CNY traditions...

About 40 visitors, including tourists and locals, gathered on Jan 12 at Kreta Ayer Square for the free walking tour organised by the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens' Consultative Committee.

Led by volunteers from the Tourism Management Institute of Singapore, they visited the heart of Chinatown where the CNY bazaar was held. They observed crowds jostling to buy festive goods such as waxed meats, pomelos and pussy willows.

Tour guide Peggy Song, 40, pointed out famous heritage shops in Chinatown and explained the significance of the auspicious colour red during Chinese New Year and what nian gao, a sweet sticky cake, had to do with CNY. She explained that as "the Chinese believe that every new year, the Kitchen God reports back to the Heavenly King on the happenings of each household, they put something sweet in his mouth (nian gao) to make sure he says good things".

The Chinatown Chinese New Year Walking Trail will be held at 3pm and 7pm over the next two weekends. Tours are conducted in English. Visitors can also request Chinese-language guides.

For more details, visit www.china

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