3 Things To Do With Your Kids This Chinese New Year

Every year, most of us celebrate the Lunar New Year, or as it’s more commonly called, the Chinese New Year. For the Chinese, this day marks the start of more than 2 weeks of feasting, reunions, and of course, collecting ang baos (or red packets) filled with money. In 2015, the holiday falls on the 19th and 20th of February, a Thursday and Friday. This means that we can look forward to a long 4 day weekend! If you’ve run out of things to occupy all that free time with, check out these 3 things you can do this Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year Event #1: River Hongbao

Lanterns at the River Hongbao

Photo credit: Choo Yut Shing

Held annually since its inaugural carnival in 1986, the River Hongbao is now held on the Floating Platform at Marina Bay. Drawn by the beautifully lit decorations, thousands of visitors throng the carnival venue every year. Vendors hawking authentic New Year goods can also be found along the streets, selling traditional favourites like malt candy and tea eggs. Often, the carnival features cultural collaborations with China. In 2014, the event included special Yunnan delicacies and performances.
River Hongbao amusement rides

Photo credit: SuperMerlion

The main crowd puller, however, is the giant God of Fortune lantern that towers over the entire carnival. The carnival even has amusement park rides! And during the countdown party on the eve of the New Year, the sky will light up with a stunning firework display against Singapore’s iconic skyline. Whether or not you celebrate the Chinese New Year, the River Hongbao carnival has something for everyone, young or old. Date: 17-28 February 2015 Nearest MRT Station: Promenade, Bayfront station

Chinese New Year Event #2: Chingay Parade

Chingay floats on the streets of Singapore

Photo credit: Jnzl’s Public Domain Photos

The Chingay Parade has been a constant feature in Singapore’s Chinese New Year celebrations for the last 40 years. The first Chingay Parade in Singapore was held soon after firecrackers were banned in 1972. To compensate for the loss of noise and festivity, the People’s Association (PA) held the inaugural Parade, involving hundreds of dancers, stilt walkers, martial artists and musicians.
Multicultural dancers on the streets

Photo credit: Choo Yut Shing

Today, the Chingay Parade is known as the largest street and float parade in Asia. Over the years, what was once a uniquely ethnic Chinese practice is now a multicultural observation of the Lunar New Year. Elaborate floats and thousands of participants come together every year, and line the streets of Singapore in a grand celebration of Spring’s arrival. In anticipation of this year’s SG50 celebrations, this edition of the Parade has been billed as the “Grandest Parade in Chingay History”, and should not be missed!
Singapore flyer float. Remember to check out the SG50 edition of Chingay!

Photo credit: Choo Yut Shing

And even if you can’t make it down to the Parade venue, it’ll be broadcast live on national television. Book your tickets at Sistic today! Date: 27-28 February 2015, 8pm Nearest MRT: Promenade station

Chinese New Year Event #3: Chinatown

Chinatown street light-up

Photo credit: Choo Yut Shing

In recent decades, Chinatown has been demarcated a special heritage district by the National Heritage Board. But even before that, in the 1800s, the Chinatown area was a hotspot for newly arrived Chinese migrants who were just looking for a piece of home on this little foreign island. Even today, Chinatown still retains its Chinese roots, despite its significance to Singapore’s multicultural residents.
Chinese New Year goodies: Chinese sausages!

Photo credit: Kim Ong

Every Chinese New Year, tourists and Singaporeans of all ages swarm its streets, seeking special bargains for seasonal New Year goodies that can’t be found anywhere else on the island. Others simply wander through the area, soaking up the bustling atmosphere and festivities. The streets overflow with a brilliant cascade of flowers and aromatic smells, and the air is bristling with excitement for the coming New Year.
Festive Chinese New Year decorations

Photo credit: Kim Ong

Special shows and performances are also held at various venues within the Chinatown area. Most prominently, a special Street Light-up event will be held on 31st Jan to kick off the start of this festive season. Not only will it’ll feature appearances from guests-of-honour, celebrities and dance troupes, firecrackers will be set off too! Date: 31 January to 6 March 2015 Nearest MRT: Chinatown, Telok Ayer station Check out the Asian Parent’s list of festive events to check out this Chinese New Year, or Expat Living’s guide to Chinese New Year in Singapore, if you’re interested in finding out more! Leave us a comment telling us how your outing went! Also, check out our CNY 2014 post on how to fold an origami horse! Featured image credit: Kenny Louie

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