Lunar New Year festivities. All photos by Becky Cheang.
Fathom is live in Singapore for the 15-day Lunar New Year festivities. Here's what's happening.
SINGAPORE – Fathom assistant editor Becky Cheang went home to Singapore for Lunar New Year, and took us along for the ride. A ride that includes hanging lanterns, intricate stationery, dazzling architecture, and more food than anyone could possibly finish in ten feasts.
It's #SuperbowlSunday in the States right now, but on this side of the world we're waking up to the first day of 15 days of celebrating Lunar New Year. Happy 初一 everyone! 恭喜发财!
First stop: picking up a festive mandarin orange tree.
Braving the crowd and very hot afternoon sun to source CNY goodies in Chinatown.
In Cantonese culture, we eat lots of prawns for Lunar New Year because prawn is a homonym for HA, which is meant to usher in a joyous new year.
Good fortune for sale. In the form of ridiculously intricate paper cuttings.
Lunar New Year also means serving sweet tea to my parents first thing in the morning on Day 1. So I dropped by Tea Chapter for a casual refresher course on tea prep and for an excuse to sit down and drink traditional tea on a rainy afternoon.
Morning meal prep.
Glutinous rice balls coated in crushed peanuts, sesame seeds, and shredded coconut has been a Day 1 staple in my family for as long as I can remember. 汤圆 (tangyuan) is a close homonym for 团圆 (tuanyuan) which means reunion, which makes it a popular Lunar New Year dessert.
And you thought cooking a turkey was hard. We always serve fish (鱼) for Lunar New Year because it's a homonym for abundance (余).
As Day 1 (初一) winds to a close, the paper-obsessive in me is a little more excited about the textures in this year's red packet designs than the actual amount of money inside. (Though that's always a very nice perk!)
Lunar New Year also means new clothes. I'm especially loving the prints on these pants by homegrown label Matter.
I didn't have a chance to snap a shot of my superhero chef of a dad in the kitchen this Lunar New Year, but I love this vignette of 1950s Chinatown at the recently relaunched Chinatown Heritage Centre. That's the same enamel pot my parents cook our traditional new year dish, and that's the same Good Morning towel you'll still see in hawker centers around town.
Day 2 (初二) morning work in progress. My family hosts my dad's siblings and all my cousins and all my cousin' kids for lunch. Always a feast.
Assembling ingredients to make kueh pie tee.
After two days of cooking, cleaning, celebrating, and so. much. eating, I'm ready for a nice hot bowl of porridge for breakfast.
Happy year of the Monkey! Loving the cheeky decorations around Chinatown this year.
Some buildings are festive all year round. Always a joy to drive by the MICA building.
Saying goodbye to Lunar New Year with a pretty touristy but very iconic shot of Singapore's downtown core.