Happy lunar new year to all!
Starting 23 Jan, the Chinese lunar calendar begins a new year of the zodiac sign of the water dragon. Last Friday, we were looking for dragon motiv decoration. We couldn’t find the one we like, instead we found dragon plush toys for the baby. My husband spotted one at Tangs (S$20) which he thought we should get it for baby Alex.
Then we went to Chinatown, again to look for dragon decor, but we saw more plush toys which are even cheaper. There’s one which has the Chinese character, blessings, and it costs only S$6. So we got it as well.
We found a cool looking dragon decor at this shop in Chinatown which, unfortunately, is sold out a week ago.
It’s strange we don’t find many dragon decor; I wonder if it’s because they’re quickly snapped up since the dragon is considered a magnificent and majestic creature in Chinese culture. In fact the Chinese call themselves ‘descendants of the dragon’ and it was the symbol reserved only for the emperors which was embroidered on their imperial robes. So among all the animals in the Chinese zodiac, the dragon is the most revered. Some families even named their baby boys born in the year of dragon after it, like the Prime Minister of Singapore, LEE Hsien Loong (李显龙), and his Chinese name literally means appearance of the dragon.
I’ve mentioned in an earlier post that in the year of the dragon, there’s usually an increase in childbirths as many Chinese think it’s a very auspicious year for a baby, which will be blessed. In fact in other countries that also observe the Chinese zodiac like in Vietnam, South Korea and Japan etc, the dragon is also a revered symbol. So in his lunar new year message, the Singapore PM urged Singaporeans to have more babies this year to boost the fertility rate, which has been pretty dismal for many years (last year was 1.2 which was slightly better than the 1.15 of the year before). The phenomenon of baby boom is also expected in other Asian developed countries like Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, which also suffer from serious declining birth rate. It’s pretty funny that birth gets a big boost once every 12 years because of a zodiac sign.
Anyway as per our usual practice for some years already, we had our reunion dinner today (new year eve) with my husband’s parents and my family at a restaurant, which saved us the hassle from cooking and washing up. We went to our usual seafood restaurant, Long Beach, again since we are assured of consistent and good seafood. We’ve realized from experience that the usual Chinese restaurant, which even though serves relatively good food on an average day, will end up giving diners mass-produced crappy food for reunion dinner. But when it comes to seafood restaurant like Long Beach, the seafood is cooked fresh and hence you’re assured of the quality. We had a 9-course dinner set, that included salmon Yu Sheng (a Chinese new year salad dish that is unique to Singapore and Malaysia), black pepper crabs, steamed grouper, spinach dish, and fried rice etc. It was quite a good dinner I have to say.
So, have a wonderful and healthy year of the dragon!