Celebrating Chinese New Year - in a Hindu temple

Chinese New Year took on a multicultural flavour yesterday when Singapore's oldest Hindu temple opened its doors for its annual celebration, complete with a lion dance and hongbao distributions. 	Temple volunteer Ayyavoo Sulochana (in red sari), 76,
ST PHOTO: SAHIBA CHAWDHARY

Chinese New Year took on a multicultural flavour yesterday when Singapore's oldest Hindu temple opened its doors for its annual celebration, complete with a lion dance and hongbao distributions.

Temple volunteer Ayyavoo Sulochana (in red sari), 76, added to the good cheer by serving food to seniors from welfare homes.

Residents from Chinatown, where the temple is located, and senior citizens from welfare homes as well as representatives from grassroots and community organisations were invited to join in the festivities.

This is the 16th year that Sri Mariamman Temple, managed by the Hindu Endowments Board, has hosted Chinese New Year celebrations.

Guests were served Chinese vegetarian dishes prepared by temple volunteers and tossed lo hei, in keeping with Chinese New Year tradition.

They were also treated to multicultural performances such as the Indian Bharatanatyam dance, lion dance and Malay dance with Indian and Chinese music.

Senior citizens and welfare home residents also received goodie bags and hongbao.

Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth, and Transport, chipped in to help distribute the hongbao.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 03, 2019, with the headline 'Celebrating Chinese New Year - in a Hindu temple'. Print Edition | Subscribe