Lights, camera, more lights…and ACTION! Chingay, Singapore’s multinational extravaganza, is Asia’s largest street performance and float parade. Held during the city-state’s Chinese New Year celebrations, it has captivated audiences since 1973. With its growing popularity, numerous complementary events have also sprung up, so there’s more ways than one to enjoy the giant celebration that is Chingay. Here’s how to get stuck in to the exuberant, colourful festivities.
Originally intended as part of Lunar New Year celebrations, Singapore’s dazzling Chingay Parade has evolved and broadened, and is now most known as a multi-ethnic heritage and culture showcase. Vibrant displays of spectacular floats, cultural dances, traditional costumes, martial arts expert demonstrations, stilt walkers, lion dancers, aerial acts and much, much more turn the Little Red Dot into a must-see show destination.
Each year a new theme brings the event to life, and modern adaptations have turned this time-honoured tradition into a high-tech demonstration. No matter the theme, the grand finale is always a complete treat for the senses, with light effects, fireworks and shimmering colours lighting up the night sky. You never really know what to expect, but rest assured it will certainly be bright, lively and a whole lot of fun. This uniquely Singaporean Lunar New Year experience is held over two nights, and tickets sell out fast so book well in advance.
The Chingay Parade is held annually on the second weekend of the Lunar New Year. Tickets are available at www.chingay.org.sg.
In the shadow of the twinkling Singapore Flyer, Chingay Carnival is a whimsical wonderland jam-packed with art installations, family-friendly activities and games, including life-sized Jenga and go-karting. Performers from the Chingay Parade flit through the carnival, allowing you to get an up-close-and-personal look at their intricate costumes, not to mention take some great Instagram photos. Entry to the three-day carnival is free, but aim to visit on the final day as the F1 racetrack is converted into a huge adventure playground, complete with an inflatable obstacle course.
Chingay in the Heartlands
To really enjoy Chingay like a local, head to one of the Chingay Heartlands locations, where the celebration takes to the streets of Singapore neighbourhoods. Previous years have seen a Night Fiesta held on Orchard Road, parade floats making the journey through local neighbourhoods and cultural performances dotted around the Lion City. It’s like one big giant neighbourhood block party, with floats! Make sure to visit the official website www.chingay.org.sg for details on these additional events as they change year to year.
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