Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Few More Postcards From Chinatown....

The weariness of the long day did not deter me from heading out to Chinatown, afterall, it is the Chinese New Year today!


After an early meal at the Maxwell Food Centre, I walked along the roads, lanes and bylanes of the historic Chinatown, appreciating the decorations and lighting's put up to welcome the New Year... 



These lovely coin shaped lights looked interesting against the blue-hued sky...



Ushering in a new era of proposerity... I gathered that's what the coin stood for...


Today is the first day of the Lunar New Year festivities that last upto 15 days...
And this is the first day of the Year of the Wooden Sheep (some people call it the Year of the Wooden Goat) - a bit of research on the Internet was kind of a rich picking - what I found on the site of A China Family Adventure was interesting:
"Wood by its very nature, is the element associated with all living things, the "spring" or life renewal process... 
What does Wood and Sheep mixed together bring? ... 
The Sheep is kind, tender and sympathetic. Sheep are creative and elegant. Because of their softer side, they are symbolic of peace and harmony... The Year of the Sheep follows a tumultuous Year of the Horse, and heralds a more calm atmosphere. Combined with the evergreen and renewal characteristics of Wood, the Sheep's creativity will be unleashed...
If last year was the Horse's year to gallop and take off, this year will be the year for contemplating and appreciating what has already been accomplished, to think about bringing goodness to others, to take a deep breath and calmly look at what's ahead. A steady path, generosity, and keeping the peace are this year's mantra..."
 That sounded like a forecast for a pretty good year ahead!




The horse is out, the ram and the sheep are in! The next year of the horse is in 2026!

I came across this interesting story on the website of TravelChinaGuide.com on the origins of the Chinese zodiac:
"The Jade Emperor (The Emperor in Heaven in Chinese folklore) ordered that animals would be designated as calendar signs and the twelve that arrived first would be selected. At that time, the cat and the rat were good friends and neighbors. When they heard of this news, the cat said to the rat: 'We should arrive early to sign up, but I usually get up late.' The rat then promised to awaken his friend and go together. However, on the morning when he got up, he was too excited to recall his promise, and went directly to the gathering place. On the way, he encountered the tiger, ox, horse, and other animals that ran much faster. In order not to fall behind them, he thought up a good idea. He made the straightforward ox carry him on condition that he sang for the ox. At last, the ox and him arrived first. The ox was happy thinking that he would be the first sign of the years, but the rat had already slid in front, and became the first lucky animal of the Chinese zodiac. Meanwhile his neighbor the cat was too late so when it finally arrived, the selection was over. That's why other animals appear behind the little rat and why the cat hates the rat so much that every time they meet, the cat will chase and kill it." 




Beautiful!


Interesting bylanes of Chinatown...



There was hardly a soul around - people were feasting indoors!





After gallivanting for over two hours soaking in the sights, it was time to head back...


I had interchange at Dhoby Ghaut. 
Yes, it actually was a dhobi ghat about a century back. 
In the early 1900s, Indian dhobis (laundrymen) used water from a clear stream that flowed into Sungai Bras Basah, now Stamford Canal. The ghats, or steps leading down to the stream, was demolished when Sungai Bras Basah was canalised. The dhobis used to dry the laundry at Dhoby Green, an open park in the area...


An artwork at Dhoby Ghaut MRT...


1 comment:

singhalalok said...

They are so beautiful pictures, Rajeev :)

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