Life Style

Eight Chinese New Year traditions to get proper, Lifestyle News & Top Stories

1 HONGBAO

Is there a minimal sum hongbao ought to comprise? Must the hongbao quantity at all times be a fair quantity? Can I put cash or outdated notes right into a hongbao? Can I put a Toto fortunate draw ticket instead of bodily cash right into a hongbao?

Hongbao, or crimson packets, are historically handed out by married to their dad and mom, single adults and kids throughout the Chinese New Year celebrations as tokens of fine fortune and blessing. There is claimed to be no rule by way of the quantity that ought to go right into a hongbao, because the act of giving a crimson packet is supposed to be a gesture of blessing and never a transaction.

According to Chinese custom, good issues come in pairs, so a fair quantity is most well-liked. You will not go flawed with the quantity eight, because the quantity feels like prosperity in Mandarin. Don’t give $four, as it’s the Chinese homonym for loss of life.

Dr Kang Ger-Wen, course chair for Chinese Studies in Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Humanities and Social Science, says that within the olden days in China, individuals would put cash into hongbao with out notes. That was as a result of cash had been precious to individuals then, earlier than paper notes took place. These days, nonetheless, he has seen that it’s now not a customized to place cash right into a hongbao.

Associate Professor Lim Lee Ching, vice-dean on the School of Human Development and Social Services on the Singapore University of Social Sciences, says there are not any guidelines in opposition to placing cash right into a hongbao. He provides that when the gold-coloured $1 cash had been first launched within the 1980s, there was a lot pleasure and other people would use them in hongbao as a result of the coin’s color and its octagonal inset had been thought of auspicious. He says there are not any guidelines in opposition to placing outdated notes right into a hongbao both.

Customarily, individuals do choose new notes, which accompany the thought of spring and renewal. However, Prof Lim says if we predict again to the origins of hongbao – which had been first given by dad and mom in China to their youngsters within the type of cash – there have been no banks minting new cash simply to fulfill such calls for.

On whether or not a Toto fortunate draw ticket will be inserted right into a hongbao instead of bodily cash, Dr Kang says it is completely acceptable.

In the event that the receiver of the hongbao wins cash from the fortunate draw, it will likely be considered that the sum gained was from the giver of the hongbao.

 


ST ILLUSTRATION: TEOH YI CHIE

2 PUSSY WILLOW

Why is the pussy willow in style throughout this festive season?

Because pussy willow crops (also called catkins) bear their furry buds from late winter onwards, they signify the start of spring.

Its Chinese identify, yin liu, feels like “money flowing in”.

Some Chinese additionally imagine that crops with considerable buds will deliver luck.

The raw fish salad was brought to Singapore by Cantonese immigrants in the 1940s, and was later popularised as a Chinese New Year dish.
The uncooked fish salad was delivered to Singapore by Cantonese immigrants within the 1940s, and was later popularised as a Chinese New Year dish. TNP FILE PHOTO

three YUSHENG

What are the origins of the customized of consuming yusheng throughout CNY?

The uncooked fish salad has been the speciality of China’s Guangdong province for hundreds of years and it’s eaten there all yr spherical.

It was delivered to Singapore by Cantonese immigrants within the 1940s, and later popularised as a Chinese New Year dish by cooks from Lai Wah Restaurant in Bendemeer Road. Over the years, the salad has develop into a riot of colors and flavours, together with red-and green-dyed radish strips, candied orange peel, and even using salmon.

The observe of consuming it, full with the excessive drama of tossing the substances into the air whereas loudly declaring auspicious needs throughout Chinese New Year, is claimed to be distinctive to Singapore and Malaysia.

The reunion dinner is traditionally held on the eve of Chinese New Year, and serves as an occasion for family bonding. TNP FILE PHOTO
The reunion dinner is historically held on the eve of Chinese New Year, and serves as an event for household bonding. TNP FILE PHOTO

four REUNION DINNER

How did the idea of a reunion dinner come about?

Before trendy and reasonably priced types of transport took place, it was troublesome for members of the family residing in several components of China to return to their hometown greater than annually.

Chinese New Year was the one time once they would make the journey home for a reunion.

Today, the dinner is historically held on the eve of Chinese New Year, and serves as an event for household bonding.

 


ST ILLUSTRATION: TEOH YI CHIE

5 LION DANCE

Why can we see lion dance performances particularly throughout CNY?

The lion is considered an auspicious animal that symbolises braveness, dedication and resourcefulness.

The lion dance is due to this fact believed to deliver luck to these who watch it.

The Cantonese pronunciation of giving mandarin oranges – “song gam” – is the same as “giving gold”.
The Cantonese pronunciation of giving mandarin oranges – “song gam” – is similar as “giving gold”. TNP FILE PHOTO 

6 MANDARIN ORANGES

Why can we trade mandarin oranges throughout CNY?

This started as a southern Chinese customized.

The Cantonese pronunciation of giving mandarin oranges – “song gam” – is similar as “giving gold”, due to this fact it signifies wishing prosperity upon the recipient.

Bak kwa is called “long yoke” in Cantonese, which means to have good fortune.
Bak kwa is known as “long yoke” in Cantonese, which suggests to have luck. ST FILE PHOTO

7 BAK KWA

Why can we eat bak kwa throughout CNY?

Bak kwa (barbecued pork jerky) is a delicacy that’s stated to have originated from Fujian province in China, the place the individuals had been poor and the place meat was a festive deal with reserved for Chinese New Year.

To make the deal with last more, the pork was sliced thinly, marinated with sugar and spices, air-dried and cooked over a scorching plate.

The delicacy subsequently made its option to Singapore, the place the pork slices are normally air-dried, then grilled over charcoal for a candy and smoky flavour.

Beyond being tasty, the jerky can be referred to as “long yoke” in Cantonese, which suggests to have luck.

eight GOODIES

Why can we eat goodies comparable to pineapple tarts, kueh bangkit and love letters throughout CNY?

Pineapple tarts are stated to be taken from the Straits Chinese or Peranakans’ cookie repertoire, which later found their option to develop into a must-eat throughout the festive season.

The Cantonese time period for pineapple is “wong lai” – which conveys the thought of ushering in prosperity.

Crispy egg rolls are frequent in southern China, however the Singapore model, referred to as love letters, comprises coconut milk.

That means that Straits-born Chinese or Malays gave the unique an area twist.

For the identical motive, kueh bangkit, which is created from tapioca flour and coconut milk, is probably going a Peranakan or Malay invention.




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