It's going to be the year of the
cock chicken rooster and i was deliberating on whether to travel to Chinatown to cover the street light-up since i still have a few dozen outstanding posts on Bandung!
Do note that i will not be covering the festive street bazaar in this entry although i will purposely make another trip to Chinatown in the daytime when lighting condition would be much more favourable.
First destination upon reaching Chinatown - take lift up to level six of People's Park Centre where there's a fantastic public accessible spot to take photographs of the centerpiece for the annual lunar new year decorations.
Here's the big
cock rooster at the busy cross junction of Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road with Upper Cross Street!
Designed by fourteen students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design, this chicken lantern towers at thirteen meters tall and said to stretch for about a hundred meters long due to the dancing tail feathers.
Well, very flowery design for the king of all chickens although in the real animal world, the male species tend to look more striking; an example would be the flamboyant peacock.
Taken further away as everyone seemed to crowd at the corner that's nearest to the centerpiece; frankly, you would like hundreds and maybe thousands of pictures that would look about the same.
I prefer to be unconventional; this spot, as mentioned earlier, is on the 6th floor of People's Park Centre where's there's an open air carpark. You don't need special access although there's a need to be mindful (and careful) of the cars driving into the carpark, especially at night when visibility is much lower.
On the ground floor as the sharp ass that's attached to my body and my hyperactive personality would not allow me to stay in one place for too long!
Close-up look of the rooster - by the way, the lanterns constructed for the street light up are using environmentally friendly LED lights, in line with the increasingly need to be eco-friendly.
With its head tilted upwards, i think it would be nice to have the rooster crowing loudly early in the morning, when the sun rises! Easy for me to say since i am not exactly living near Chinatown.
In all honesty, i really like the design of this year's centrepiece; it signifies a motivated rooster that's ready to welcome the new lunar year and forge ahead despite the difficult times ahead of Singapore.
With the LED lights within its body, there was also a shimmering brilliance to the humongous lantern.
One cycle ago, which was twelve years ago in 2005, there was a big hooha about the rooster lantern as it was surrounded with chicken eggs! The joke then was rooster doesn't lay eggs! Haha. Anyway, i think it was well remembered by the organisers and flower lanterns were used instead.
If it was a hen, maybe can put a hole at the butt to dispense golden eggs every now and then; this would be well-liked by the Chinese!
The supposedly tail feathers have to be supported by metal beams as it crosses a turn where motor vehicles would use to make a u-turn to enter the smaller streets of Chinatown like Pagoda street, Smith street etc.
Every lunar centerpiece would have an entire entourage right behind it and this year, the grassy stretch in the middle of Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road is filled with hundreds of chicks, roosters and hens!
The chicks were extremely adorable with a glassy expression and since chickens are known to peck from the grass, there's no need for extra decorative materials except for maybe a few wooden stump lanterns.
Crossing the road (me, not the chickens) - as it's the light up ceremony tonight, do expect this road to be closed to motor vehicles yet chocked with humans!
Pretty building decoration by Singapore's famous bak kwa export; Bee Cheng Hiang which can be found in Taiwan, China, just to name a few
Local Singaporeans' favourite bak kwa - Lim Chee Guan bak kwa has yet to see a long queue forming but as we near the new lunar year, be prepared for a queue that can last a few hours; my sister ever queued 8 hours to get her hands on the delicious meat jerky.
Stage for tonight's light up and official opening ceremony! There would be performances, fireworks and typical of Chinese celebrations, firecrackers!
Festive street bazaar was operating for the first day yesterday - as said earlier, i would not be covering the bazaar today even though i couldn't resist paying it a visit after dinner at the nearby Kazan Japanese stall.
It might be boring and hardly innovative to use blooming flowers as the overhanging lanterns above the road and street but i beg to differ as they were so pretty! This is already a big jump considering that some places are still using plain old fairy lights.
Remember the chicken entourage i mentioned? They took up an unused grassy patch although due to the location, it would be hard for anyone to take a closer look as motor vehicles would traverse along the two busy roads in normal times. With the green metal barricades, they also appeared to look as if they are caged up!
The street light up typically covers the parallel South Bridge Road that's on the other side of Chinatown, nearing the heart of Singapore's business district.
One word; disappointing. the branches of plum blossoms were too short to make an impact and having red lanterns hanging over the road was just plain boring decorations.
No wow factor unlike previous years - i recollected galloping horses in the year of the horse and an incredibly long snake lantern in the year of the snake!
Done with my photography for the street light up decorations at night. Now's the time to enter the bazaar to get the things i know mum would want for Chinese New Year!
I got sun-dried persimmons at S$6 for 500 grams as the sample was just too good to ignore! They reminded me of the ones i got from the persimmon city of Gongcheng in China!
Phoenix eye melon seeds at S$5 per 500 grams; my family always stocks up on this species of melon seeds and you can't get it outside of the lunar new year period! Darn, i think i bought too little; two kilos would not last us a month.
Coffee Hock - a mainstay for the bazaar every year, foreigners who love Singapore's kopi o (coffee black) should buy a few packs home as they are so good! Promotion now ongoing at 2 packs (with 24 sachets) for S$5.50 or buy 4 packs for $11 with a free pack of chrysanthemum or ginger powdered tea bags!
Not sure if the coffee is good? Take a sample and it's not the usual small cups hor; it's one big cup of coffee for you to slowly indulge in! p.s. the stall owner, a young lady, is very pretty!
In a way, i am lucky i didn't make it a point to cover the bazaar as some stalls had yet to open for business (since official opening is tonight) and others were still waiting for people to take up the stall. Interested to take it for your entrepreneurial activity? Give the number a call!
Duration of Street Light Up
Until 25 February 2017
(light up from 7pm everyday)