Chinese New Year Singapore

Chinese New Year Singapore

Did you know that Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or CNY, is the most significant celebration in Singapore? Each year, this vibrant festival brings together families and communities to honour age-old traditions and welcome the new year with joy and excitement.

Key Takeaways:

  • Chinese New Year is a major celebration in Singapore, known for its rich cultural heritage.
  • The festival is also referred to as Lunar New Year or CNY and brings families together to honour traditions.
  • Singapore offers a wide range of festive events and activities during Chinese New Year.
  • Chinatown is the epicentre of celebrations, featuring colourful decorations and lively festivities.
  • The Chingay Parade, Marina Bay’s light show, Gardens by the Bay’s floral display, River Hongbao, and Resorts World Sentosa’s performance are must-visit attractions.

Facts About The Chinese New Year Singapore

FactsBrief Explanation
Name of the FestivalChinese New Year
Type of FestivalCultural
City of OriginSingapore
Festival EtymologyThe festival marks the beginning of the Chinese lunar year. Its origins are tied to ancient celebrations of the end of winter and the beginning of spring, symbolizing new beginnings and the ushering in of good luck and prosperity.
Date First CelebratedUnknown specific date, but has been celebrated for centuries since ancient times.
Founder of the FestivalNot attributed to a single founder; evolved from ancient Chinese traditions.
Brief History of the FestivalChinese New Year in Singapore is a vibrant and significant celebration that reflects both the rich cultural heritage of the Chinese community and the multicultural tapestry of Singapore. Traditionally, it is a time for family reunions, feasting, and giving thanks. The festival has evolved in Singapore to include street parades, fireworks, and lion dances, blending traditional customs with local flavours. Its celebration in Singapore showcases the city-state’s ability to merge cultural preservation with modern innovation, making it a unique spectacle that attracts both locals and tourists alike.
Brief History of the CitySingapore, a city-state and island country in Southeast Asia, was founded as a British trading colony in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles. It has a rich history of trade and strategic importance due to its location at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. Over the centuries, Singapore has evolved from a colonial outpost into one of the world’s most prosperous countries, with a diverse multicultural population. Its history is marked by various phases of immigration, colonialism, and eventual independence in 1965. This diverse background has contributed to Singapore’s unique cultural and social landscape, making it a global hub for tourism, finance, and commerce.
Ethnic InformationSingapore is a melting pot of cultures, primarily Chinese (majority), Malay, Indian, and other smaller ethnic groups. This diversity is reflected in its festivals, cuisine, and everyday life, with each community contributing to the city’s multicultural identity.
Location in the CountrySingapore is located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is both a city and a country, consisting of one main island and over 60 smaller islets.
How to Reach the CitySingapore is accessible by air via Singapore Changi Airport, one of the largest transportation hubs in Asia. By sea, it is a major cruise hub. Overland, it can be reached from Malaysia via the Johor-Singapore Causeway and the Tuas Second Link.
Nearby and Surrounding Cities– Johor Bahru, Malaysia: Approximately 22km north of Singapore
– Batam, Indonesia: Around 20km southeast across the Singapore Strait
– Bintan, Indonesia: About 50km southeast across the Singapore Strait
Google Map LinkGoogle Map Link to Singapore
Main Events and Activities– Lion and Dragon dances
– Fireworks and firecrackers
– Chingay Parade
– River Hongbao
– Family reunions and visitations (known as “bai nian”)
– Red packets exchange (giving of “hongbao”)
– Special festive markets and fairs (e.g., Chinatown Chinese New Year Market)
Tourist Attractions and LandmarksMarina Bay Sands: Iconic integrated resort known for its unique architecture and luxury amenities
Gardens by the Bay: Famous for its futuristic Supertree structures and large climate-controlled domes
Sentosa Island: A popular island resort known for its beaches, theme parks, and attractions
Chinatown: Vibrant district rich in history and culture, especially lively during Chinese New Year
The Merlion: Iconic statue symbolizing Singapore’s origins as a fishing village
Famous Food DishesHainanese Chicken Rice: Considered Singapore’s national dish, featuring poached chicken and seasoned rice
Chilli Crab: A seafood dish where crab is stir-fried in a sweet and spicy tomato-based sauce
Laksa: Spicy noodle soup blended with coconut milk and curry soup base
Bak Kut Teh: A herbal soup consisting of pork ribs simmered in a broth of herbs and spices
Related FestivalsMid-Autumn Festival: Celebrated with mooncakes and lanterns, emphasizing reunion
Qing Ming Festival: A traditional Chinese festival for tomb-sweeping and paying respects to ancestors
Dragon Boat Festival: Marked by dragon boat races and eating zongzi (rice dumplings)

Chinese New Year Celebrations in Chinatown

Experience the vibrant festivities of the Chinese New Year in the heart of Singapore’s Chinatown. This iconic district comes alive with an array of colourful decorations and lanterns, creating a festive atmosphere that immerses you in the spirit of the celebration. Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebration is a can’t-miss event that offers a variety of exciting activities and experiences for locals and tourists alike.

