Year of the Horse celebration in Chinatown Singapore

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Year of the Horse celebration in Chinatown Singapore
Year of the Horse celebration in Chinatown Singapore

Year of the Horse in Chinatown

Year of the Horse. This is the theme of Chinese New Year 2014 and one place you should visit to witness the glamorous decoration of Chinese New Year in Singapore should be Chinatown. You will see countless horse sculpture on both sides of the road (as well as hanging one’s) and gold coins to celebrate Year of the Horse. It is a good time to capture these marvelous scenes with your camera and store in your memory timeline. You can spot many of these bright orange horse sculptures & gold coins alongside New Bridge Road, South Bridge Road & Eu Tong Sen Street in the Chinatown neighborhood.

Horse sculpture and gold coins can be seen on roads across Chinatown
Horse sculpture and gold coins can be seen on roads across Chinatown

 

Floating Horse sculpture can also be seen in Chinatown
Floating Horse sculpture can also be seen in Chinatown

 Importance of Chinese Calendar

The Chinese Calendar has significance importance in Chinese culture. That’s the reason behind immense celebration of Chinese New Year among Chinese community as the new year brings prosperity and good fortune. Every year follows certain theme and 2014 is the Year of the Horse. (2013 was the Year of Snake). Last Year of the Horse was celebrated on 12th February, 2002 and next Year of the Horse celebration will be on 17th February 2026. Every Chinese New Year in a Chinese Calendar is based on an animal zodiac theme and there are total of 12 zodiac known as Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog & Pig.

Are you thinking that these zodiac themes rotate on the basis of 12 years? Not really. While there is a 12 years cycle of animal based zodiac theme in place, but there is also 10 year cycle of heavenly stems. These heavenly stems are linked with the five elements of Chinese Astrology known as Wood, Metal, Fire, Earth & Water. Now these five elements are rotated every two year with the association of yin and yang every alternate year.

If you’re sill with me then you will probably understand that with the association of yin and yang and the five elements there will be Yang Wood & Yin Wood, Yang Fire & Yin Fire and so on. The whole process produce a cycle that repeats every 60 years. For example the year of the Yang Wood Horse occurred in 1954 and then in 2014 (60 years apart).

Galloping Horse lantern can be seen in Chinatown during night time
Galloping Horse lantern can be seen in Chinatown during night time

Year of the Horse & Five Elements

The 2014 Year of the Horse associated element is Yang Wood. It starts on 31st January 2014 and will end on 18th February 2015. The last Year of the Horse representing Yang Wood occurred in 3 February 1954. The next Year of the Horse associated element will be Yang Fire and it will occur in Feb 17, 2026.

Below is the table of Year of the Horse & Five Elements starting from 1906.

Year of the Horse table
Source: Wiki

Festival Shopping Heaven

Chinatown is a festival shopping heaven when it comes to Chinese festival. You can not only buy everything from here but you can also buy it cheap. There are plenty of stalls selling sweets, food, decoration items, souvenirs, gifts & much more. You will also find horse sculpture in different sizes for decoration purposes.

A stall on Spring Street in Chinatown for CNY 2014 celebration
A stall on Spring Street in Chinatown for CNY 2014 celebration

We all celebrate new year with passion so the same is true for the Chinese New Year. There is a always a family gathering, big feast, food, sweets, exchange of gifts and much more. You can also read our Chinatown Shopping Guide and Souvenirs & Gifts to buy in Singapore Guide for more information.

If you happen to be in Singapore then do pay a visit to Chinatown and witness the colorful celebration of Year of the Horse. Do share with us your stories in the comment below.