The rats have taken over from Santa

  • Nation
  • Monday, 30 Dec 2019

Rat attack: CNY mouse-themed plush toys on display at the Chowrasta Market. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: Now that Santa Claus has left, “little rats” are out in droves and roaming the streets in their colourful splendour.

With the Chinese community set to usher in the Year of the Rat in less than a month, mouse-inspired decorations filled Chowrasta market as shoppers scoured shops and roadside stalls for plush toys, ang pow packets and other adornments.

Senior product engineer Chen Boon Khang said festive decorations were never so detailed and fancy during his younger days.

“The decorations have changed with each zodiac sign but it was never so nice.

“Now, there is a wide variety of decorations to choose from. It is really enjoyable to refresh our space with fun designs.

“We usually change the interior decoration every year.

“This coming Chinese New Year, we will probably have some lanterns and mouse-themed ornaments, ” said the father of two when met at the market yesterday.

Chen, 36, said it was customary to visit the market every Sunday for a month before the festive season.

Thai Suphitcha Ek-uru, 29, said Penang seemed to have a wider variety of decorations.

“I bought tiny ang pow packets to place coins.

“The ones here are nicer, ” said the business lecturer who is here for a short holiday.

Housewife Juliana Yeoh, 40, bought cartoon-themed items to decorate the main door.

“Being the Year of the Rat, the decorations this year are eye catching.

“I am sure my 12-year-old daughter will love this, ” she said.

Shop owner Soon Jia Yi said many shoppers asked for the latest Chinese New Year decoration items.

“We usually start selling the decorations about two months before the Chinese New Year celebration.

“Our first set of stock went on display on Dec 1.

“As next year’s Chinese Zodiac is a rat, most of the decorations have taken a ‘cute’ turn and it is a big hit, especially the wall decorations and plush toys.

“The big-eared plush toys clad in traditional attire make them a great gift, ” she said.

Soon said ang pow packets were still a big craze, with many opting for the popular embroidered ones from China.

She said paper ang pows also took a fancy twist with cartoon-themed pictures.

“The price remains the same as we got our supply from China. We want to make sure our customers are happy, ” she said.

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