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CNY 2019

TOP THINGS TO DO THIS CHINESE NEW YEAR

 29 Jan 2019  

As the world gathers in preparation for one of the biggest festivals of the year, the streets of Singapore come to life with illuminated, oversized lanterns and auspicious phrases to usher in the Year of the Pig. Here, we share the best things to do this Chinese New Year. 


Roll up for River Hongbao

River Hongbao
Having taken place annually since 1987, you’ll not want to miss this kitschy, well-loved festival whose larger-than-life handcrafted lanterns are built on-site by craftsmen from China. Explore these lanterns’ depictions of zodiac animals or Chinese folklore, then gather with the crowd under cai shen ye – the God of Fortune – who, at intervals, spews auspicious numbers scrawled on paper. It’s quite a sight to behold, no less thanks to the scores of visitors who’ll have inverted umbrellas outstretched to collect as many numbers as they can. 
 
River Hongbao 2019 takes place 3 – 10 Feb at The Float @ Marina Bay. Entry is free. riverhongbao.sg. Daily, 2pm – 11pm. 
 

Catch the glittering Chingay Parade

Chingay Parade
It may be Chinese New Year, but this annual street parade is a shiny celebration of Singapore’s multi-faceted heritage; stilt walkers, dancers decked in colourful costumes and giant floats come together in a procession that stretches from the F1 Pit Building to the Marina Bay Floating Platform. Given 2019 marks the Singapore Bicentennial – or 200 years since Sir Stamford Raffles's arrival in Singapore – expect nothing less than an over-the-top parade.
Chingay 2019 – Dreams Funtasia takes place 15 & 16 Feb. Tickets from S$28.50. chingay.org.sg. 8pm - 9.30pm.  

Explore Chinatown’s markets and lantern light-ups

Chinatown
Apart from the annual light-ups and lanterns adorning the heart of Chinatown – this year being a series of kitschy pigs – expect seven weeks of festivities to mark the occasion, including a Chinese New Year Countdown Party on 4 Feb from 9.30pm ’till just after midnight. Meander the Festive Street Bazaar to sample all manner of cookies, pastries, bak kwa (barbequed dried pork), or catch nightly shows by local and regional performance troupes.
Chinatown Festival is on ’till 6 Mar. Entry is free. chinatownfestivals.sg
 

Uncover your Chinese horoscope

CNY MBS
Which animal are you in the Chinese zodiac? The chart is based on the roughly 12-year orbital period of Jupiter, the biggest planet in the Solar System. Uncover your fortune for the year ahead spanning love, luck and health, then pose for photos under an archway adorned with hundreds of artificial flowers.
L1, Bay Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands (beside the Event Plaza)
 

Admire a sea of dahlias in Gardens by the Bay 

Gardens by the Bay
If Singapore’s own Chinese Gardens is too inaccessible for you, try Dahlia Dreams at Gardens by the Bay. Beyond the thousands of chrysanthemum, dahlia and cymbidium flowers to be admired, you’ll find Chinese pavilions, rotating waterwheels, and lanterns strung across a 35-metre archway. If that doesn’t sound impressive enough, the whole set-up’s staged in the Flower Dome conservatory, home to a display of plants from five continents, including Baobab trees.
Dahlia Dreams at Gardens by the Bay takes place Feb 18 - 24. Tickets from S$8. gardensbythebay.com.sg. Daily, 9am - 9pm.

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