Thursday, February 12, 2015

Preparation for Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is around the corner! Just one more week to go and I am not fully prepared yet. Spring cleaning is not completed! I have not got my new clothes and haircut! I am starting to stock some basic necessity such as toiletries for the new year because many shops do not open on the first 2 days of Lunar New Year. 

1. Stocking up of Red Packets
These red packets envelops are collected when I visited various museums and galleries. Aren't they cute?
Red packets will be given during New Year for the elderly and children. They will be given to the elderly together with a pair of Mandrain Oranges when we visit. We will say auspicious words when giving them. The elderly will return the favour by exchanging the oranges and red packets.
2. Decoration at home
Chinese Paper cutting. Chinese Word 春 (Spring) and a bat is incorporated as part of the design. Notice the word is placed upside down. By putting the word upside down symbolises Spring and Good Fortune arrives (春到福到 ).  I made lots of butterflies which means "hu die" in Chinese. It is a phonogram for 福叠 "fu die" which means loads of happiness. 
I am still thinking whether this design is too simple. Should I add more? 
This particular  春 (Spring)  cut out was done in a Chinese paper cutting  library programme.  
Little One wanted to decorate as well. And hence, this is up on our wall. She was inspired by this decoration at Westgate.
3. Goodies for the New Year
In the past, I only bought pineapple tarts, Nian Gao (Sticky Rice Cake) and nuts. This year, a lot more goodies as Little One would be eating them as well.
Top row: 2 boxes of almond cookies from Koi Kei Bakery (original Man made Almond cookies and Black sesame Almond cookies) and Pistachio (开心果) which literary means "happy fruit" wishing for happiness.
Middle row: a container of Pineapple tarts (which means "prosperity comes" literary in Hokkien wishing for Prosperity) from mother in law, a container of Oatmeal cookie  and a container of black sesame cookie (from Hung Huat Cakes & Pastries @ Sim Vista Market & Food Centre) and a packets of candied fruit (蜜饯) from the Chinatown Festive Street Bazaar to signify sweetness and smoothness in the new year.
Front row: Mandarin Oranges from library@Chinatown who happened to celebrate their anniversary last month end. (Mandarin oranges are auspicious because they are known as "Kum" in Cantonese which means gold. Gold is associated with prosperity too.) and Nian Gao which meant 年年高升 which means getting  promoted  every year.

If you are looking for fresh home made pasties and wish to avoid the crowd at Chinatown, you may want to visit Sims Vista Market and Food Centre instead.
There are 2 stalls selling New Year goodies. One is Hung Huat which I purchase Oatmeal cookies and black sesame cookies while the other is Jia Confectionery, which Ai from Sakura Haruka had blog about in her post. 

This is the first time I bought from this stall. I happened to around the area for a workshop and found this place. We were looking to get our dinner fixed but many stalls were closed then. When we passed by Hung Huat which was 2 doors away from Jin Confectionery, the nice aroma from the stalls tempted me to take a closer look. For no particular reason, I choose Hung Huat first. I was allowed to sample their cookies and it is up to me to decide whether or not to buy. I did not buy the pineapple tarts although it is the best seller simply because my mother in law had already given me some. I particularly like the oatmeal cookies which the seller told me goes well with coffee. I also picked the black sesame cookies because it is my favorite kind of cookies. The seller told me they have been in business for 30 years. 
Hung Huat Cake & Pastries @ Sims Vista Market and Food Centre
I will continue to buy auspicious food items for the family, get myself new cloths and haircut if there is time. This coming week, I will probably be too busy with spring cleaning...

What about you? Are you done with your new year preparation?

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