Wishing Everyone a Prosperous Lunar New Year filled with Wealth and Health
3 February & 16 February 2011 | 1st Day & 14th Day of Lunar New Year
Gong Xi Fa Cai! Which means Wishing you Happiness and Prosperity in Mandarin.
Its Lunar or Chinese New Year (CNY), which also means lots of Mandarin oranges, pineapple tarts, festive cookies, yu sheng (raw fish salad), ang pows (red packets / gifts of cash), bak kwa (BBQ sweeten pork jerky) and eating/drinking. This is the year of the Golden Rabbit and also Monopole’s first CNY. (Last year’s could not qualify because office hadn’t been set up properly for operations)
We had our first Pre-CNY Spring Cleaning scheduled on a Saturday before the start of CNY. It is a custom that many households in Singapore still follows, that basically requires you to clean your house signifying a fresh start for the new year. (Drats! My table’s still looked like the aftermath of a hurricane though…)
Brightly coloured “pineapple” basket filled with Mandarin oranges, a gift from one of our business partners. ‘Pineapple’ in local dialect literally translates to ‘wealth comes’, so we have that right at the front of our office.
What’s Chinese New Year without anything auspiciously red? A pair of intricate cut-out couplet flanks the front door, and a huge circular red patterned cut-out of the word “Happiness” in Chinese hung inverted now greets anyone who passed our way. Having it hung inverted means “Happiness is here” when one says it in Mandarin.
Our little Spring cleaning extended to our warehouse naturally; floor swept and goods packed in tidy stacks.
Oh! Look what just arrived in time to join us for the festivities? The New Year looks promising already.
A little indulgence after all the hard work… Bak Kwa, usually made of pork, spiced, flavoured and barbecued, laden with calories but taste like heaven. Though we doubt a Joseph Drouhin Chablis goes with it.
Our office was closed over the Chinese New Year holidays, and resumed operations on 7 Feb. Not a long time, but a much needed short break for everyone to spent time with their families.
16 February – 14th day of Chinese New Year
Lo Hei – a unique tradition in Singapore and Malaysia, which means “Tossing of Luck” is actually the act of mixing the Yu Sheng, a large platter of julienned vegetables (preferably of as many colours as possible) with thinly sliced fish and crackers, drizzled with sweet plum sauce. Everyone is supposed to use their chopsticks and ‘toss’ as high as they can and while doing so, must say ‘auspicious phrases’ or ‘good wishes’. Its a fun thing to do, and this custom is quite unique to this part of the world. There’s nothing like this in China or Hong Kong.
Everyone ‘tossing’ with vigor… and the traditional phrases of ‘good wishes’ somehow turned into chants of “more sales… more sales…”.
Close up of the Raw Fish Salad or Yu Sheng as its commonly known. Was a brilliant lunch at Peach Garden. Drink of choice; Nautilus Pinot Gris that showed beautifully, Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier and Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc.
With such an exciting year ahead, there will definitely be many more Lo Hei to come. And whilst we all work towards what we believe in, it is also important to find happiness in the things that we do.
Wishing everyone a Prosperous and Bountiful Year ahead, whether you celebrate Chinese New Year, or not.