Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Happy (Belated) Year of the Snake

R in her new red dress
The major holiday in Singapore is Chinese New Year (most people have TWO days off, which in workaholic Singapore is really saying something: the whole festival lasts over two weeks though). It's basically the Chinese Christmas: everyone spends the month before frantically preparing (you are supposed to buy new clothes for everyone in the family: red is best; clean the house top to bottom; decorate it with auspicious calligraphy and images, including boats, young children, oranges, and coins; buy various plants for decoration, including mini orange trees and pussywillow branches; pay all your debts and complete all outstanding tasks; and prepare a tremendous amount of food). It's also expensive just like Christmas, because in addition to all the tasks above, all members of the younger generation must be given money (always put in red envelopes) by their parents and extended family.
She had matching shoes too but hates posing:
so this is as good as I could get!

The New Year is on a lunar calendar (which is why it often starts in February) and cyclical (there are two cycles, the short 12-year one and the longer 60-year one). For the shorter cycle, each of the years has a particular animal patron, who affects all events for the next twelve months. Everyone born during the year will also have a personality (and fate) heavily influenced by the animal as well: it's the equivalent of astrology in that sense. For many Chinese, though, it is taken much more seriously than Western astrology: for example, because the Dragon is often considered to be the best animal, there is always a mini "baby boom" during that year.

R is a Rabbit (which has always given me great pleasure as I love them); I am a Horse (which supposedly produces rather dominant women, true at least in my case). The year of the Snake is not the best for either of us, but not the worst either: rather a mediocre year. I guess we will see what happens!


  1. That is a super adorable dress, R looks so cute!

  2. you live such a different life i just love reading about it. ps- cutest outfit E V E R