A Different Chinese New Year Celebration
Some traditions survive the test of time. Others disappear due to certain circumstances. Lion dances, angpows, Mandarin oranges and auspicious couplets have always been the items commonly seen in Chinese New Year celebrations in Singapore. More than 40 years ago, there was also another item deemed indispensable for the most important festival for the local Chinese. It was the firecracker.
The origin of firecracker was said to have dated back to the Song Dynasty of China (960-1279). It was first intended for driving away evil spirits that caused illnesses, but over time, it became an integral part of joyous events and festivals. In Singapore, firecrackers were also widely and popularly used during Chinese New Year and festivals of other races such as Deepavali and Hari Raya.
In the sixties, “cracker wars” were rampant, especially in the downtown area around North Bridge Road. During the zhap goh…
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