Friday, January 16, 2009

Pics from my Chinese New Year Tour!

Here are the pictures I promised... I had such a good time and really should write down everything that I learned but I will just share a couple of the things through the pictures below.

Chinese New Year is similar to that of our Christmas (to Christians). It is a religious calendar festivity that has been commercialized to the extreme. I did learn that the Chinese calendar is the oldest calendar there is currently on its 75 cycle of 60 year duration for each cycle... The Chinese NY will always mean something different than the little blurb on our western calendars to me now.

Some interesting things I learned (according to the Chinese):

1) The colors; black, white and dark blue are signs of death
2) You can burn fake money to get your deceased relatives out of hell
3) Everyone goes to hell and there weighed on goods and bads and you pay and work to get your way out of hell
4) Everyone is reincarnated... and some choose to not eat meat at this time of year bc they might be eating a loved one
5) You can burn fake money, houses, cars, jewelry, etc. to give to your deceased loved ones where ever they are

He is our tour guide nick named "Mrs. Singapore". She was not born here but she was raised here and just a wealth of knowledge about everything... She does tours and works at the university I think doing someone on the Chinese History. Here in the picture above she is explaining to use how you could burn money to give to your deceased ancestors to help them get out of Hell (there is fake airplane tickets, fake train tickets, etc. so they can get out faster). Here she is showing us some fake jewelery made out of paper that you can burn to give your deceased grandmother/mother some new jewelry... she said that you would do this if you got new jewelery so they would not get jealous... I am so glad that my treasures are not created here on earth.

Then we went to a local bakery and got to taste some of the traditional pastries during this time... they were hard at work... but all I kept thinking was "where is their hair net"?
Proudly displayed pastries for us to buy.

More traditional food... some sort of sticky rice thingy... there is a video below showing how they make these.
This street is well knows for it's architecture... pretty cool stories about everything but I can't remember it all. :-)

Random tree growing from the concrete roof... who needs a soil.

We got to see several temples/shrines/goddess'... quite interesting to learn about different religions and what and why they believe the way they do.

Buddha was told to be born under a fig tree and outside the temple above was this fig tree growing out of the concrete so it is considered sacred.

During this time of year they put these fake fire crackers are the entrance of the doors bc in the old days they would make loud noised during the new years to ward off evil spirits... the noise would scare away the enemy... so now they display them as a symbol of keeping the evil spirits away. When I came home noise made from my child had a whole new meaning... I kept saying make more noise maybe the Devil will stay away from our home. :-)

Here is a picture of some really old houses... this door in the back is called a trap door located in the back of the house... before there was a sewage system in this neighborhood this is how they got rid of the human waste. They would set out a bucket outside these trap doors and then a man would come by every other day and empty them... no thank you.

Prostitution is legal here in Singapore and it is said that the Government does not care how you earn your money as long as you pay your taxes... The picture above shows that "6B" is open for business... "6A" is not.

Here is the bath tub in one of the temples.

Here is a picture of one of the many female goddess'... while we were there many women came to worship and talk to her... our tour guide told us that women find it easier to talk to woman god's so that is why they had a temple just for this goddess.

A local free clinic...

Here is a video of someone making a traditional Chinese pastry for the new years... the commentator in the back ground was our tour guide.


The Westcott's said...

I like the tree growing off the side of the building. Nature is resilient.

Corrie said...

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing.


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