One of the long-standing tradition of the Chinese New Year in Singapore has got to be the annual River Hongbao during the festive season. Already into its 27th year, this year's edition will see River Hongbao welcome the Year of the Snake at The Float@ Marina Bay from 8th to 16th February 2013.
This year, River Hongbao promises an even more vibrant atmosphere than before with larger-than-life lantern displays, intricate handicrafts, and crowd pleasing local delights and foreign delicacies from Guangdong at the largest outdoor Food Street in Singapore. Visitors to The Float will also be entertained by a myriad of activities from the Fringe activities happening throughout the grounds, amusement rides, carnival games to nightly Main Stage Shows featuring local and foreign performers.
I got a sneak peek at the behind-the-scenes to gain an insight of how River Hongbao is being set up before its official opening tomorrow, and everything looked so vibrant and colourful!
Lanterns have always been an integral part are of River Hongbao and in fact, they form the largest part too. So it isn't any wonder that the lanterns at this year's River Hongbao are taller and larger than before!
Designed locally and handcrafted by China craftsmen, the Float will be lit up by the not to be missed 12 Zodiac lanterns.
Add an 18-metre tall God of Wealth to the mix, and I reckon everyone will be screaming HUAT AH! all around.
The other First will be the construction of a Chinese style bridge which will not only be a lantern display but also serve as a vantage point as visitors mount it to get a clearer view of the entire Float.
Visitors will also experience nostalgia with the Wayang-inspired lantern piece which will feature lantern puppets as well as real life puppet shows at selected timings throughout the day.
And what's River Hongbao without FOOD?
River Hongbao’s Food Street will bring back last year’s winning local fare like Char Kway Teow, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Fried Hokkien Noodles, Satay Bee Hoon, Oyster Omelette, as well as Asian street favourites from Taiwan and Thailand. Guangdong chefs will also be flown in to entice palates with popular Guangdong delicacies like Grilled Quail’s Eggs, Soup Dumplings, Oysters steamed with garlic mince, Traditional double boiled soups and many more.
As for shows, visitors will be entertained by the Guangdong Arts Troupe, which comprises of performers from the highly acclaimed Nanfang Song and Dance Company and acrobats from Shantou Acrobatic and Magic Troupe. Click HERE for the detailed programme listing for each day. If you want to catch the Fireworks, be sure to be there tomorrow (8 Feb) at 8pm or on CNY Eve (9 Feb) at midnight!
Of course, kids will be kept entertained too - by more than 25 kiddie rides and game stalls no less.
So remember to bring your camera along, and soak in all the CNY festivities at the River Hongbao 2013... because it's time to 过年了!
Venue: The Float @ Marina Bay
Dates: 8 - 16 Feb 2013
Time: 12pm - 11.30pm daily
*8 Feb: Fireworks at 8pm
*9 Feb: 12pm - 1am with CNY Countdown with Fireworks at midnight
Charges: Free Admission