Happy Chinese New Year! Or Lunar New Year. Tet. What ever you call it. Monkey has arrived.
This year, 2016 as we see it in the Gregorian calendar, aka known as the western / christian calendar (you know, the globally accepted one) there’s been already 2 further New Year celebrations. Russians celebrate theirs at the begin of January, followed by the Lunar / Chinese one. It’s quite interesting we are able to celebrate so many “new years” and still keep track of birthdays and meetings.
My decision to work over the public holidays for Chinese NY, gave me a chance to experience the busy business district turn into a ghost city. There was no one around, not a sole. I stood in the middle of a normally busy crossroad, just waiting to see at least one car. Eventually I gave up and went to the office. For the first time I wasn’t cold as the air-con had been turned off for the holidays. Advanced thinking, Singapore! I had been warned I might go hungry but luckily in this food-paradise city-state someone is always willing to cook for me. This time it was the Indians who kept me fed.
Singapore seems to value it’s multi-cultural existence by providing an equal amount of public holidays for all major ethnic groups. Chinese, Indian, Muslim and christian holidays get a pretty equal share of the public holidays. For other expats, it’s an opportunity to dive into many cultural happenings and celebrate life and new beginnings.
Isn’t that the connotation of a new year – it’s a new beginning. A chance, an opportunity. Some of us are lucky to get that chance a bit more often than others. If you missed yours, no worries. There are more new years coming up – a fun one is coming up in Thailand in April. Thailand’s Songran is celebrated for at least 3 days by throwing and sprinkling water. Mostly throwing. Don’t get fooled though, although it’s a New Year celebration, their calendar has already turned to 2559 aligning with 2016. But hey, let’s forget the calendars, and just celebrate! Cheers, to all the new years equally!