The appearance of pineapple tarts and other Lunar New Year goodies on the shelves of almost every supermarket is a sight to celebrate. The scramble for Lunar New Year shopping has already begun and what better way to get in on the action than with a trip to Chinatown?
This time every year, Chinatown bursts into a flurry of activities. From elaborate street decor to a street bazaar and performances, Chinatown has it all.
Chinatown Festive Street Decor
To mark the year of the Golden Rooster, the streets of Chinatown have come to life with several decorative pieces put in place. 14 first- and second-year students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design were involved in designing Chinatown’s Street Decorations this year.
Behold, the illuminated life cycle from a hatchling to a rooster. Found along the centre divider between New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Seng Street, the installation illustrates the maturation of the chick at different stages of its life and the values it learns throughout.
This scene depicts the value “the early bird catches the worm”. Others include, “learning through trials” (玉不琢，不成器) where chicks can be seen climbing and traversing mountains, or “filial piety” (孝顺) where a chick feeds a worm to its parent.
All of which culminate in a majestic golden rooster, which stands 13 metres tall at the junction between Eu Tong Seng Street and Upper Cross Street.
This year also features an estimated 5,500 handcrafted lanterns – the largest number ever made in Chinatown Festival history – which line the streets of Chinatown, illuminating everything around. The symbolism between the Peony and Peach Blossom lanterns that adorn the streets heralds wealth, prosperity and peace for the new year.
You can check out all these beautiful decorations along Eu Tong Seng Street, New Bridge Road, South Bridge Road and Garden Bridge. The light-up will take place from 7 pm – 2 am (Fri & Sat), 7 pm – 12 am (Sun to Thurs), and 7 pm – 6 am (27 & 28 January 2017) from now till 25 February 2017.
Festive Street Bazaar
What’s Lunar New Year without visiting Chinatown’s Festive Street Bazaar?
With more than 400 stalls selling a variety of Lunar New Year themed goods, immerse yourself in a journey of reminiscing your childhood favourites or discovering new festive treats.
This year, you can also look forward to YouthEATS @ Temple Street, where 12 enterprising entrepreneurs (mostly youths) come together in a specially allocated area to sell treats which complement the traditional food offered in Chinatown.
The Festive Street Bazaar will be held at Pagoda Street, Smith Street, Sago Street, Temple Street and Trengganu Street from 6 to 27 January 2017. It opens daily from 6 pm – 10.30 pm, with extended hours on the eve of the Lunar New Year (6 pm – 1 am).
While you’re checking out the decorations, bazaar and really getting into the CNY mood, hit up some of the other promotions as well.
Those born in the Year of the Rooster – aka 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 babies – get to enjoy free admission to the Chinatown Heritage Centre. For those who aren’t born in the Year of the Rooster, you can win yourself free admission by participating in the Capteh Challenge at 1pm and 4pm (more info here).
There’s just so much to do this festive season and if you ever find yourself needing to do some last minute shopping for CNY goodies, head to Chinatown and have it all sorted. Plus, I even heard that prices will be slashed on Lunar New Year Eve! Lelong, lelong!
Chinatown CNY Festival 2017 | 7 January – 25 February 2017 | Website
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