Fireworks, feathers and 'facai': Year of the Rooster off to crowing start at Chinatown countdown

A rooster mascot on stage with performers from Dance Ensemble Singapore at the Chinatown Chinese New Year 2017 Countdown Party on Friday (Jan 27).
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Crowds ushered in the Year of the Rooster with a crowing start to the Chinese New Year on Friday (Jan 27) night, with festive songs, skits and crowd-pleasing fireworks at the countdown in Chinatown.

People thronged New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street, where the countdown was being held from 9.30pm till past midnight.

The party featured stage performances including musical numbers by Mediacorp artists Zoe Tay and Tay Ping Hui.

Some roads were closed and buses diverted for the annual party, and security was stepped up this year.

Dr Lily Neo, the adviser to Jalan Besar GRC which the precinct falls under, said in early January that some 40 tonnes of concrete blocks would be used to line roads for the first time during the countdown, to prevent vehicles from entering areas with large crowds.

At midnight, the standing crowd at Chinatown was treated to brilliant fireworks lighting the sky to usher in the new year.

Year of the Rooster off to crowing start at Chinatown countdown

  • Crowds ushered in the Year of the Rooster with a crowing start to the Chinese New Year on Friday (Jan 27) night, with festive songs, skits and crowd-pleasing fireworks at the countdown in Chinatown.
  • People thronged New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street, where the countdown was being held from 9.30pm till past midnight. The party featured stage performances including musical numbers by Mediacorp artists Zoe Tay and Tay Ping Hui.
  • Dr Lily Neo, the adviser to Jalan Besar GRC which the precinct falls under, said in early January that some 40 tonnes of concrete blocks would be used to line roads for the first time during the countdown, to prevent vehicles from entering areas with large crowds.
  • Some roads were closed and buses diverted for the annual party, and security was stepped up this year.
  • At midnight, the standing crowd at Chinatown was treated to brilliant fireworks lighting the sky to usher in the new year.

China's Lunar New Year migration in 2017

  • Thousands of people wearing thick coats and clutching suitcases line up in freezing conditions at Beijing Railway Station in the hope of snagging a ticket home for China's Lunar New Year.
  • They are among hundreds of millions of migrant workers travelling to far-flung towns and cities to see their families and celebrate the most important holiday on the Chinese calendar, which falls on January 28 this year.
  • The demand for tickets is so high that some people spend days trying to snare seats on public transport for the annual mega migration.
  • The holiday, also known as Spring Festival, is a time for families to gather their members for plentiful food and fireworks.
  • Travellers taking part in the world's largest annual human migration must be home by Friday to usher in the new year on Saturday.
  • Transport officials predict that Chinese passengers will make almost three billion trips during the 40-day Lunar New Year period.
  • It will also involve more than 2.5 billion journeys by road.
  • High travel volumes mean that navigating stations can be as much of a nightmare as nabbing a ticket in the first place.
  • "During the trip, you sometimes look at your phone, get bored, sleep a bit, though you can't really sleep well on the train, and just hold out until it's over," said a woman surnamed Qian.


This article was first published on January 28, 2017.
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