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Jan 8, 2012

Ways Done in the Past - Public Parks

Looking for monkeys in the Botanic Gardens on Chinese New Year Day 1971.

What were the ways done to celebrate Chinese New Year in the 1960s and 70s in Singapore?

As the first day of Chinese New Year was gazetted as a public holiday in Singapore, Singaporean Chinese would celebrate the traditional visit to their elders and relatives with their family. The parents then proceed to spend the holiday with an outing to the public parks.

Many young children could remember their first visits to Botanic Gardens, Tiger Balm Garden (Haw Par Villa), MacRitchie Reservoir, Jurong Bird Park, especially Istana Park which is opened to the public only on Chinese New Year, Labour Day, National Day, Hari Raya Puasa and Deepavali in Singapore. According to the ISTANA SINGAPORE website:

The Istana ground is open to the public five times a year in celebration of Chinese New Year; Deepavali; Hari Raya Puasa; Labour Day; and National Day. The Istana Open House is scheduled to be held on the following dates in 2012:

Chinese New Year (2nd Day) – 24 January 2012 (Tues)
Labour Day (Actual Day) – 1 May 2012 (Tues)
National Day (the Sun before actual day) – 5 August 2012 (Sun)
Hari Raya Puasa (Actual Day) – 19 August 2012 (Sun)
Deepavali (Actual Day) – 13 November 2012 (Tues)

On this nostalgia blog for us to remember as the "Ways Done in the Past" theme blog topic series, the following archived photos are posted with the courtesy of our National Archives of Singapore (NAS) for everyone to share.

Do you remember the first visit to these public parks and have memorable photos and experiences to reminisce and share with us?

Please submit these Singapore Memory stories to irememberSG on Facebook as a valuable contribution of your fond nostalgic memories for posterity.

On the first day of Chinese New Year (Sunday 8 February, 1959), I remember my classmates and I visited our Form Teacher Mr Soo Mok Sung on my personal blog here .

These photos are selected specially for this blog topic and were taken in the early 1960s. What were the ways which have changed in the past?

The first visits for the children to these places, their laughters, their happiness and joy, their shouts and exclamation of "wow" of surprises to these places not visited before are the nostalgic memories repeated from generation to generation for every Singaporean. Everyone wears a smile, best dressed new year clothings, shoes and hairdo...have you noticed the changes of the fashion trend over the decades.

The family outings together, with harmony and cheerfulness to the various public parks on Chinese New Year day, remains the same for every generations.

How much we would love to remember these memories as the young children grew up.

Chinese New Year Day at Botanic Gardens

Chinese New Year 1971 visit to Botanic Gardens.

Grandma, please take a rest here.

Chinese New Year Day at Istana Park

May visits Istana Park for the first time during Chinese New Year Day in 1985.

Chinese New Year Day at Haw Par Villa

Chinese New Year Day at Great World Amusement Park

Chinese New Year Day at Jurong Bird Park

Chinese New Year Day at Singapore Zoological Garden

Wei,May and Dad stroking the rabbit at the zoo.

Chinese New Year Day at MacRitchie Reservoir

Chinese New Year Day at Pulau Ubin

May and Wei at the beach of Pulau Ubin in 1991,



Blogger Its ME said...

simple and contented Singaporeans yesteryears..thnaks for the serene memories...wishing your family Gong Xi Fai Cai too and Healthy Wealth to all Singaporeans if possible...

January 8, 2012 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Thank you 'Its ME'. Wishing you and your family "Gong Xi Fa Cai" and Healthy Wealth too.

January 8, 2012 at 5:33 PM  
Blogger lim said...

Those were the days! I just love the way the ladies were dressed in those days.

Just a few years ago, before the final completion of Resort World Sentosa, I visited the resort island on the 2nd or 3rd day of Chinese New Year to view the flower show. It was so incredibly crowded! I expect it to be the same this year but with all the attention shifted to RWS.

January 8, 2012 at 10:31 PM  
Blogger FL said...

Beside the listed places people often visited during CNY period, I remember my parents would bring us kids to the Esplanade, I mean Elizabeth Walk of the past. That was during the early sixties. This place was cool in the evening with sea breeze and huge crowd, too. Back then, there was a hawkers centre and a satay club at the Walk, I think.

January 9, 2012 at 12:24 AM  
Blogger Lam Chun See said...

Yes. I also like those photos of young ladies in their latest fashion. I have several photos of my sister dressed like that.

January 9, 2012 at 9:45 PM  
Blogger FL said...

In the past, esp the 1950/60/70s, this generation of females were conservative, probably because of our society then. Their dresses were usually blouses and skirts or full dress skirts. Rarely can you see females wear pants or jeans in those years. Even in Govt Service then, the ladies would only dress skirts, no pants, during office hours. Then, as years went by, the Civil service relaxes a bit to allow ladies to dress in long pants/jeans on Saturdays. Today is different, the ladies can wear jeans to work daily !

January 9, 2012 at 10:55 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Mr Lim, FL and Chun See, thank you for the fond nostalgic memories of the ladies dress fashion in the 1960s.

My elder sisters were wearing the same design frocks with different patterns or material but it was then the latest is the best sign of change in lifestyle. It is not right or wrong or up-to-date or out-of-date. Pls check out the latest fashion now in another 50 years time...can we visualise that?

January 10, 2012 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

FL, the public parks during CNY and the places to visit in the past are at the choice and preference of each individuals, not recommended or as listed.

Although Queen Elizabeth Walk was not mentioned in the blog, QEW is a very public park for family outing during CNY.

Pls check out a previous blog here .

January 10, 2012 at 10:32 PM  

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