CNY zodiac signboards at Canberra Plaza look like tomb stones

Don't anyhow pray pray ah.

Karen Lui | January 29, 2021, 04:07 PM

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Chinese New Year decorations this 2021 have come under some public scrutiny.

A rat-like otter dressed as an ox and the cow farm in Chinatown, as well as an auspicious Chinese greeting display containing a typo that has now been corrected have caught the public's attention.

But the spotlight is not only on CNY decorations in Chinatown.

The decorations at Canberra Plaza, featuring zodiac signboards, have since been flagged online due to their resemblance to tomb stones, which is regarded as inauspicious during this festive period.

Zodiac signboards

On Jan. 27, one Jackcus Foong shared the pictures he took at Canberra Plaza on Facebook group, "Let's go, Singapore".

Screenshot via Facebook

The caption he wrote translates to, "I truly admire this designer", with a laugh-cry emoji and hashtags of "do you see what I see", "are we thinking the same", "Canberra Plaza", and "12 zodiac fortune signboards".

The strange curved design at the top of the rectangular signboard paired with the heavy base resemble ancestral tablets and tomb stones.

The dim lighting and arrangement of the signboards in a row further adds to the ominous vibe.

Photo by Jackcus Foong on Facebook

Photo by Jackcus Foong on Facebook


Commenters online have gathered to share their amusement and bewilderment at yet another unconventional design for festive decorations this Chinese New Year.

"There's flowers, now we only need the candles and offerings"

"Is it going to be Qing Ming Festival soon?"

"Ancestral tablet"

"Such talent... The festive decorations have been very creative these recent years, normal people are unable to understand"


"Why didn't anyone offer incense?"

"Public cemetery"

"The tomb stones of the 12 zodiac animals"

"Do you know what the designer is thinking? Now, it is trendy to be eco-friendly! We can reuse it for the upcoming Qing Ming Festival."

Some have noted the decorations' potential to be reused for Qing Ming Festival that falls on Apr. 4 this year.

Known as Tomb-sweeping Day or Chinese Memorial Day, it marks a yearly ritual for Chinese families to visit the tombs of ancestors to pray and make ritual offerings to the departed.

CNY Zodiac fortune displays

Zodiac fortune displays are a common sight across shopping malls and community centres in Singapore during Chinese New Year.

However, they generally look like rectangular posters and do not bear any resemblance to any prayer paraphernalia.

A zodiac display at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands in 2019. Photo by Marina Bay Sands.

A similar zodiac fortune display in a U.S. mall in 2015. Photo by Lian Zi via China Daily.

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Top images by Jackcus Foong and Canberra Plaza on Facebook.