CNY at Great Glory Church
What is the meaning of Chinese New Year?
Red lanterns, red scrolls, oranges, red packets, dragon dance and most of all…. Sumptuous Chinese New Year goodies. These are the things that Generation Z commonly associate with Chinese New Year. However, not many in this generation know that these practices are said to have begun around 3500 years ago, where the colour red and loud firecrackers and sounds were used to chase away a mythical beast known as “Nian”. Other legends have it that these practices were meant for worshipping gods and ancestors. Regardless of the true origin, these stories are gradually fading away, and along with it, its traditional practices. Many families no longer exchange oranges, doing away with the hassle of buying boxes and boxes of oranges to store at home. Many families also no longer put up red lanterns and red scrolls, doing away with the need to redecorate and undecorate their house. Many families are also becoming more health conscious, and avoiding heaty and processed goodies.
What then remains as the meaning of Chinese New Year?
At Great Glory Church, we value Chinese New Year as a time to meet with the people whom we love, and to engage in traditional practices with these people we love.
On Chinese New Year Eve and on the first day of Chinese New Year, members spend quality time with their families, have deep and meaningful conversations, and catch up with extended family members whom they may not have seen in a while.
On the remaining days, members also do house visits to families of other members, to share with them God’s love, warmth and care. Our pastors at Great Glory Church also specially visit to pray for the families of members at their homes, and also to pray for those who are sick and needy.
We must also not forget the foreigners who are away from their families during the festive season. Great Glory Church has a small population of Chinese, Malaysian, Indonesian and other foreign members who are working in Singapore and who may not be able to celebrate the festivities with their families. However, they are not forgotten, as they are part of our GGC family. Each year, GGC organises a CNY reunion dinner for these foreign members, to help them feel at home in Singapore and part of our Singaporean family. They also invite their foreign friends and colleagues as part of the family.
A wise man once said, if you want to tell what truly matters, try removing it and see what happens. Chinese New Year without the mythical “Nian” still goes on, but a Chinese New Year without people, and a Chinese New Year without familial love and care, would not be a Chinese New Year worth spending. As we engage in the festivities this year, and as we set off firecrackers and eat bakwa, let us not forget the real meaning of Chinese New Year – to spend quality time with our beloved family around us. Great Glory Church wishes everyone a meaningful and lovely Chinese New Year.