[By Don Low] Chinese New Year is not only for visitations, but for some Chinese, it is a time to thank their gods for bringing them safely into the new year and for blessing them with abundance during the past year. My in-laws are very much the devoted worshipers of the Chinese heavenly gods. They would prepare a very elaborated spread of delicacies fit for the gods; such as a roasted suckling pig, a fruit platter, rice cakes and so forth. It was quite a spread! I was bewildered at the amount of time and energy that was put in to prepare such a feast for the unseen spirits. See below. And the best day to do all these is definitely on the 8th day of the new year. The reason is, 8 in the Chinese context means prosperity and good luck.
Well, I wasn’t really that ready to perform all that intricate ritual yet and I was off in the neighborhood enjoying a lost art in Singapore – the Cantonese Opera – the traditional way; whereby a wooden stage was built coupled with silk banners and hand painted backdrops, and most important of all, music played with traditional Chinese musical instruments. What a sight! I haven’t seen or heard such performance for like more than 10 years. I have to sketch this!