Welcoming visitors to Chinatown till the end of February will be 88 life-sized horse-shaped lanterns and dazzling gold coins which are part of the celebrations to usher in the Chinese New Year. Organised by Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens’ Consultative Committee (KA-KS CCC), these celebrations are part of the Hua Qing Spring Festival celebrations, an umbrella branding for Chinese New Year celebrations in Singapore.
Members of the media were given a preview by the KA-KS CCC on what to expect for this year’s celebration as Chinatown welcomes the Year of the Horse this Lunar New Year.
Themed Galloping to Prosperity，this year’s decorations are result of the hard work of the students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). The result of months of this hard work can be seen in the many horse shaped lanterns with ribbons to help to bring out the fluid continuity of galloping horses.
Dr Lily Neo, Grassroots Adviser and Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC, said:
“In the Chinese Zodiac, the Horse symbolises intelligence, speed, strength and ambition. As we usher in the Year of the Horse, we hope that these positive attributes will bring good health and prosperity to all residents in Singapore. The Chinatown Chinese New Year celebrations have always been a festive highlight each year not only for the local Chinese community, but also for all the ethnic groups here. It has also become an iconic tourist attraction. This year, we have made the event even more colorful and striking. We are thankful to our partners and stakeholders for their great support in making this year’s celebrations possible.”
Mr Poh Chi Chuan, Director of Cultural Precincts and Tourism Concept Development, Singapore Tourism Board said:
“The Chinese New Year festivities at Chinatown are not only stunning displays of the city’s vibrancy but also a great platform to showcase our multicultural heritage. We hope that both locals and tourists can immerse in the festive bustle and gain greater appreciation of Singapore’s culture and history in a memorable way.”
Visitors to Chinatown can also look forward to the array of events aim to foster stronger family bonds and harmony through providing opportunities for families to cherish special family moments and honour traditions.
Kicking off with the official Opening and Light-Up Ceremony on Saturday, 11 January 2014 at New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street, there will also be initiatives targeting the youths, in an effort to generate greater interest in the younger generation and to inject vibrancy and vivacity into the traditional festive celebrations.
For the first time, the KA-KS CCC will be conducting walking tours down Singapore’s best-kept Chinese enclave which includes Kreta Ayer Road, Sago Street, Pagoda Street and New Bridge Road. These tours are free for those interested and pre-registration via KA-KS CCC’s website (http://chinatownfestivals.sg/) is encouraged.
Another first for the KA-KS CCC will be the running of a 24/7 Short Video Competition Challenge. Partnering with Republic Polytechnic’s School of Hospitality, the competition will feature more than 30 groups of four to six students who are given 24 hours to put together a short video that captures the essence of Chinese New Year in Chinatown. The winning videos will made available on KA-KS CCC’s website (http://chinatownfestivals.sg/247challenge) from 17 to 23 January 2014.
Chinatown’s Chinese New Year celebrations have also taken to the social media platform with the inaugural “Who Has The Most Horsepower” Facebook photo competition. The contest encourages the public to post creative Chinese New Year-inspired photos on Chinatown Festivals’ Facebook page. And to spread the festive spirit, the person who posts the photo with the highest number of votes will receive a generous Ang Pao of S$888. Competition runs from 2 to 30 January 2014.
Other exciting celebratory events include the Festive Street Bazaar with 480 eclectic stalls, Nightly Stage Shows that add to the festive atmosphere, and the 7th International Lion Dance Competition.
For the full list of events and more details on the above, please refer to www.chinatownfestivals.sg and www.facebook.com/pages/Chinatown-Festivals/186429804750588.
Do check out the rest of the photos over at our facebook page.
Photo credits: Ken Koh
by Kenneth Wong
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