Monday, February 18, 2013

Chinese New Year Sights

 Welcome, Year of the Snake!      
 I took an early morning stroll through Chinatown, a few days before the start of the new year. (I didn't want to fight the nighttime crowds for my photo ops.)  Here is what I found:

                                             The God of Fortune and the Good Luck Cat look down on the streets

The shophouses and stalls are decked out with lanterns, awaiting customers:

I came upon a queue of was too early for tourists...they were patiently waiting for...what?

I asked a man (drinking his Starbucks) what it was all about..."We are waiting to buy our BBQ pork for our Chinese New Year celebrations."  I asked if this was the only place to get it; "No, but it is the best!"  I later found out that this line of customers would be there every day for at least a week before New Year's, and the stuff costs $50 per kg...and they buy several kgs is the shop:

And the product: 

The main streets are hung with lanterns, this time in the shape of a snake:

Another street has a yellow snake:

 Here I found a BBQ shop, just before opening time, but alas, only a few customers waiting...

As I have shared before, Singapore is multi-cultural.  One of the largest Hindu temples is located in Chinatown, and even they get into the act:

A little Muslim girl on an early morning errand and a box collector out on his rounds:

When I came back around to my starting point, the BBQ que was 3 times as long:
They brought their chairs and newspapers and looked ready to settle in for the day!  (I hope it was worth it)

Other treats are quite similar.  Here is a temporary shop and its special food items:

(yes, those are real fish and dried ducks)

As everywhere, beer advertising gets into the holiday mood.  Here is an ad for Chinese Tsingtao beer:

I will leave you with some iconic decorations from my apartment building and local shops: