Everything you should know about Chinese New Year in Singapore 2023

When is the Chinese New Year in 2023?

 lion dance

Chinese New Year is celebrated by people of Chinese origin across the world. It is the first day of the year in the Chinese lunar year. The date can change from year to year and is usually celebrated for two or three days. It is believed that the Chinese Emperor Huang Ti was the one who first commenced the celebrations in 2637 B.C. Since then the celebrations have been carried out.


If you wanted to know the answer to the question, when is Chinese New Year 2023, the answer is 22nd January 2023. One of the Singapore 2023 public holidays is the Chinese New Year 2023. Since 22nd of January is a Sunday, the public holidays are on the 23rd and 24th of January. This is a popular festival, which is why there are 3 days of holidays declared in the official holiday list.


What are Singapore’s Chinese New Year Traditions?


With a vast population of Chinese origin, Singapore has always had a rich tradition of celebrating Chinese New Year. Spring cleaning of the home, worshipping ancestors, having a reunion dinner, and welcoming the God of Wealth are some of the ways the celebration is done. The celebrations go on for over 15 days. 


The Chingay Parade which happens 8 days after the holiday involves various floats in a parade creating an atmosphere resembling a carnival. The River Hongbao celebrations at Marina Bay and the Chinese Festival of Arts are other traditions part of the Chinese New Year celebrations. Here is a compilation of some of the popular Chinese New Year Traditions observed in Singapore.


1. Shop for new Chinese New Year Clothes


Shopping for new clothes is a tradition followed by most families for Chinese New Year. It is the time of the year when everyone in the family from elders to youngsters get new clothes. Shopping is a major activity during the New Year time. People shop for clothes and gifts well in advance.


While elders may prefer traditional clothes, younger people prefer modern and trendy clothing. Whatever clothes are purchased, the tradition is to buy red clothes for the New Year. Most apparel stores and retail outlets have special offers. So, enjoy a great shopping experience buying clothes for yourself and your loved ones. 


2. Reunion Dinner

 reunion dinner

Celebrate the Chinese New Year 2023 holiday with a grand reunion dinner with your family. Families today are spread across the country and the globe. People stay in different places to suit their study and work convenience. However, Chinese New Year is the one day when they all come together. 


The reunion dinner is a mandatory tradition in most Chinese homes. Family members travel before the big day and ensure they reach home early. All the family members get together and celebrate the special day. The grand reunion dinner is an occasion for the family to enjoy quality time over good food. It is a celebration of the family ties that bind families together. 


Referred to as Tuanyuan, the reunion is a gathering around the family hearth. Dead ancestors are also offered food. Red dates, dried flake beans, ginkgo nuts, dried pickled vegetables, rice cake, duck, abalone soup, and pork sausages are dishes on the menu. The dishes prepared vary depending on the region from which people hail. Generally, fish is a common dish prepared in most homes on the occasion. 


3. House Visiting

 chinese family

One of the popular traditions for Chinese New Year is visiting the houses of family members. Most people use the first 15 days of the New Year to visit the homes of loved ones. On the first day, people visit the homes of elders and senior family members. It must be noted it is considered bad manners to visit a home empty-handed. 


Most people commonly carry Mandarin oranges with them. Exchanging Mandarin oranges is one of the traditions on this day. Married women visit their maternal homes on the second day. A custom to note is that no home visits are made on the third day. While visiting homes, ensure that you are protected from viruses and other threats in the air, dripping citronella pure essential oil could bring out the chinese new year spirit with its citrus smell.


Remember that the pandemic has not gone away and there are reports of new mutations. Don’t take risks and be safe when you go house visiting. Wear a good quality KF94 mask Singapore to protect yourself against the risk of being infected. Wearing a mask ensures everyone’s safety and is a must when you visit elders. 


4. Lion Dance

 lion dance

Lion Dance is a popular Chinese tradition during the New Year celebrations. In Chinese tradition, the lion is associated with power, prosperity, and wisdom. The lion dance is believed to bring prosperity and power. The dance is done where two dancers are decked up in lion costumes. They then dance with the movements of a lion, with one person controlling the head and the other the bottom half.


