Herd instinct at play in Chinatown

Herd instinct at play in Chinatown
Goat-shaped lanterns at Eu Tong Sen Street to welcome the Chinese New Year. The centrepiece comprises three huge motorised goats which will bob their heads to mimic grazing when the lights come on.

The Year of the Goat is a month away and preparations for the annual Chinatown Chinese New Year light-up are in full swing.

Lanterns the shape of goats and gold coins symbolising prosperity line New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street.

On the centre divider between the two roads lies the display's centrepiece - three huge motorised goats which will bob their heads to mimic grazing when the lights come on on Jan 31.

"This year, we have 338 goat-shaped lanterns, the most number of animal- shaped lanterns that we've ever put up," said Ms Jennifer Lee, head of the event's organising committee.

It is the first time that motorised lanterns will be used.

They were designed by 13 Singapore University of Technology and Design students and handmade by craftsmen from Chengdu in China's Sichuan province.

One of the students, Mr Tan Wei Lin, 21, said the team started work on the designs last July. As the theme focused on the family, the "goats" were divided into herds, with each cluster representing a family.

Their different colours - brown, orange, white and grey - represented their different maturity, he said.

For the first time, the public will be able to adopt and bring home the "goats" after the seven-week light-up ends on March 19.

Those interested can leave the organising committee a note on the Chinatown Festivals Facebook page, or send an e-mail to info@chinatownfestivals.sg.

The lanterns will be given away on a first come, first served basis, but priority will go to non-profit organisations such as homes for the aged and temples, said Ms Lee.

They are made of silk and can last for about a year if kept indoors, she added.

This article was first published on Jan 15, 2015.
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