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Singapore Organises Special Events for Chinese New Year

For five whole weeks, visitors to Singapore will be able to immerse themselves in the Uniquely Singapore Chun Jie festivities that celebrate Chinese New Year. These celebrations are anchored by three key events – Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebrations, Singapore River Hongbao and Chingay Parade of DreamS – and peppered with various fringe events held throughout the island.

Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebrations

Chinatown lights up on 7 January this year. Traditionally the ethnic enclave of the many Chinese migrants to Singapore and home to Singapore’s first light-up 22 years ago in 1985, Chinatown remains a firm favourite amongst visitors and locals during this festive period. Besides the colourful street lighting and decorations welcoming the Year of the Dog, visitors can also immerse in the entire Chinese cultural experience and soak in the festive hustle and bustle simply by walking through the streets of Chinatown.

Close to 500 stalls will sell New Year delicacies ranging from Mandarin oranges, cookies, waxed duck and meats, to brightly coloured flowers and shiny Chinese New Year ornaments. The fun starts on Chinese New Year's Eve with the Countdown Party. Merrymakers can dance the night away or be entertained by stage performances featuring MediaCorp artistes and local performers. The Chun Jie Celebrations culminates on the 15th day of the lunar month on 12 February with the Chap Goh Meh Celebration which will give revellers yet another opportunity to party on the streets.

Bountiful Prosperity at the Singapore River Hongbao (SRHB)

The God of Fortune makes his annual stop in Singapore once again at the Singapore River Hongbao. This year, he stands at a towering 20 metres and will sprinkle “blessings” of gold dust at passers-by wishing for rising fortunes in the New Year. Visitors can also make a wish at the Prosperity Garden and catch special dog shows to mark the Year of the Dog. Besides nightly performances by local and overseas artistes, including a 30-member song and dance troupe from Chongqing, China and acrobats from Taipei, there will also be fun amusement rides to entertain children. For the first time, dazzling fireworks will light up the sky every night, with special grand displays planned for the opening night on 27 January and Chinese New Year’s Eve. Fireworks timings: Opening night - 27 January: 8pm, Eve of Chinese New Year - 28 January: Midnight, All other nights - 29 January / 12 February: 9.30pm.To mark the 20 years of SRHB, there will also be an exhibition at the cultural village tracing the history and growth of the event.

Jive at the Chingay Parade of DreamS

Now into its 34th year, the Chingay Parade continues to excite the crowds with energetic performances and beautifully decked-out floats. The procession of giant floats together with international and local performers will entertain the crowds at this year’s parade, which is themed “Chingay Rock Sensation”. The focus will be on youths who will put up energetic and impactful cheerleading performances and other specially choreographed moves. This year, the Chingay Parade will be held over two days with the floats making an extended run through housing estates such as Ang Mo Kio, Aljunied, Hougang and Jurong to the Singapore River Hongbao at the Esplanade Park. The parade climaxes with an high-energy street party in the heart of Orchard Road on 4 February.

Fringe Events

Besides these main events, the Chun Jie experience extends island-wide. Visitors can shop with a difference at Spring Festival@Kranji on 21 and 22 January. Set in the rustic farms and plantations in Kranji, visitors will be able to stock up on fresh produce such as fruits, plum blossoms, vegetables and other seasonal goodies, and buy auspicious New Year plants. From 28 January to 5 February, the Fountain Gardens at Sentosa is also set to explode in a riot of brilliant colours with Sentosa Flowers 2006. Themed “The Giant’s Garden”, visitors can expect to have their senses assailed with unique herbs, beautiful and unusual blooms as well as fantasy expressions of gigantic-size garden tools, garden insects and plants. There will also be a host of other activities including a mural painting competition, daily photo competitions as well as a Festival market for gardening enthusiasts.

For culture buffs, “Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts” at the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay promises to be a true celebration and display of Chinese culture. Highlights include Cloud Gate Dance Theatre from Taiwan, the Li Liuyi Drama Studio from China and recitals by Huang Mengla and Lu Siqing who were winners of the acclaimed Paganini International Violin Competition. There will also be free programmes including puppetry shows, traditional Chinese instrument performances and drum festivals. In addition, the Asian Civilisations Museum at Empress Place is also exhibiting an extensive collection of the earliest Chinese power suits worn by rulers and priests of the great Chinese dynasties, with some dating back to the 5th century. The exhibition runs till 9 April 2006.

Dr Chan Tat Hon, Assistant Chief Executive (Leisure), Singapore Tourism Board, said, “Singapore’s Chinese New Year celebration is one of the most vibrant in Asia and it is a great time to be visiting and experiencing Singapore. 2006 marks the third year that the Singapore Tourism Board is marketing the various Chinese New Year Celebrations under the Chun Jie branding. Chun Jie, or the Spring Festival, enhances Singapore’s position as a rich cultural destination and has so far proven to be effective in attracting more visitors from the regional and international markets with 2005 seeing more than 300,000 tourists at the main events alone. We are excited to see the development of Chun Jie and are certain that with this year’s five-week Chun Jie calendar jam-packed with colourful and exciting events and activities, there will be something to interest every visitor to Singapore. In line with our Tourism 2015 vision to double visitor arrivals and triple tourism receipts, we aim to grow our signature anchor events and hope that Chun Jie will soon become a not-to-be-missed draw that will attract more visitors from both near and far.”

During the Chun Jie 2006 Celebrations, all tourists visiting Singapore will be eligible for a special Prosperity Lucky Dip. Visitors can simply present their passports at the Singapore Visitors’ Centre (SVC) at the Chinatown Heritage Centre from 7-27 January or at the SRHB event venue from 27 January to 12 February to stand the chance to win souvenirs and prizes including tickets to the Singapore Zoo, Duck and Hippo Tours and other attractions, F&B gift vouchers from Bee Cheng Hiang and Bakerzin as well as a grand prize of a pair of return air tickets to Singapore.

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