The lion dance also has drum beats accompanying it. There is a strong belief that the dance not only brings good luck but also helps to chase away evil spirits and dispels bad omens. This is a tradition followed for thousands of years and is popular even today. 


5. Praying to the God of Wealth

 women praying

A key custom observed during the Chinese New Year is praying to the God of Wealth. Everyone would love to get wealth during the year. This is why people start the year by praying to the God of Wealth. The idea is that these prayers will bring prosperity and fortune for the entire year. People put up a portrait of the Chinese God of Wealth in their homes. They also have incense papers that are burnt to mark the occasion. 


Usually, these rites are carried out at the balcony or the home entrance. Offerings are prepared before the prayers. There are three sweet cake types, five types of fruits, six vegetarian dishes, five cups of Chinese tea, and five cups of white rice wine. Traditionally, people bathe and clean the altar table before performing the prayers. 


When you go out for Chinese New Year celebrations, ensure you are adequately protected. Wear the best quality KN95 mask Singapore. Get masks for all your family members and wear them when you go to crowded areas.


What are common Chinese New Year greetings?

 chinese family greetings

If you want to wish someone to greet them for Chinese New Year, you can use any of the greetings given below:


  • Xin Nian Kuai Le is a greeting that means ‘Happy New Year’ in Mandarin.
  • Gong xi Facai in Mandarin means ‘Wish you prosperity and good fortune’. This is a popular greeting in Singapore. The same greeting in Cantonese is ‘Kung Hei Fat Choy’.
  • Shen Ti Jian Kang wishes for good health in Mandarin and is used to wish people.
  • Wan Shi Ru Yi is a simple greeting that means ‘May all go well with you’.
  • Da Ji Da Li is a popular greeting that conveys wishes for good luck and to make a good profit. This is a good way to wish businesspersons or people who are striving to earn big. 


What to wear on Chinese New Year?

 wistech mask

Chinese New Year is when you wear new clothes to celebrate the occasion. People buy new clothes for the occasion. Many people prefer to wear traditional outfits. Particularly, older people prefer such dresses. This includes the Tang suit, Zhongshan suit, or Qipao. 


Younger people prefer modern clothing for the occasion. One standard rule that is followed is to wear red. The colour of the New Year is red since it conveys luck, prosperity, and strength. Whatever you wear on other days, on New Year ensure you wear a red dress. Apart from red, people also wear gold clothes. Take care not to wear black clothes, since it is believed to be associated with bad luck. Also, avoid wearing any torn clothes like ripped jeans. 


Apart from your special New Year dress, ensure you also mask up. You must stay protected against all viruses and microbes in the air. Buy a good quality surgical mask Singapore from a reliable store and online portal. Ensure you wear the mask at all times and are protected.


Why Do People Celebrate Chinese New Year?

 women celebrating

Chinese New Year 2023 is an occasion where people of Chinese origin celebrate the Lunar New Year. Also known as the spring festival, it is a time for celebrations and festivities. The focus of the celebrations is on welcoming the new and bidding goodbye to the old. The festival welcomes the start of a New Year and a new period while marking the end of the previous year.


People celebrate this occasion joyously because it commemorates the beginning of good and end of the evil. It is believed that the occasion is a celebration of goodness and the removal of evil including evil spirits. People worship their ancestors and also pray for a good harvest during the festival. 


The festival is important because it calls for a family reunion. It is the time of the year when families reunite wherever they may be. People return home whether they are working or studying elsewhere. They get together on this day and celebrate the special occasion. It is referred to as Chun Yun or moving in the spring when millions of people travel home for the celebrations. 


All the traditions followed explain why the Chinese New Year is celebrated with gusto across the world, including in Singapore. The 2023 New Year celebrations are likely to be grand since it comes after the bleak pandemic period. All the best for your preparations and have a great celebration. 

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