February 4th, 2011
Author: Walter Lim
One of my family’s favourite tradition every Chinese New Year Eve is to squeeze in with the masses at the Chinatown Night Market. Located along Trengganu, Sago, Smith , Pagoda and Temple Streets, the annual nocturnal bazaar is a celebration of sight, sound, scent, touch and tastes, mingled with hordes of humanity. Organised by the Chinatown Business Association with the support of the Singapore Tourism Board from 14 Jan to 6 Mar, the open air stalls offer all manner of calorific goodies, decor, toys, clothes, souvenirs, and of course, food glorious food.
After reunion dinner at my parent’s place, my wife and I decided to join the festive fray and mill with the crowd. Our aims were to grab some last minute bargain items (since this was usually the last night for people to fill their larders and wardrobes), catch some festive spirit, and just check out what’s popular in the retail scene. The cool night air after many days of non-stop rain made for a pleasant night out.
Join us on a tour of Chinatown on Chinese New Year’s Eve!
The street lights on South Bridge Road, New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street were decked for the oriental occasion.
Crowds of every colour throng the Chinatown Night Market on Chinese New Year Eve.
These colourful tassels are supposed to augur good fortune. They were going at $10 for 3.
Chinese Zodiac animal themed chopsticks were another new feature in the night market this year.
Festive reds, yellows and golds burnished brightly amidst the household decor items.
Similarly, these plump and colourful pumpkins and gourds are not for eating!
This poor guy seemed to have difficulty getting customers to write some “chun lian” or auspicious couplets for their homes…
…on the other hand, everybody’s queueing to get their caricatures done!
Foreign tourists enjoying a meal and a beer in the cool night air.
Mandarin oranges are must for CNY, whether in twos, threes or a bunch.
So are pussy willows, although these looked a little forlorn and neglected.
I loved the sight of this uncle selling colourful balloons in the middle of the street. It somehow reminded me of the movie “UP”.
The most “happening” part of the market centred around Taiwan packaged titbits. You can fill up a bag full of these delights for only $5.
I hope nobody treated this preserved pork leg as a punching bag!
More goodies of the Taiwanese variety, with the customary vendor shouting till he’s hoarse, imploring customers to check out the one hour last day special.
Another quirky sight, this time of the God of Fortune, decorated with a specimen $2 note and perched on a roof.
The crowds never seemed to end as the clock struck closer to Chinese New Year.
These scarlet lanterns provide a nice visual spectacle while adorning a shopfront.
Guess what these hordes of humanity are waiting for? Yes, its the usual Channel 8 CNY show!
Fresh coconuts are a great way to slake their shopping and snacking thirst.
A blast from the past with these hand crafted wooden clogs. My wife recalled making a pair of these during her younger days.
Cheap Chinese New Year CDs are the order of the day. I suspect that the songs don’t change very much anyway!
Cushions were also going for cheap. Unfortunately, they weren’t very comfortable and so we scratched the idea of getting new covers.
Along the way, we got a little multi-coloured glowing fortune cat for Ethan.
Finally, guess what these toothpaste looking receptables are used for holding?
Tags: Chinatown, chinese new year, CNY, Eve, festive marketing, tourism marketing