Seeing Red: Chinese New Year in Chinatown, Singapore

Chinatown during Chinese New Year season in Singapore is one heck of a busy place, I’ll tell you that much. Not only will you be seeing red because of the festive colour being quite literally everywhere, however you may also start seeing red due to the streets being so packed, that you are in skin to skin contact with all the strangers within a 360 degree radius of you.

Despite the craziness of the streets, I was still able to snag some photos (thank you crop feature).

The photogenic mix of the colonial architecture with the glow of the Chinese lanterns (and the Free Wi-fi sign to top it off) made all the craziness worth it.

It’s strange being in a foreign culture during their biggest holiday celebration. You can try and understand the traditions, but it’s almost impossible to have that same connection that you have with holidays back home. Comparable to our Christmas season (with the whole month of December leading up to it), the actual celebration of Chinese New Year lasts fifteen days.

On the Eve of Chinese New Year, and the actual day of Chinese New Year (not when these photos were taken), I was shocked by how quiet the city was. Almost all restaurants and shops were closed, the streets were empty of cars, the construction that usually wakes me up in the morning stopped.

The craziness ceased, and turned to stillness. Everyone was with their relatives celebrating at home.

“I guess this is how people who don’t celebrate Christmas feel on Christmas Day and Boxing Day”, I thought to myself.

This thought helped me understand the holiday a little more. The build up of Christmas, the madness of the shopping leading up to the main holiday. Then come December 25th- stillness.

2 thoughts on “Seeing Red: Chinese New Year in Chinatown, Singapore

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  1. Hey Kiddo!

    A wonderful detailed description with beautiful colours and textures captured in your photos of Chinese New Year make this, yet another fantastic post! I find it rather “poetic” that you're sharing with us such beautiful contrasts in images (colonial architecture vs contrasting colours, and the contrast of traditional Chinese lanterns), and mirroring that with the contrast of cultures between Chinese New Year celebrations and Christmas celebrations in Western culture….Spectacular!!


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