SINGAPORE - It is that time of year for Chinese families to strengthen ties, and in multiracial Singapore, it is also an opportunity for other races to enjoy the warmth and hospitality of their Chinese friends and neighbours.
In a Chinese New Year video message posted on her Facebook page on Monday (Feb 4), President Halimah Yacob said the fact that the celebrations here also commonly embrace the other races is "true to the Singapore spirit".
Madam Halimah added: "Lunar New Year is special to our Chinese community. It is a time when families bond together and strengthen their ties - a wonderful tradition, passed from generation to generation, helping to remind our young of the importance of the family.
"True to the Singapore spirit, it is common for the Lunar New Year celebrations to also embrace the other races, who get to enjoy the warmth and hospitality of their Chinese neighbours and friends."
The President said she is looking forward to meeting visitors at the Istana Open House on Wednesday (Feb 6).
In celebration of the Chinese New Year, the grounds of the Istana will be open from 8.30am to 6pm that day.
President Halimah will also launch an Istana 150 Souvenir Series of Medallions and Flashpay cards during the open house, in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the presidential residence.
The souvenir series is a collaboration between the Istana and The Singapore Mint, and comprises a range of exclusive silver medallions and card products featuring the architecture of the buildings in the Istana compound and significant features of the Istana.
Concluding her new year message, the President delivered three greetings in Mandarin: "xin nian kuai le" (happy new year) , " sheng ti jian kang" (good health) and "wan shi ru yi" (good luck in everything).