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3 Ways to see in the Chinese New Year

Events, Things to Do — By mariannerogerson on January 31, 2011 at 8:25 am
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It’s Chinese New Year’s Eve on Wednesday 2nd February, when we wave goodbye to the Year of the Tiger and welcome in the Year of the Rabbit. Singapore is already buzzing with the sound of drums and the excitement of the celebrations to come – but where will YOU be seeing in the New Year?

If you haven’t made up your mind yet, then here are three ideas for places to go to see in the Chinese New Year in Singapore in 2011:

1. Chinatown
The obvious choice… This vibrant part of town is all aglow with street lanterns and awash with hordes of people shopping for their new year sweets, decorations and goodies. But that’s nothing compared to what it will be like on Wednesday evening. Join the masses to feel the excitement build for the countdown at midnight, and expect plenty of loud firecrackers and fireworks.

2. River Hong Bao
One of Singapore’s great Chinese New Year traditions, the River Hong Bao is a huge celebration with light installations, massive lanterns, and cultural performances. The Chinese New Year Countdown will see all the performers take to the stage, and an impressive fireworks display against the backdrop of Marina Bay will welcome in the Year of the Rabbit. There are 27,000 seats in the grandstand, but this will be a popular spot so get there early to avoid disappointment.

3. Kuan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple
This is one of the most popular temples in Singapore, dedicated to Kuan Yin (also called Guanyin), the goddess of mercy who is seen by devotees as a saviour. The temple attracts an estimated 1,000 devotees every day, however the eve of Chinese New Year is the most impressive time to visit, when the temple is kept open all night and people turn up in their thousands. The whole street is packed with worshippers wanting to offer incense to the goddess of mercy for an auspicious start to the year, so head on down to join in the worshipping and soak up the atmosphere.

Photo: courtesy of hern42/Flickr

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Tags: "chinese new year", Chinatown, cultural, Events, free

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