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Wide shot of fireworks during the Chinese New Year countdown celebration

Also known as Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is undoubtedly the most important event in the Chinese calendar, and was traditionally a time to honour both traditional deities and familial ancestors.

Mandarin oranges sold during Chinese New Year

While the celebrations for this year are a little more subdued, you’ll still be able to able to soak in the festive mood with various exciting celebrations across the island. Find your own innovative means of capturing the festive spirit as friends and local family members meet up, exchange Mandarin oranges and feast on festive dishes in a safe manner.

Unmissable festivities

To get into the heart of the festive action, be sure to visit the historic enclave of Chinatown. Prior to and during the Chinese New Year, Street Light-Up will see the district’s streets lined with beautifully designed lanterns.

The official light-up on opening ceremony commences on 7 January in 2022, and visitors to the event are in for a multisensory extravaganza. Expect to be enchanted by vendors selling an assortment of snacks and traditional goodies offline and online. Head on to the Chinatown Festivals social media page for a slew of virtual games, contests and online workshops.

Traditions, customs and beliefs
Stall in Chinatown selling red coloured items for Chinese New Year

Red is undoubtedly the colour of the season. You’ll see it in the scarlet paper packets filled with money that are given to children and younger relatives, and in the bright hues of the brand new clothes people are wearing.

More importantly, you’ll see it in homes all over Singapore, thoroughly spring-cleaned and decorated with touches of crimson everywhere–in the lanterns hung by the gates, in the spring couplets adorning doorways and in the bright ribbons adorning kumquat plants, their yellow fruit symbolising ‘gold’ or prosperity.

Feasting with family
An iconic dish of Chinese New Year, lo hei, (Cantonese-styled raw fish salad)

The heart of Chinese New Year is ultimately a celebration of home and family, hence gatherings with family and relatives around the dining table are de rigueur.

And nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the tradition of Reunion Dinner, held on the eve of the new year. Family members rush back home (sometimes from very far away) in order to share this one most important meal of the year with loved ones.

The following days are then spent visiting relatives and friends, conveying blessings of good fortune for the year ahead and enjoying time with the ones who matter most.

In Chinese folklore, a mythical beast, 'Nian', used to attack villagers every spring. It could only be driven away by the colour red and loud noise. Hence, the festival tradition of lighting firecrackers to ward off the beast.

What's Unique

The Kreta Ayer Community Club (Chinatown Festival Committee) is organising a series of interactive events to celebrate Chinese New Year. More info can be found here.

Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony

The ceremony will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube on 7 January 2022, 7pm – 8pm.

Street Light-Up

New Bridge Road, Eu Tong Sen Street and South Bridge Road in Chinatown will be aglow with an array of lanterns designed by students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design, all in line with the year of the Tiger. The lanterns will be on display from 7 January 2022 to 2 March 2022.

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Singapore and Temenggong Tiger Sculptures Display

To promote the importance of global animal conservation and the environment, the Chinatown Festival Organizing Committee and WWF Singapore are collaborating with local artists from Temenggong Artists in Residence to paint different Tiger sculptures. These sculptures will be displayed at various parts of Chinatown from 7 to 26 January 2022.

Chinatown Chinese New Year Walking Trail

Immerse in the festive atmosphere, learn about traditions and heritage, catch the Temenggong Tiger Sculptures Display, enjoy local delicacies and experience the dazzling street light-up with the Chinatown Chinese New Year Walking Trail organised by Everyday Tour Company. Tickets can be purchased online here.

Chinatown Wishing Tree

From 7 January to 15 February 2022, participate in the festivities and make a difference by leaving your well wishes on the “Make a Wish” cards displayed on the Chinatown Wishing tree at Chinatown Point Atrium. Each card requires a donation of minimum S$2 and all proceeds will go to Kreta Ayer – Kim Seng Community Development Welfare Fund, which funds community programmes to help the needy elderly and low-income families.

Adopt a Lantern

As part of a sustainability initiative, you can choose to adopt one or more recycled lanterns for free after the Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebration Street light-up ends on 2 March 2022. Email adoptalantern@chinatownfestivals.sg from 15-22 February 2022 to apply. Successful applicants will be notified by the 1st week of March 2022 and collection of lanterns will be on the 2nd week of March 2022.

Online Chinese New Year activities, contests and giveaways

Tune in to the various activities, contests and giveaways happening from 13 January to 5 February 2022 on the Chinatown Festivals Facebook and Instagram pages and stand to walk away with prizes such as vouchers.

With activities ranging from 'getai' performances to baking and cooking workshops, you can also choose to enjoy the festivities from home with your loved ones.

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