The Lunar New Year is one of the most beloved festivals in Chinese culture, with roots that date back over 3500 years. This ancient tradition is celebrated in a variety of ways on our island, with the River Hongbao being one of the most iconic.
The River Hongbao has been on Singapore’s festive calendar every year since 1987. Held at Gardens by the Bay for the first time this year, the iconic event remains an integral tradition of Singapore’s Lunar New Year celebrations for locals and tourists alike.
In Chinese custom, The New Year is closely tied to the Lunar New Year, and the myth of the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals. This year’s celebration marks the start of the year of the Ox, 2021’s event will span 7 days from 10th February to 16th February.
Visitors to the celebration will be astounded by 24 giant lanterns featuring icons like a peacock, a pair of butterflies, the 12 animal zodiacs, and the crowd-pleasing God of Fortune. These lanterns will be scattered throughout Gardens by the Bay’s outdoor gardens.
Cultural elements can also be found at River Hongbao whereby visitors can boost their knowledge of Chinese culture at the River Hongbao exhibition, which will highlight the Lion Dance tradition. The exhibition includes a curated selection of lion dance artefacts from private collectors and organisations, with some dating back to as far as the 1950s. It also shows the significance of the lion dance in different cultures and countries, as well as the history of the lion dance and its development in Singapore.
Nightly screenings of pre-recorded performances will be held at the Main Stage, featuring local talents on different themed nights including Getai Night and Xinyao Night.
Many different elements of River Hongbao will be posted online at www.riverhongbao.sg for everyone to enjoy from home. This includes the Lion Dance exhibition, lantern displays and videos of the pre-recorded performances.