Ushering in the Year of the Tiger 2010 on Valentine’s Day!

Silk embroidered cheongsam qipao, Chinese New Year 2010, Cheryl Marie Cordeiro Nilsson

In a red silk embroidered cheongsam for the Chinese New Year and upcoming St. Valentine’s Day, 2010.
Photo Jan-Erik Nilsson, Cheryl Cordeiro-Nilsson for Cheryl Marie Cordeiro © 2009

I’m definitely feeling the Lunar New Year vibes all the way from Singapore, where stores are already keeping open for longer hours during the days leading up to Chinese New Year’s Eve that is this Saturday!

The Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays lasting for 15 days that ends with the Lantern Festival and with a large Chinese population in Singapore, one could expect the festivities of this weekend in the city to be vivacious with more than just the Chinese enjoying the celebrations.

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, red cheongsam qipao, Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day 2010

Red is the colour to wear this weekend, though I’ve seen deep pinks, orange and gold rise in popularity over the last few years in Singapore.

Adding to the festivity this year, St. Valentine’s Day – a day of romance, chocolates and red, the colour of passion – also falls on the first day of the Lunar New Year, which probably makes having a romantic evening dinner out a booking nightmare in the city! Personally I’d plan a rain check on Valentine’s till some days later when the festive rush has quietened some.

Pink Miu Miu kitten heels with black trim and bow

Pink Miu Miu kitten heels.

Many Asian cultures are symbolically rich, drawing meanings from colours, objects, placements of objects, etiquette protocols etc. In terms of clothing, Chinese New Year for many would mean a new set of traditional clothes to wear because they signal a new beginning of the year. New clothes also symbolize having more than enough things to use and wear throughout the upcoming year. These days, it is most often the women and children who don traditional silk outfits on Chinese New Year, whilst the men in Singapore might opt for a modern shirt and pair of pants.

Pink Miu Miu kitten heels with black trim and bow, pictured with a vermillion peony

Black bow contrast stitching details.

Colours too are important symbols of meaning when it comes to celebrating the Chinese New Year. The colour red is commonly worn throughout the Chinese New Year and money given out as gifts in red packets or hong baos because it is believed that red will scare away evil spirits and bad fortune, while ushering in good luck and prosperity. But tradition does sometimes give way to the passions of the fashion runways and in recent years the women in Singapore seem to favour fuchsia, vermilion and gold coloured cheongsams – colours that also symbolize wealth and prosperity.

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro, Chinese New Year and Valentine's greetings 2010

Personally, I’ll be donning red with gold trimmings this year with a pair of jade earrings carved in the form of a flower and I’m looking forward to the weekend celebrations!

To all readers here’s wishing you a Happy Lunar New Year and a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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