Goat lanterns, gold coins at upcoming Chinatown festive light-up

Goat lanterns, gold coins at upcoming Chinatown festive light-up

SINGAPORE - Chinatown will come alight this Saturday with 338 goat-shaped lanterns in anticipation of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

The display, which is organised by the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens' Consultative Committee, contains the largest number of zodiac-shaped lanterns to date, and will also feature 1,500 gold coin lanterns.

Twenty-eight of the goat lanterns will be motorised, and will be grazing or gazing at the sky along the centre divider between New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street.

This year's light-up, which is part of the Hua Qing Spring Festival celebrations, will also feature songs and dances from 500 performers, again the largest number to date.

The performances are meant to invoke memories from past Chinese New Year Celebrations, from the 1950s to the present day.

These will include a shadow projection sequence, dancers enacting samsui women, and a lion dance showcase in which 50 lions will perform 'mei hua zhuang', a traditional Chinese martial art executed on wooden poles wedged into the ground in the shape of a plum blossom.

Dr Lily Neo, Grassroots Adviser and Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC, said: "This year's Chinese New Year celebrations are even more significant with Singapore marking its 50th birthday. We are delighted to be the first major festival to kickstart the year-long celebrations."

The organisers are also planning to bring 1,000 elderly folk from the pioneer generation on day trips to Chinatown to view the festivities. The trips will occur from Feb 2 to 17, and each pioneer will also receive a $10 angbao, or red packet.

There will be a wishing tree located at shopping mall Chinatown Point, on which members of the public can hang their wishes.

The tree is inspired by the ancient banyan tree in Lam Tsuen, Hong Kong, which people travel to during Chinese New Year to leave their wishes.

The lights will be up till March 19, after which members of the public will be able to adopt the goat lanterns.

oliviaho@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on January 27, 2015.
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