25 January 2011
The annual Chingay Parade, held on 11 February (8.30pm) and 12 February (8pm) at the Pit Building at Marina Bay, is part of Singapore’s unique way of celebrating the Lunar New Year. The traditional Chinese New Year street parade celebrates Singapore’s multi-cultural heritage and is a colourful extravaganza of glittering floats, sequined costumes, high-energy dance performances, acrobatic acts and artistic shows.
Chingay has enjoyed a long tradition, with its first parade dating back to 1973. The word “Chingay” is from the Hokkien dialect, which means “the art of masquerade”.
Each year, the parade grows larger and grander in scale, reaching out to 200,000 spectators on the two parade days and millions of television viewers from 22 countries!
Expect a fiery spectacular opening with Singapore’s first pair of 88-metre-long Flying Dragons from Xi’an, China, and a dragon entwined with firecrackers – possibly the first in Singapore and China. An entourage of God of Fortunes, Harley-Davidson bikes and vintage cars add to the festive atmosphere and open the parade with a roaring start!
Enjoy a rhythmical show with jumps on trampolines and mats, and gymnastics with dance, cheer, vaulting drama, advanced tumbling and acrobatics by the National Danish Performance Team.
Sri Lanka Pageant
Catch rich Kandyan and Southern dances by the Sri Lankan National Youth Services Dance Troupe including traditional and improvised dance forms such as Naga Raksha (mask dance), twirling of Raban (discs on long sticks) and youth fantasy with lively Bollywood dances.
Be spellbound by the poetic presentation of Chinese cultures where lotus flower costumed dancers take centrestage with a tranquil looking float decorated with lotus leaves, calligraphy and the figurine of legendary poet, Su Dong Po. Atop the float is a singer, the Champion of the Search for the next Teresa Teng, who charms audiences with her silky smooth vocals.
The Indian cultural show features towering flower pyramids, Indian puppets and a grand beautiful peacock float, while the largest Malay contingent in Chingay history, with its 1,200 performers, presents traditional music like kompang and dikir barat, dance and drama performances, on a float shaped like a traditional trading vessel
The parade climaxes with 3,000 hip-hop youth bringing the mood to a high, followed by a spectacular and heartwarming “Passing on the Lamp” where over 4,000 lamps are raised by performers and over 10,000 lamps are held by audiences against the night skies.
Singapore’s Biggest Street Dance Party
Partygoers can revel at City Alive!, Singapore’s biggest street dance party, after the Chingay parade on 12 February at 11pm at the Pit Building. Be awed by amazing dance moves from the best street dance crews around the region in the TriCrew-Best of Asia Finals and party with chart-topping DJs from across Asia such as DJ Tashi (Japan), DJ Sarasa aka Silverboombox (Japan) and Singapore’s very own DJ Andrew Chow who performs with Dandee from the Bangkok Invaders.
Parade tickets from $25 to $55 and City Alive! tickets at $20 are available from SISTIC (Hotline: 6348 5555; www.sistic.com.sg). To catch the parade for free, stand along the parade route.
Photos courtesy of People’s Association