Saturday, February 20, 2010

Continuing celebrations in Tiong Bahru – Part 2:

The Lunar New Year period is always an occasion for the appearance of Lion Dances… Do you know that the Lion is not native to China, but was first introduced to China during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE) by emissaries from Greece to the Chinese court. And since that time, they have been a favourite animal of the Han Chinese!

Here in Tiong Bahru, our Market is a great place to observe the appearance of the Southern Lions (characterized by a body made of layered fabric, unlike the Northern Lions – whose bodies are made of layered ‘hair’) who are engaged by businesses to ‘open’ their premises in a most auspicious way in the New Year. Today and Tomorrow, as well as next weekend, would be a good chance to come by and see the Lions.

Here are some lions from Boon Tiong RC Lion Dance Troupe that were performing at the Market today. Its a special version where by the Lions must break a set of 8 'sar po' or Chinese earthen ware brewing pots, to get to the plate of lucky greens.

Setting out the sar po pots.

Discussing the strategy...

Now that the pots have been overcome by the powerful lion's paws... time to tackle the greens!

After the lucky mandarin orange peel has been scattered towards the shop and the boss.... its the tricky task of arranging the rest of the greens....

Just what is going on in the Lion's belly?

And finally, what do we have? Lucky Greens and Lucky Golds (pun on the Hokkien/Cantonese/Mandarin term for Mandarin Oranges), spelling out: Forune!
Great Auspiciousness! and Great Prosperity!, and a lucky number for you to buy at 4D this week!


That's Hokkien for 'To Prosper and to Strike it Big!'

Continuing celebrations in Tiong Bahru – Part 1:

We are halfway thru the Lunar New Year Celebrations today, and it is everyone’s birthday! The Chinese believe that on the 7th Day of the Lunar Year, it was the day that humankind was created.

If you think that you might soon miss the festive feel of this season, fret not, do look out for the upcoming Lunar New Year Residents Get Together Dinner on 6 March 2010.
Get your family, neighbours and friends together to form a table of 10 and come for the dinner, that is brought to you by Boon Tiong and Seng Poh Residents Committees (yes, it’s the GREATER TIONG BAHRU FAMILY here).

Don’t delay! Limited tables left.
See you on the 6th!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dong Dong Chiang! Roarrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

In Tiong Bahru, the Lunar New Year is the occasion for seeing many traditional ways of celebrating the festival through Lion, Dragon and even Flag dances!

On the 2nd day of each LNY, at 10 am at Block 56 Eng Hoon Street, one will see an annual performance on the street, to celebrate the new year by one of our local businesses - Bao Sheng Trading.

This year, there is a special appearance by the Tiger....

A child from the neighbourhood watching the new flag being carried in for the flag dance.

The 2 southern lions performing, notice the 2 smaller kiddie lions in between.


This is a particularly difficult move as the front dancer must jump upwards and be held aloft for up to 3 or 5 minutes.

The flag dance is quite rare in Singapore - here, the 3 storey high flag is carried by individual dancers on their heads, abdomen, hands and even their chin. The breeze makes the flag flutter beautifully, but also increases the challenge of holding it aloft.

The dragon, before it starts it dance, first travels to the Qi Tian Gong to pay its respects to the local deity, here, the Great Heavenly Sage (AKA Monkey God) before it dances.

and wherever the dragon goes, good luck follows!

Looking at the confetti - a replacement for the red firecracker paper of the old days - guess the good luck is also shared with the neighbourhood!


Film location needed! do you want to take part?

Happy Lunar New Year to one and all....

lets open the year's postings with this call for filming location in Tiong Bahru, from a local production company - local in that, they are actually based in our neighbourhood!

If you are interested in helping out - do contact Nadia directly! it would be good to have TB featured more in the media, especially for children!


Hi there,

I'm Nadia Shah, an assistant producer at local production company Eyecon Production (S). We're looking for three households in the Tiong Bahru area as venues for the production of a children's programme for Mediacorp's Okto channel.

The production will be shot during the March holidays, two weekends in April, and the June school holidays. However, since not all scenes will take place at the same venue, we may only need each household for at most 10 days.

Of course, remuneration will be provided for the home owners: $75 for a half day shoot and $150 for a full day shoot.

Kindly let me know if you know anyone who might be interested in this. You can drop me an email at

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you!

Best Wishes,
Nadia Shah