Chinatown ushers in an “Abundance of Joy & Prosperity” With SG50 and the Year of the Goat!
The Chinese New Year Celebrations at Chinatown are always one to look out for and this year will see a strong SG50 theme interwoven with the iconic traditional event ushering the new lunar year. With the theme “Abundance of Joy & prosperity”, the celebrations will be one of the first local cultural festivals to kick off the nation’s 50th birthday celebration.
This year’s Chinatown Chinese New Year celebrations is organised by the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens’ Consultative Committee (KA-KS CCC) and will see Chinatown light up with 338 goat-shaped lanterns and 1,500 glistering gold coin lanterns with the official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony on the 31st of January 2015.
These lanterns are the hard work of 13 year 1 & 2 undergraduates from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) who worked closely with the KA-KS CCC and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) based on the theme 三阳开泰牛车水，五福临门迎新岁.
The Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebrations which are also part of the Hua Qing Spring Festival Celebrations, will see some 500 performers evoke treasured memories of past Chinese New Year Celebrations through specially choreographed song and dance performances. All these are part of the SG50 commemorations which will adopt a nostalgic approach to this year’s celebrations.
The official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony will also be one to look out for with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gracing the ceremony as the Guest-Of-Honour to kick start the festivities. There will be a specially choreographed SG50 Shadow Dance where dancers combine moment and the projection of shadows to depict Singapore’s colourful development over the past five decades. Other enthralling acts include a spectacular Lion Dance showcase as 50 lions perform acrobatic stunts on Mei Hua Zhuang (梅花桩) which is a traditional Chinese martial art performed on wooden poles wedged into the ground in the shape of a plum blossom.
Dr Lily Neo (梁莉莉医生), Grassroots Adviser and Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC (基层组织顾问兼丹戎巴葛集选区国会议员) said: “This year’s Chinese New Year celebrations are even more significant with Singapore marking its 50th birthday. We are delighted to be the first major festival to kick start the year-long celebrations. As we welcome the various ethnic groups as well as tourists to join us in ushering in the Year of the Goat, we wish Singapore and all residents harmony, peace and prosperity in the new year. We would also like to thank our partners and stakeholders for their continuous support, without whom this would not have been possible.”
The KA-KS CCC will also be organising an SG50 initiative during the Chinese New Year celebrations with plans to bring 1,000 pioneers on a day trip to Chinatown to view the festivities. Called the “Pioneers’ Day Out!”, they will visit Chinatown to view the various happenings including the Festive Street Bazaar which has 440 stalls this year selling a wide range of traditional and modern Chinese New Year goodies. Each pioneer will also receive a $10 angbao (red packet) and enjoy a tea break at Chinatown Food Street, courtesy of Select Group Limited. A VIP seating area for 100 pioneers will also be reserved at the Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony.
Members of the public are also welcomed to write down their wishes for the new lunar year and hang them at the wishing tree located at Chinatown Point.
The lights will continue to be up till the 19th of March 2015 and members of the public will also be glad to know that there are plans to in works to allow the adoption of these goats once the celebrations are over.
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Photos by Ken Koh & Nicholas Kwan.
By Kenneth Wong
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