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Celebrate the best of Singapore The Chingay Parade
The Little Red Dot hosts the largest street performance and float parade in Asia. The Chingay Parade represents all that makes multicultural Singapore such a great place to be.
This year, the parade marks its 45th year and will involve more than 11,000 performers! The slightly over excited travel team at Budget Direct Insurance has all the details:
The Chingay Parade – Quick Facts
In days gone by, the noise and explosion of fire crackers was the traditional Chinese way of driving out evil spirits at Chinese New Year, but fire crackers were eventually banned in Singapore.
At first glance you might the Singapore government was a killjoy banning firecrackers, but in 1970 -
“The use of fireworks resulted in six deaths, with more than 60 injuries, and up to $560,390 worth of damaged property.” mothership.sg, 2017
However, we are an ever resourceful nation and, in quick order, Chingay was born. Singapore’s unique way of frightening the evil spirits away with the noise and colour of a massive street parade.
It was then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew who came up with the idea of a street parade to celebrate not only Chinese New Year but the multiculturalism and spirit of Singapore.
“The word Chingay is equivalent to the Mandarin zhuang yi (妆艺), which means the art of costume and masquerade in the Hokkien dialect.” chingay.org.sg
The first street parade took place in February 1973, the Year of the Ox. Acts and shows representing Chinese culture were performed – dragon and lion dances, martial arts and street opera.
Since then The Chingay Parade has become more of a national festival, celebrating the many cultures and people who make up our Singaporean nation.
When and where can I watch?
Watch the parade either in the F1 Pit building or on the Promenade on Friday 10th February or Saturday 11th February, or both if you’re feeling especially patriotic!
This year’s highlights include water, fire, snow and lighting effects and local and international acts.
Tickets are on sale through Sistic and cost from $28.50 - $50.
How can I get involved?
Every year, the Chingay Organizing Committee requires the support of over 2,000 volunteers from various educational institutions in various aspects of the parade as our hospitality ambassadors, production crew, motivators, crowd control, traffic management and so on. Get all the details here.
Did you know?
Firecrackers were lit as early as 200 BC in China. This was way before gunpowder was invented. To get the required BOOM, bamboo was heated until it exploded. Both firecrackers and fireworks were invented in China and the Chinese name for firecrackers, baozhu, means exploding bamboo. When gunpowder became available, firecrackers kept their bamboo shape and made a similar noise; so retaining the name exploding bamboo.
Budget Direct Insurance wishes you a happy and prosperous Year of the Rooster!