Warning: the contents of this post may cause fits in people with quiet tastes. I've built up an immunity to the garishness over the years, but you, dear reader, may only be able to handle these pictures for a few seconds at a time.
Let's ease into it gently, shall we?
An artist from China painting a picture in real time. The style reminded me of those propaganda posters from the 70s.
This is ba gua: marinated, roasted, flattened meat. Juicier than jerky, it's one of my favourite foods, but I can't find any of the good stuff in Perth. So I settle for gorging myself whenever I visit Singapore.
Chinatown is full of places where you can buy lucky decorations.
This is the inside of a little shop that was selling good luck charms and decorations for Chinese New Year.
And here's another one.
These little figurines of lion dancers are great! (Note more rats/mice in the background.)
You'll often see the word for luck, fu, turned upside down.
This is because the sentence, fu dao le, "luck turned upside down", is a pun. It sounds like, "luck has arrived".
A large proportion of the Singaporean population is Buddhist, and many offerings are made to old gods, new gods, and ancestral spirits for health, prosperity (gold), and good fortune (gold, please).
Some offerings are made of paper or incense, and burned in these metal containers.
Other popular offerings are sweets and cakes, so that the deities who report back to Heaven have sweet tongues and only good news to report. ("I think we should send them some ... gold.")
Fresh and silk flowers are bought by the armload for worshippers to put in front of altars.
As are these oddly shaped fruit.
Ornamental pineapples are grown en masse for this holiday. Pineapples are called ong lai in dialect, which sounds like "the king comes". Also, they have a royal crown, see?
The fruit on the right is a pomelo; they're like giant grapefruit but without the tartness. Very refreshing!
This is the year of the Rat, so, naturally, lucky (gold) effigies of rats, big and small, were everywhere. Actually, most of these rats look like mice, perhaps because they're cuter and a have better PR than rats?
And imagine what the statues for the year of the Snake and the year of the Dog will look like!
Everything is marketed towards bringing you prosperity (gold), although I'm sure some products were a little tongue-in-cheek.
I think McDonald's had a "prosperity burger" as well, with special "prosperity sauce". But I didn't think to take a picture of it at the time. Also, the "prosperity sauce" looked a little suss.