Chinese New Year customs in Singapore

Chinese New Year is celebrated by most Chinese in Singapore. The first day of the lunar new year usually falls between the winter solstice (dongzhi) and spring’s beginning (lichun). This typically falls between 21 January and 20 February each year.

Chinese New Year delicacies

Various cakes, fruits, sweetmeats, nuts and delicacies are offered during the Chinese New Year as part of the festivities celebrated in Singapore by those of Chinese descent. These items are served primarily because of puns in their ...

Hongbao giving

A hongbao (or ang pow in Hokkien) is a gift of money inserted into a red packet. Red is considered a symbol of luck, life and happiness. Hongbaos are given as a token of good wishes during auspicious occasions such as Chinese New Year ...

Yusheng

Yusheng (鱼生; yusang in Cantonese), meaning “raw fish” in Chinese, is a salad dish comprising thin slices of raw fish and various seasonings that are mixed together as diners toss the ingredients. It is a dish usually eaten during Chinese ...

Lion dance

The lion dance is a pugilistic performance dating back to more than 1,500 years. Its performance during auspicious occasions, such as the launch of new businesses ...

Dragon dance

The dragon dance, also known as longwu (龙舞) or longdeng (龙灯), is a traditional Chinese dance performance involving a team of performers using poles to rhythmically ...

Chingay

Chingay is an annual street parade held in Singapore as part of the Lunar New Year celebrations. The term “Chingay” is derived from the Hokkien Chinese term 妆艺, ...

Firecrackers

Firecrackers are called baozhu (爆竹) in Mandarin, meaning “bamboo explosions”. In ancient China, bamboo stems were burnt to create small explosions in order to drive ...

Mandarin orange

The Mandarin orange (Citrus reticulata) is a tropical and sub-tropical tree belonging to the family Rutaceae. Associated with good fortune by the Chinese, it is a features prominently in local Chinese New Year celebrations. The fruit ...

Pomelo

The pomelo (Citrus maxima) is the largest citrus fruit from the Rutaceae family. It is also known as shaddock, so-named after a Captain Shaddock said to have brought ...

Bak kwa

Bak kwa, also known as rougan (肉干), is a dried savoury sweetmeat that traditionally takes the form of thin square slices and is usually made from pork. Bak kwa and rougan, meaning “dried meat” in Hokkien and Mandarin respectively, ...