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Chingay brings spectacle of lavish costumes, displays to Chinatown

Chingay brings spectacle of lavish costumes, displays to Chinatown

One of some 10 floats at the Chingay Parade @ Heartlands, fully decked with colourful lights and decorated with larger than life props. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)

SINGAPORE: It was all bright lights and a kaleidoscope of colours in Chinatown on Sunday (Feb 17), as Chingay rolled into the precinct to mark the end of this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations. 

While light rain persisted throughout the evening, scores of visitors continued to crowd the area and bask in the festivities. 

For Ngee Ann Polytechnic students Megan Chew, 17, and Tang Yiling, 18, this year’s parade marked the first time that they performed on the float itself. In previous years, they had performed on the ground as parade members. 

“Our float this year is also in front of the VIP section, so when we stopped for our contingent, we are right in front of all the VIPs. It’s stressful but a good kind of stress,” Ms Tang said excitedly. Students Megan Chew (right) and Tang Yiling (left) had their first taste of performing on the float this year. This is the second Chingay parade for Megan, and the fourth for Yiling. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)
Visitors were treated to bright and colourful costumes, adorned by dancers on the float who kept the festive spirits high. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)
Ponchos were distributed to visitors and parade members as it rained throughout the evening, but it was all smiles and laughter as celebrations continued. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)
From a float decked as a Tongkang, a light wooden boat commonly used in the early 19th century by maritime traders, to a larger than life elephant float, the parade was a visual spectacle. A performer dressed in an intricate and elaborate traditional costume posing on her float, which was designed as a Tongkang. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)
The performers brought life to the parade with their beautiful costumes and make-up. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)
It was all smiles for performers as visitors lined up around the float to take pictures with them. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)

For some, attending the Chingay Parade is a yearly affair. 13-year-old Denise Seow wore a yellow and blue costume this year and her parents were present to show her support.

“She’s been doing this for quite a few years and it’s great, this a different kind of exposure for my daughter. I want her to experience this atmosphere and what it brings,” said her father, Mr Edwin Seow, 48.

Mr and Mrs Seow joined in the festivities of the parade as they visited their daughter at her float. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)
Furthermore, performers from a number of countries – including South Korea, China and Cambodia – came out in style with a stunning array of costumes and props at Asia’s largest annual street performance and float parade.Performers from countries around Asia joined in the celebrations in their traditional costumes and gave the audience a taste of their culture. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)
A Cambodian mask dancer having a moment of silent prayer with his mask before going on stage to perform for the thousands of people surrounding the main stage. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)

A splendid display of fireworks rounded off the evening’s celebrations and many visitors had their cameras and mobile phones out to capture moments of the grand finale. 

Spectators were treated to a rousing display of fireworks and firecrackers as celebrations for this year’s Chinese New Year drew to a close. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)
The streets of Chinatown will continue to be decorated with the visual treat of lights, which featured larger than life pigs and ingots – until Mar 6. (Photo: Alif Amsyar)

“This is third year we’re organising it in Chinatown, so we’re really very excited and very happy because we received very good response for the past few years,” said Mr Philemon Loh, head of marketing and publicity of this year’s Chinatown Celebrations Organising Committee. 

"Although it rained today, we’re very happy that it didn’t take away the excitement from the general public and I think everyone enjoyed it.

“We hope to bring more festive joy to the public and also to improve on our programmes and activities next year, as well as having more props and performing items here,” he quipped.

Source: CNA/ic(mn)