It is a New Years Tradition to go to the temple during Chinese New Year, and as I live relatively close to one, I could walk to the temple with my mom and she can go there and pray.
The temple is usually crowded and it is never a surprise that during weekends and holidays, many people in this densely populated country lose their civility.
While the temple and part of its grounds are tranquil and nice, where there is a crowd, there is always chaos. I've witnessed today that everyone seems to want to drive directly to the temple with limited parking space, and everyone is impatient.
When older passengers are getting out of their cars slowly, the driver seemed to want to park in a position where they block as many other cars as possible, and the car behind could not seem to wait a minute for the senior passenger to get out, and horns start blaring.
In the temple, some of the religious people seem to have a large amount of incense, and light it on fire and walking around the large crowd creating a huge cloud of smoke behind them. (The usual amount is about 15 sticks of incense, one for each urn) I've witnessed several people with more than 50 sticks and some even with 100 sticks of incense.
Like the 7th month. Burning more incense does not make your wishes come true more! When you burn more paper, it does not give you "BETTER LUCK" Please, there is a reasonable amount and many of you are OVERDOING IT!
Sadly, when there are crowds, there is also a lot of impatience and shoving. Its worse with children, elderly in an overcrowded temple with people carrying incense. Trust me, getting burnt with an incense is not fun.
I took a bus to the bus interchange and it was surprising to see more beggars out in Toa Payoh HDB Hub, more than usual, and I heard some of the people I've met in the temple say that many of these beggars were FAKE, and they own a 5 room flat, rented out and is begging for more money during the new year and can earn more than $100 a day. And I saw more people selling tissue paper again, and the going rate during Chinese New Year is 3 for $2, instead of 3 for $1.
When I go to the coffee shops, the price of Ice Milo is $2, from $1.50... Yup, Chinese New Year Surcharge. It is sad as it is also unclear that any of these surcharge actually benefit the employees and not the bosses.
Yup, and I've seen many people parking and leaving their vehicles causing jams outside temples. This is a common occurrence near the churches by my HDB flat in Toa Payoh as well, as many of them seem to park at handicapped lots, with no handicapped person, but some of the vehicles have the handicapped tags. Morally handicapped perhaps?
Please be civil, keep your cool and have a Happy Chinese New Year!