Chinese New Year, Days 3-7 and Birthday Festivities at The Dunearn

Well, it’s February 27, and the two-week Chinese New Year holiday is official over.  All the shops are open, and the bright red decorations are coming down. However, we’re only on Day 3 of the holiday, in blog-time.  Never fear, though – the first 2 days are when the majority of celebrations occur, and I’ve already talked about them, and our family traditions, here and here.  Days 3-15 will go much faster, and in fact, most of this post is really about a delicious meal we had at The Dunearn (scroll down if you want to skip the CNY parts).

In Singapore, the first two days of the new year are public holidays, and usually, most people go back to work on the third.  However, since the first day was a Sunday this year, the two-day work holiday was Monday and Tuesday (actually the second and third days of the New Year).  However, the third day is traditionally a “bad luck day”, so no one visits.  We laid low and recovered from a busy few days.

The fifth day is the God of Wealth’s Birthday, and in China, it is common to shoot off firecrackers on this day.  This is supposed get the attention of the God of Wealth, so he will bring you (oh yes) goof fortune and prosperity for the new year.  Firecrackers are pretty much illegal in Singapore, so that day passed quietly here.

The seventh day of the new year is when everyone grows a year older – in other words, it’s Everyone’s Birthday!  Coincidentally, this year, this day also happened to fall on KMN’s sister’s Gregorian (western) calendar birthday this year.  So we speculate that she may have turned two years older this year – like the opposite of being born on a leap year or something – but she doesn’t look it a bit!

Either way, it was a day to celebrate, and we planned to do so at The Dunearn (at the Guild House) on the NUS campus in Bukit Timah.  And thus began the greatest navigational failure of our time in Singapore, to date.  For the first time since moving here, Google Maps completely failed us.  Like, totally, 100%, at least a mile off FAILED us.  [Note to Locals: Do not trust Google Maps in the Cluny Road area!!]  We looked up directions before leaving the apartment, and KMN was surprised by where Google Maps directed us – but we took its word, hopped on the Circle Line to Botanic Gardens, and settled in for a 20 minute walk across the park.  Thirty minutes later, we were hot, sticky, standing exactly where Google pinned the address of the Guild House, and looking at trees.  We walked ahead, and back – no dice.

Finally, we admitted defeat and called KMN’s Dad – and realized that KMN’s initial inclination had been correct, and we were not where we needed tobe.  We tried to hail a cab, but there was not an empty one to be found in that quiet area, so we ended up walking all the way back to campus.  Needless to say, we’d worked up quite an appetite by the time we arrived!  We started the meal with a special Snake Year yusheng (previous post describing yusheng is here):

Fancy Year of the Snake Yusheng!

Very fancy Year of the Snake Yusheng!

Of course, this guy wasn’t very long for this world.  First, we tossed. Then, we ate.  I found a long and super curly piece of carrot, and made KMN take a picture:

3 Super curly carrot

Looks like I’m going to live a long (and twisty?) life!

We all opted for the Choose-Your-Own-Set menu (from anything on the regular menu!).  I was ravenous, and enjoyed the following:

Do you want to know what happened when I opened up that lava cake?  Of course you do:

Tastiest lava EVER.

That’s some pretty tasty lava!

Perhaps it was all the walking we did before dinnre, or the running from that morning, or the double birthday celebration – but I thought this was some of the best Western food we’ve eaten in Singapore, and at a pretty fair price ($49 SGD for the three-course set plus coffee/tea).  The soup had a good mushroom flavor, and was thick and creamy – and not too salty.  The ravioli were tasty, the curry sauce was flavorful but not too rich, and the scallops on top were tender and delicious (and I don’t always love scallops).  And the lava cake…  Well, do you even have to ask??

We sang, celebrated, and had a great time with family.  THIS is (one of several reasons) why we’re back in Singapore, folks.

Thanks for sharing your birthday with us, SL!

I love both of ’em! I’m quite a lucky wife & sister-in-law.

If you could put any filling into a chocolate lava cake, what would it be?
[The white, slightly fruity stuff in mine was good…but I might have preferred straight-up hot fudge, or maybe something peanut buttery instead…]

Google Maps led you astray lately?

4 thoughts on “Chinese New Year, Days 3-7 and Birthday Festivities at The Dunearn

  1. Pingback: Chinese New Year, Days 8-15 and Cooking A Whole Fish | Run With Holly

  2. Jules

    You know what? I’ve learnt loads about CNY from you and I’ve lived it half my life! I had never really thought about the reasons of why certain things are done, so thanks for the explanations. 😀

    1. Holly KN Post author

      It’s OK. I’m forever stumping my husband with questions about Chinese culture, then running off to ask my in-laws, or the internet, or a friend, or… I think when you live something, you question it much less than when you’re observing fresh, from the outside.

      Plus, I’m a scientist. Observation is my job. 🙂


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