SINGAPORE - This year's Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebrations 2016 promises to be an even more rousing affair with a richer line-up of community outreach programmes to enrich the annual celebration of this important traditional festival, promote deeper appreciation of the Chinese heritage and to bring the community closer together.
Adding to the series of meaningful community events held each year during the Chinese New Year period is the inaugural Harmony Night, which brings together for the first time various Chinese clan associations, religious groups and Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) in the Chinatown precinct to put together a memorable Chinese New Year celebration for 500 residents of Jalan Besar GRC and Potong Pasir SMC. Locals and overseas visitors can also look forward to learning about the customs and traditions of the various Chinese dialect groups in Singapore in a special exhibition at the rejuvenated Chinatown Heritage Centre.
Organised by the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens' Consultative Committee (KA-KS CCC), this year's celebrations is themed "Year of Prosperity & Success". From 16 January to 8 March 2016, the festive mood in Chinatown will come alive, starting with the Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony on 16 January 2016 which will be graced by His Excellency, Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam as Guest of Honour.
The Chinese precinct will be lit up in spectacular fashion as 2,668 handcrafted lanterns - the most number of customised lanterns ever made for the Street Light-Up - in the shape of monkeys, peaches, spring blossoms and gold zodiac coins decorate the streets (Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road and South Bridge Road).
INAUGURAL HARMONY NIGHT
To promote partnership, community engagement and bonding in the Chinatown community, KA-KS-CCC will be organising the first Harmony Night on 30 January 2016 that brings together for the first time eight Chinese clan associations, religious groups and VWOs to put together a memorable Chinese New Year celebration for 500 residents of Jalan Besar GRC and Potong Pasir SMC. Participating groups will each showcase special performances in a celebration of the different cultures, religions and dialect groups in Singapore.
On 31 January 2016, about 1,000 residents from underprivileged families and needy elderly who are residing within the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Constituency will celebrate Chinese New Year at the Mass Reunion Dinner, an annual community initiative organised by KA-KS CCC.
Dr Lily Neo, Adviser to Jalan Besar GRC Grassroots Organizations (Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng) said: "The Chinese New Year Celebrations in Singapore are a reminder of the richness and vibrancy of the Chinese culture. It is a festive occasion enjoyed and appreciated not only by the Chinese community but also other racial communities as well as overseas tourists in Singapore. This year, we are delighted to host the inaugural Harmony Night, which will bring together the various racial, religious and dialect groups in Singapore for the first time, adding a special meaning to the celebrations for the community.
"We look forward to organising more of such events to promote closer bonding in the community. We would also like to thank our partners and stakeholders for their support, without whom a celebration of this scale would not have been possible," said Dr Neo.
Mr Kenneth Lim, Director of Cultural Precincts, Singapore Tourism Board said: "The Chinese New Year Celebrations in Chinatown have become a highly-anticipated festival that injects vibrancy to the precinct, and showcases to visitors the rich multicultural heritage of Singapore. It also plays a key role in bringing the local community, especially the younger generation, together to partake in the meaningful celebrations, and foster a deeper appreciation of the rich Chinatown heritage."
RECORD-BREAKING NUMBER OF HANDCRAFTED LANTERNS
From 16 January to 8 March 2016, local and foreign visitors to Chinatown will be mesmerised by the magnificent parade of handcrafted lanterns that will transform the precinct into a heavenly garden filled with playful monkeys and peach trees that convey joy, longevity and prosperity. This year's decorations, designed in partnership with final-year students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), feature a total of 2,668 handcrafted lanterns in the shape of monkeys, peaches, spring blossoms and gold zodiac coins - the most number of customised lanterns to be produced for the Street Light-Up. This is the fifth year that KA-KS CCC is partnering SUTD for the annual event.
This year's dazzling display also features 28 mechanical monkey lanterns that will literally "bring to life" the street decorations.
For the first time, the public will be able to actively interact with the Street Light-Up through the "Mother Tree", an interactive tree designed by SUTD students that will be situated on the Garden Bridge (above Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road). Simply post photos and videos of the Street Light-Up onto social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #CNY2016SG. Lit in pink, every 18 posts with the hashtag will activate an 18-second light show of golden spotlights and fairy lights.
"MY FATHER TONGUE" EXHIBITION BY CHINATOWN HERITAGE CENTRE
To promote a deeper understanding and appreciation of how the different dialect groups - namely Cantonese, Hokkien and Teochew - celebrated Chinese New Year in the past, KA-KS CCC has partnered the Chinatown Heritage Centre to present a special exhibition from 28 January to 8 March 2016.
Working with a group of final-year students from the NTU Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information, the exhibition, titled "My Father Tongue", will reveal interesting glimpses into the festive food, customs and special practices unique to the three main Chinese dialect groups in Singapore. As part of the exhibition, dialect workshops will also be conducted at the Chinatown Heritage Centre for youth and the public to sign up. There will also be a showcase of the traditional decorations used in the past during Chinese New Year while visitors can pick up limited-edition Chinese New Year souvenirs by local designers.
Inspired by the memories of seniors in the Chinatown community and clan associations, this exhibition aims to enrich dialect culture in Singapore and promote inter-generational bonding.
The exhibition marks the first of an exciting line-up of programmes planned for the rejuvenated Chinatown Heritage Centre, which reopened on 8 January 2016 after a year of renovation. The new Centre will feature a rich collection of personal stories and enriching programmes that paint an intimate portrayal of Chinatown, from its early days as a Chinese migrant settlement to today's vibrant heritage precinct.
OTHER EVENT HIGHLIGHTS
At the Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony on 16 January 2016, visitors to Chinatown will be awed by talented performers from leading local and foreign troupes in a retelling of the famed Chinese folktale, "Journey to the West." Daring displays of acrobatics will be accompanied by entertaining musical performances and LED light displays.
In the lead-up to the Chinatown Chinese New Year Countdown Party on 7 February 2016, visitors can also revel in the celebratory events such as the 9th International Lion Dance Competition Ceremony that will see 14 top lion dance troupes from across eight countries pit their skills against each other on the meihuazhuang in an exciting and intense showcase of dexterity and agility to clinch the ultimate title of 'King of the Lions'! With participation from troupes hailing from as far as China, this year's competition will take place on two days, 23 and 24 January 2016, at a new venue, Hong Lim Park.
Other event highlights include the Festive Street Bazaar & Festive Carnival with 440 stalls selling a wide range of traditional and modern festive goodies, Nightly Stage Shows with cultural musical and entertainment performances, and the Chinatown Chinese New Year Walking Trail, a free walking tour open to Singaporeans and overseas visitors that will take participants through the Chinese enclave to learn more about the history and customs during Chinese New Year.
For the full list of events and more details, please visit:
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This media release is issued on behalf of Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens' Consultative Committee (KA-KS-CCC), the official organiser of Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebrations 2016.
About Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens' Consultative Committee
The Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens' Consultative Committee plans, leads and coordinates community activities for the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Constituency. It channels the needs and problems of the residents to the Government and keeps them informed of the government's actions and policies. It also raises funds for welfare aid to the needy, bursaries and scholarships for deserving students and other community projects.