Where to celebrate Chinese New Year in Singapore

What we say: 3.5 stars

The Year of the Rabbit is almost here and Singapore is in full party mode. Though Chinese New Year is largely a holiday spent to be spent with family, there are many places around the city where you can join the festivities. Gong xi fa chai!

Eu Tong Sen Street is the epicentre of Singapore’s Chinese New Year festivities and will be lit up with lanterns and bunny decorations all through February. The narrow lanes running off it, especially around the Chinatown MRT station, become makeshift markets selling red and gold ornaments and holiday treats like cookies, oranges, and bak kwa (sweet dried pork). Cultural performances like dragon dances, acrobat troupes, and Chinese opera are held at Kreta Ayer Square – just follow your ears!

Fish are a symbol of wealth

Esplanade Theatre
Enjoy 10 days of traditional Chinese arts with the annual Huayi Festival at the Esplanade Theatre. Many of the events are in Mandarin, but you don’t need to speak the language to appreciate the unique music, art exhibits, dancing, and puppet shows. The festival runs from February 4 to 13 and many of the events are free.

Marina Bay
Sample the sights, sounds and flavours of Chinese New Year at the 25th annual River Hongbao Festival. This year’s line-up includes the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, a calligraphy contest, handicraft market, dance troupes from China, and fireworks after the New Year countdown. The event is held on the floating stage at Marina Bay and will be lit up with specially-crafted lanterns – definitely bring your camera. The festival runs nightly from February 1 to 13 and admission is free.

Shopping for CNY treats

The Sentosa Flowers Festival sees the family-friendly island transformed into a garden of colourful blossoms. This year’s theme is ‘Spring Wonderland’ and will feature over 200 species of flowers, plants, and trees from around the world. Sentosa will be in bloom from February 3 to 13 and normal island admission fees apply.

Last updated: 15th November, 2014

About the author:
Tanya Procyshyn is a Singapore-based freelance writer and photographer. With a passion for unusual destinations, she has camped alongside Komodo dragons and shook hands with soldiers in North Korea. She blogs at www.idreamofdurian.com.
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