered to bring good luck.
Similar to mainland China, red is considered a good luck charm in Singapore also; thus, it dominates most of the decorations. The legend of Chun Jie monster 'Nian', who attacks people at this time of the year and annihilates crops as well as homes, is quite famous among all Chinese, no matter where they live and the belief that the demon is afraid of the color red is also quite strong in Singapore as well. People hang Chun lian (couplets) in the doorways of their residences as well as official quarters. One can see the auspicious character hung upside down placed at various places; this is so as the Chinese pronunciation of "upside down" is same as "arrival".
New Year Celebrations
The most fantastical public celebrations in Singapore on New Year's Eve are held at the Marina Bay area. This region becomes the center of attraction on this evening not just for the domestic population, but also for tourists from all over the globe, who descend to this venue to witness the most stunning and impressive New Year's Eve celebrations in all of Singapore. In fact, various travel agencies, hotels and restaurants in the area make reservations of this mind-blowing carnival month in advance of the New Year, as it becomes next to impossible to get into it on last minute's vim.
Various other avenues overlooking the Marina Bay, which include the world's tallest Ferris Wheel and almost all nearby buildings, hotels, restaurants, as well as commercial and non-commercial buildings, become favorite hangout zones for the overflowing number of spectators on New Year's Eve. The public celebrations held here include numerous live shows and concerts, which have performances by several popular local and world renowned artists. The electrifying vibe runs across every corner of Marina Bay. Still, this is just the tip of the iceberg, the real stunner moment arrives when the last second countdown for the arrival of the New Year begins and the crowd joins in the concord. Just as the clock strikes midnight, colorful fireworks are set off from the waters of Marina Bay painting the skyline of Singapore in brilliant and bedazzling bright colors, giving the entire atmosphere an enchanting ethereal feel. This extravaganza is quite unparallel anywhere else in the world.
Singapore welcomes the New Year as per Chinese traditions, which adds great splendor and style to its celebrations.