Chinese New Year
Although Chinese stands at less than 15% of the population here in Brunei, Chinese New year is still a significant festival in the Chinese community, and is celebrated here with great warmth and enthusiasm. Just take a stroll down the streets, and you’ll notice every shop is now playing some New Year songs. The bigger supermarkets are all well stocked with New Year goodies (pineapple tarts, almond cookies, mandarin oranges, egg rolls and many more). Friend of mine recommended Patisserie Cake Shop (Located at Mata-Mata, Gadong, Traders Inn building). They make really good cookies and cakes. Managed to get a few containers of cookies although many other flavors are sold-out. They even have a nice alfresco corner by the sidewalk. Great place for afternoon tea and some cakes.
9th Jan 2013 marks the last day of the year of dragon on the lunar calendar. Which is also the day for reunion dinner with our family in the Chinese tradition. We could hear sounds of fireworks & firecrackers echoing down the streets everywhere. And I managed to snap a few shots of it, what a sight! Something hard to come by back home in Singapore, esp. to see the fireworks right above us, we could even breathe the ash of the after effects.
Some believe that the noise from firecrackers is to awaken the sleeping dragon, thus bringing the rain during summer as part of the essential for healthy growth of crops. Others believe that loud noise from firecrackers are meant to ward off evil spirits and misfortunes for the coming new year. Whichever one choose to believe, chinese new year celebration is incomplete without fireworks/firecrackers.
What a great experience to usher in the new year!