Chinese New Year’s Eve 2018 | Feb 15, 2018

River Hongbao 2018 Fireworks
River Hongbao 2018 Chinese New Year Fireworks

Chinese New Year’s Eve 2018. Conclusion of spring cleaning, reunion dinner, and River Hongbao fireworks in replacement of late-night gaming.

Spring Cleaning

Couple of days ago, while reacquainting with an old friend, I joked about me having a self-imposed Chinese New Year spring cleaning ritual.

My friend remained cordial but you could tell from her brief silence that she was appalled. In her mind, she probably wondered whether I had slipped into OCD in middle age.

Couldn’t blame her. In hindsight, I regret my overly colourful choice of description.

But then again, it is still very much a ritual; that part was true. It’s a ritual that I force myself to repeat every year in the weeks leading up to Chinese New Year’s Eve.

Not that I anticipate a lot of visitors coming over for the festival, mind you. Actually, there wouldn’t even be any. (Which self-respecting otaku would welcome brawling kids and nosey aunts into his den?)

The ritual is entirely because I live alone and I’m revolted by the thought of a maid going through my things. Moreover, being, well, somewhere near OCD behaviour, I have particularly stringent requirements when it comes to cleaning. I used to regularly snap toilet brushes during enthusiastic scrubbings.

Since I have no wish of being prosecuted for maid abuse, I’ve long concluded that I just have to do everything myself. While at it, I console myself by spreading the task over weeks. I also constantly remind myself that this is a very good, extremely great way to re-familiarise myself with my junk.

Re-familiarise. For example, with all the boxes I keep in the storeroom. Boxes for things which have long gone kaputt.

Chinese New Year 2018 Spring Cleaning
Repacking my storeroom during Chinese New Year Spring Cleaning. I still have my Sega Saturn!

Those of you with reliable contacts for psychiatric counselling, you might want to share your information with me. :)

Chinese New Year’s Eve 2018  Reunion Dinner

Since, I don’t know, ten years ago? My immediate family has been having reunion dinner “outside.” I.E. at a restaurant instead of mother cooking at home.

There are various reasons for this, foremost being to save mom all that work. To be quite honest, and I’m not humblebragging here, most of these “outside” dinners were either outrageously overpriced or extremely regimental.

For the latter, don’t you agree it’s really quite the turn-off to be reminded in the middle of dinner by a gentle, “Sir, your session is ending in one hour’s time. Would that be okay? Hmm?”

Would that be okay? As if I had a choice.

This year’s dinner at Makan@Jen was surprisingly pleasant, though. Other than the splendid variety of dishes in the buffet, no one came to “highlight” my depleting time. No one remotely rushed us too.

Have to say, I appreciated the choice of cakes in the dessert selection too, many of which were colourfully themed to celebrate the Lunar New Year. In short, this is easily the reunion dinner that I enjoyed most in recent years. It was a great start to the festive celebrations ahead.

Makan@Jen Chinese New Year 2018 Buffet Dinner

Reunion Dinner at Makan@Jen
Salad and cold appetizers. I’m not too into seafood but I love the overall garden feel for the salad corner.
Makan@Jen Sushi and Sashimi Corner.
Sushi and Sashimi Corner.
Makan@Jen Chinese New Year's Eve Buffet
Crayfish. A little dry. But the sauce compensated for that.
Chinese Suckling Pig Mini Burgers
Chinese suckling pig with mantou and special sauce. A twist on the mini-burger!
Makan@Jen Chinese New Year’s Eve Festive Desserts
Festive desserts. Who could resist these? Especially on Chinese New Year’s Eve?
Chinese New Year's Eve Buffet at Makan@Jen
CNY Festive decorations and snacks. (Tarts like those are my fuel during CNY festive WoW grinding, btw)

River Hongbao 2018

Thanks to this blog, I now have a standard post reunion dinner excursion each Chinese New Year’s Eve. I.E., to River Hongbao at The Float @ Marina Bay.

This will sound pathetic, but before taking up this hobby/pastime of featuring festive celebrations in Singapore, I used to return home right after reunion dinner and spend the rest of the evening playing World of Warcraft. (Then waking up at 3 pm the next day, i.e., when half of the actual holiday is over)

Well, I’m still going to be waking up at 3 pm, I’m writing this post at 2 am, but at least it’s a much more energetic start to the New Year. What’s more, I enjoyed this year’s lanterns at River Hongbao more than last year too. I DEFINITELY enjoyed the fireworks far more compared to the soaked ones on January 1st.

River Hongbao 2018 lantern displays.
The summary of it. The dogs are out. They are everywhere in River Hongbao 2018.
Year of the Dog Celebrations at River Hongbao 2018
The centerpiece titled 繁荣兴旺 (Prosperous Nation Flourishing People). There’s a strong patriotic undertone to this year’s doggy decorations, including the ones at Chinatown. So I’ve heard, it’s because dogs are famous for being faithful and because this year’s Chinese New Year coincides with the Fall of Singapore in 1942.
River Hongbao 2018 lantern.
This feels very 好公民 (hao gong min; good citizen) to me. If you’ve studied in Singapore in the 80s, you’d know what I mean.
River Hongbao 2018 Chinese Zodiac.
Other animals of the Chinese Zodiac make appearances too. Here’s moo moo.
River Hongbao 2018 Display
This comical one occupies quite a large area and features a family struggling to pull out a radish. (Or carrot, or something, I forget) The humans move.
River Hongbao 2018 “My Home, My New Year” Exhibition
A massive shophouse-themed lantern structure houses the “My Home, My New Year” exhibition. This features Singaporean homes in the past and how Chinese New Year was celebrated back then.
River Hongbao 2018 Entrance Walkway
River Hongbao 2018 Entrance Walkway. A charming “tunnel” of light.
River Hongbao 2018 Entrance Arch
The Entrance Arch at the Esplanade end. Featuring … 101 Dalmatians! By the way, I entered the grounds from the MBS side, so I only passed under this arch an hour later.
River Hongbao 2018 Amusement Park
Carnival games and rides.
River Hongbao 2018 Cai Shen.
What’s Chinese New Year’s Eve without an appearance by the God of Wealth? He towers over the entire River Hongbao 2018.

Last but not least, the fireworks at midnight!

To all who are celebrating, Happy Doggy Year 2018!

Chinese New Year’s Eve 2019

Read my other Festive Celebrations in Singapore posts.

Chinese New Year’s Eve 2018
Article Name
Chinese New Year’s Eve 2018
Another Chinese New Year’s Eve is here. Woof! Woof woof! Time for festive food and River Hongbao midnight fireworks.


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