SINGAPORE -- (ACN Newswire) -- This year's Chinatown Chinese New Year celebrations will see a strong SG50 theme interwoven with the iconic traditional event ushering in the new lunar year. Themed "Abundance of Joy & Prosperity", the celebrations will be one of the first local cultural festivals to kick off this year's SG50 celebrations for Singapore.
Organised by the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens' Consultative Committee (KA-KS CCC), the festive mood in the Chinese enclave will spring to life as 338 goat-shaped lanterns - the most number of zodiac lanterns ever made - and 1,500 glistening gold coin lanterns take centre stage in this year's street decorations that will light up the Chinatown precinct from 31 January to 19 March 2015.
To commemorate SG50, Chinatown Chinese New Year, also part of the Hua Qing Spring Festival celebrations, will adopt a nostalgic approach to this year's celebrations. The performance line-up for the Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony will take visitors down memory lane as 500 performers - the largest number to date - evoke treasured memories of past Chinese New Year Celebrations through specially-choreographed song and dance performances.
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 kick start the year-long celebrations. As we welcome the various ethnic groups as well as tourists to join us in ushering in the Year of the Goat, we wish Singapore and all residents harmony, peace and prosperity in the new year. We would also like to thank our partners and stakeholders for their continuous support, without whom this would not have been possible."
To add to the festivities, the committee has produced a series of short films documenting the Chinatown story, organise activities for the pioneer generation, and set up a Chinatown CNY SG50 Photo Contest on FaceBook.
Mr Kenneth Lim, Director of Cultural Precincts, Singapore Tourism Board said: "The Chinese New Year celebrations in Chinatown are a key highlight in our events calendar and serve as a good platform for locals and tourists to appreciate Singapore's rich multicultural heritage. We are heartened to have even more locals take part in the celebrations this year, such as through the creation of films that showcase the heartfelt stories of the Chinatown community or inviting our pioneers to enjoy the Chinese New Year festivities."
50 YEARS OF CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS IN CHINATOWN
As KA-KS CCC sets Chinatown alight on 31 January 2015 with the Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony, local and foreign visitors will be entertained by 500 performers, the largest contingent to date, as they re-enact beloved scenes of Chinese New Year celebrations and traditions from the 1950s till present-day.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will grace the ceremony as the Guest-Of-Honour to kick start the festivities. A specially-choreographed SG50 Shadow Dance will open the show, as dancers combine movement and the projection of shadows to depict Singapore's colourful development over the past five decades. Other enthralling acts include a spectacular Lion Dance showcase as 50 lions perform acrobatic stunts on Mei Hua Zhuang (a traditional Chinese martial art performed on wooden poles wedged into the ground in the shape of a plum blossom).
To express appreciation and gratitude towards Singapore's pioneer generation, KA-KS CCC has organised a SG50 initiative to bring 1,000 pioneers across the island on a day trip to Chinatown to view the festivities. Called the Pioneers' Day Out!, they will visit Chinatown from 2 to 17 February 2015 (excluding weekends). This year's Festive Street Bazaar has 440 stalls selling a wide range of traditional and modern Chinese New Year goodies, from festive decorations to mouth-watering delicacies.
Each pioneer will also receive a $10 angbao (red packet) and enjoy a tea break at Chinatown Food Street, courtesy of Select Group Limited. A VIP seating area for 100 pioneers will also be reserved at the Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony.
KA-KS CCC has also collaborated with Objectifs and The Creative Room to document stories that capture the rich heritage of Chinatown. Titled "Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives", the three short films were written and directed by local cinematographers Pok Yue Weng, who participated in Cannes Film Festival, Ric Aw, whose work Piah shot to fame on social media, and Gladys Ng, whose short film Ying & Summer was nominated for the Singapore Short Film Awards. The three documentaries are a heartwarming tribute to everyday people who have helped shaped Chinatown and Singapore in their personal way.
To engage the younger generation through memories of old Chinatown, KA-KS CCC will also launch a Chinatown CNY SG50 Photo Contest on 1 February 2015. Participants will need to correctly identify photos showing different parts of Chinatown in the olden days and accompany their answers with present day pictures of these places donned in Chinese New Year decorations.
VARIOUS FIRSTS AT CHINATOWN STREET LIGHT-UP FOR THE GOLDEN JUBILEE YEAR
Partnering young talents of the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) for the fourth time, this year's Street Light-Up features 338 goat-shaped lanterns and 1,500 gold coin lanterns, complete with new elements that will enhance the visual display. This will be the first time that a motorised lantern display is incorporated into the design. Placed along the centre divider between New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street, 28 goat-shaped lanterns will mimic the different movements of these gentle animals, from grass-grazing to sky-gazing.
Inspired by the Chinese well-wishing of 'prosperity from the first day of the new year', and 'three goats bringing bliss', where the characters of 'sun' and 'goat' share the same pronunciation, the centrepiece of the Street Light-Up sees three majestic goats perched atop a cliff in the heart of Chinatown, leading the herd of 335 goats grazing along the centre divider.
The similar sounding characters of 'blessing' and 'bat' in another Chinese well-wishing, 'five blessings bestowed upon the household', gave rise to the design of about 1,500 gold coin lanterns that will hang above Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road and South Bridge Road. Featuring the traditional design of five bats bordering the coin, the lanterns are put up in a staggered formation, mimicking the flow and movement of goats moving forward as a herd and illuminating the precinct in different layers.
This year, KA-KS CCC will also set up the first public adoption drive for the street lanterns, allowing members of the public to Adopt the Goats after the Light-Up concludes on 19 March 2015. Through the adoption drive, the committee hopes to contribute to the recycling movement and let visitors take back a commemorative piece of the Chinatown Chinese New Year decorations.
Other Chinatown Chinese New Year celebratory events include the Chinatown Chinese New Year Walking Trail, 8th International Lion Dance Competition and Chinatown Chinese New Year Countdown Party.
Full press release: http://www.acnnewswire.com/clientreports/598/0128.pdf
 An umbrella branding for Chinese New Year celebrations in Singapore
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