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Photo Essay

Chinese New Year in Singapore’s Chinatown under COVID

Chinese New Year is approaching. In Singapore, Chinatown is bedecked with festive light displays and colorful lanterns. It also serves as a shopping centre where Singaporians prepare for the new year. However, the celebration is subjected to COVID-19 restrictions, including group gatherings of a maximum of five people and five guests at home. Religious ceremonies are also forbidden.

“We will be celebrating this Chinese New Year during the pandemic again, but what matters is the spirit of this joyous occasion,” Lee Hsien-loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, said in his Facebook account on Jan. 24.

A 10.5-metre tall lantern in the shape of a tiger family and some new year decorations along Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road in Chinatown. It comprises over 300 lanterns with 60 tigers, all of them handmade.
Chinatown Street Market on Friday Jan 28. Authorities will increase safe distancing checks for the three weekends leading up to Chinese New Year, said the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment.
Residents pick up cultural items at stores specializing in Chinese New Year goods, such as red packets printed with different Chinese surnames.

Non-chinese people crammed the street market to purchase vintage Chinese costumes and ornaments, to share the joy of Chinese New Year.

“Business is better than last year, as most people are vaccinated,” said Yip Wei-keong (left), 59, the owner of a Cantonese sausage shop. “But it's still not as good as before COVID-19.”
“Business during the Chinese New Year is a little better than usual, but not to the point of booming,” said Yin Hong-xiang, the owner of a Si Chuan restaurant in Chinatown.

A shopping mall raises awareness for tiger conservation by displaying 12 life-sized tigers outside Chinatown Complex. Each sculpture was painted by local artists out of a unique and creative concept.

Lanterns with auspicious messages along South Bridge Road in Chinatown.

Under COVID-19 restrictions, no more than five dinners are allowed per table in restaurants.

Visitors use the Trace Together app upon entry to public places, including restaurants, shopping malls and office buildings. The mobile app is similar to the LeaveHomeSafe used in Hong Kong.
Traditional Chinese clothes at a shopping mall.

《The Young Reporter》

The Young Reporter (TYR) started as a newspaper in 1969. Today, it is published across multiple media platforms and updated constantly to bring the latest news and analyses to its readers.


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