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In pictures: Ringing in the Year of the Pig in Chinatown

In pictures: Ringing in the Year of the Pig in Chinatown

Some 1790 red and yellow lanterns forming two "Chun" characters and three Koi fish patterns are hung over South Bridge Road as part of the Chinatown Chinese New Year spectacle. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)

SINGAPORE: Visitors in Chinatown were treated to a spectacle of street lights, the lingering smell of traditional delicacies and a splendid fireworks display on Monday (Feb 4) - all part of a grand celebration to ring in the Year of the Pig.

For 21-year-old undergraduate Pearlyn Low, her visit to Chinatown this year was a special occasion. She wanted to bring her friend from the United States, Yanti Nanurung, to experience the spirit of Chinatown.

“I had her over for reunion dinner and wanted her to experience another aspect of how Chinese New Year is celebrated in Singapore. The crowd is part of the experience in Chinatown, it adds to the festivities where people just come together after reunion dinners,” Ms Low said.

She added: “People come to walk through the markets and soak in the festivities, and if it wasn’t crowded, it’ll feel lacking and it wouldn’t be that experience”.

Visitors experienced a visual treat of lights ­- that featured larger than life pigs and ingots which brought Chinatown to life. 

This year's centrepiece, the 9m tall and 7.5m wide larger than life pig located at the Upper Cross Street crossroad, is accompanied by some 179 pig lanterns. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)

“We like to experience the culture and we want to experience the ambience of Chinese New Year, it’s exciting. There are a lot of people around from all races and religions, everybody celebrates this festive season and we wanted to be to be part of that,” said IT Director Fitrah Muhammad.

Originally from Jakarta, he now lives in Singapore with his wife and four children. He added that the instalments were “very fascinating”.

An aerial view of the bustling streets of Chinatown, filled with visitors during the Chinese New Year festive season. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)

To usher in the Year of the Pig, live performances and a rousing countdown celebration was held in the heart of Chinatown. Visitors were entertained by lively performances, skits, as well as interactive games.

Visitors watching the Chinatown Chinese New Year Countdown Party featuring MediaCorp artistes through a large monitor screen just a few metres away from the actual stage. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)
The young ones are not left out as well, riding on her father's shoulders to get a better view of the performances from the Chinese New Year Countdown Party. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)
And some did not want their pets to miss out on the fun.The Insta-famous Pomeranian, Mario (@mariothepomeranian), all ready for the Chinese New Year; clad in a mini lion dance costume perfect for its size. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)

Even the downpour at the Marina Bay area did not deter visitors from spending time at the 2019 River Hongbao festivity.

Held at The Float, the event is a mainstay on Singapore’s calendar of Chinese New Year celebrations since 1987 and is one of the first major events this year to commemorate the Singapore Bicentennial.

Many visitors did not let the downpour to hamper their festive spirits and continued to enjoy taking pictures with the larger than life lanterns — this time with the help of an umbrella. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)
Despite the rain, which forced many into the sheltered areas of the exhibition, a young visitor continues to put on a smile. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)
Visitors can learn more about the "Communities by the River" through informative panels such as this, where information about Chinese immigrants in the past are displayed. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)
Many took the opportunity to strike a pose in front of the "Our Garden, Our Home" centrepiece — the largest lantern set on The Float — to get their best pictures of the day. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)

Many decided to join in the celebrations at the River Hongbao after their family reunion dinners, including 28-year-old Li Xinxin.

“This event happens only once in a year, so I’ll normally just come here to enjoy this festive season with my family and friends. 

"I think that the designs are very uniquely Singapore and I wish that Singapore will remain prosperous and for my family and friends to stay healthy,” the education officer said.

Visitor Li Xinxin, 28, strikes a pose with the Samsui woman's costume and props, as part of the interactive and photo-op element of the exhibition. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)
A visitor taking a picture of the majestic display that features a beautiful peacock with a spectacular and colourful tail flowing into a garden of flowers; aptly named Happiness of Springtime. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)
A young visitor tries his best to guide the round loop through the metal wire, without touching the loop against the metal wire. The Bicentennial Dragons Game set-piece consists of two dragons, each shaped like the figure "200" to commemorate Singapore's Bicentennial. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)
Standing at 18m tall, this year's God of Fortune is full of energy as he holds his Ruyi ("as you wish") ceremonial sceptre in his raised right hand, which is believed to fulfil one's wishes. On his left, a Chinese scroll with the popular greeting " Gong Xi Fa Cai". (Photo: Alif Amsyar)

For some, a visit to the River Hongbao is a yearly affair. 

“Actually, my parents will want to come here every year … we have been here for 15 years consecutively. At least that’s what my mom told me, I also can’t remember,” quipped Ng Yong Yee, a regular at the Republic of Singapore Navy.

Source: CNA/mn


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