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One of the highlights of the celebration is the countdown party, where visitors gather at the stroke of midnight to welcome the Lunar New Year with joy and anticipation. The atmosphere is electric as fireworks light up the night sky, marking the beginning of a prosperous year ahead.

During the festival, festive fairs line the streets, showcasing a wide range of traditional food, crafts, and merchandise. It’s the perfect opportunity to sample delicious treats, shop for unique souvenirs, and soak in the vibrant energy of the festival.

Stage shows featuring traditional Chinese performances captivate audiences with their mesmerizing dances, music, and acrobatics. These cultural showcases allow you to experience the rich heritage of Chinese traditions and entertainment.

The lion dance competition is another highlight of the Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebration. Teams from different lion dance troupes showcase their skill, agility, and precision as they perform intricate routines that wow the crowd. The lion dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune for the coming year, making it an integral part of the festivities.

As you explore the bustling streets of Chinatown, you’ll find an array of markets offering festive decorations and goodies. It’s a great opportunity to purchase auspicious items to bring luck and prosperity into your life.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant Chinese New Year celebrations in Chinatown and create lasting memories of this joyous festival.

Chingay Parade

The Chingay Parade is one of the most highly anticipated Chinese New Year events in Singapore. It is a grand and spectacular street parade that showcases the vibrant multiculturalism of the country. The parade, which takes place during the Lunar New Year festivities, is known for its elaborate floats, mesmerizing performances, and cultural displays from various ethnic communities.

This annual event attracts thousands of locals and tourists who want to witness the energy and magnificence of the Chingay Parade. The theme for the 2024 parade is ‘Blossom,’ symbolizing the growth and prosperity of both individuals and communities during the new year. It promises to be a feast for the senses, with dazzling costumes, captivating music, and breathtaking choreography.

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The Chingay Parade not only celebrates Chinese New Year but also serves as a platform to showcase the unity and diversity of Singapore. It brings together people from different cultures, backgrounds, and traditions, promoting harmony and understanding among all Singaporeans.

This year, the Chingay Parade promises to be an unforgettable experience, filled with excitement, joy, and cultural richness. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to witness this grand spectacle and immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of the parade.

Key Highlights of the Chingay Parade

  • Elaborate floats representing different cultural traditions
  • Mesmerizing performances by local and international artists
  • Cultural displays showcasing the diversity of Singapore
  • Spectacular fireworks and pyrotechnics
  • Interactive activities for visitors of all ages

Marina Bay’s The Legend of the Dragon Gate

Immerse yourself in the enchanting tale of the mythical Dragon King at Marina Bay’s ‘The Legend of the Dragon Gate’. This mesmerizing drone light show takes place at the picturesque Marina Bay waterfront, creating a captivating spectacle for all to witness.

The Legend of the Dragon Gate features a stunning display of 1,500 drones illuminating the night sky, bringing to life the legends and traditions associated with Chinese New Year. Drawing inspiration from the ancient tale of the dragon gate, where carp swimming upstream and leaping through a mystical gate are believed to transform into powerful dragons, this light show is a visual feast for the senses.

As the drones hover and twirl above the cityscape, the story unfolds, symbolizing themes of family, reunions, and perseverance. The Legend of the Dragon Gate embodies the essence of Chinese New Year traditions in Singapore, evoking a sense of awe and wonder among its spectators.

Be captivated by the vibrant colors, breathtaking formations, and intricate choreography of the drones, making each moment a truly unforgettable experience. The light show serves as a symbol of good luck and prosperity, ushering in the Year of the Dragon with a sense of magic and wonder.

Key FeaturesDetails
Event NameThe Legend of the Dragon Gate
LocationMarina Bay Waterfront
Show DurationApproximately 15 minutes
Number of Drones1,500
ThemesFamily, reunions, perseverance
SymbolismGood luck and prosperity

Gardens by the Bay’s Dahlia Dreams

Gardens by the Bay presents Dahlia Dreams, an annual Chinese New Year floral display. Immerse yourself in a breathtaking showcase of vibrant dahlias and intricate dragon sculptures, symbolizing courage and greatness for the year ahead. As you wander through the garden, marvel at the mesmerizing dragon lantern sets and the enchanting scene of carp leaping over the dragon gate, inviting prosperity and good fortune.

Dragon Sculpture:A majestic 7-meter-tall dragon sculpture made from hardwood and recycled steel.
Dragon Lantern Sets:Vibrant dragon lantern sets illuminating the garden.
Dragon Gate Scene:An enchanting display depicting carps leaping over the dragon gate for prosperity and good fortune.

Step into a world of floral fantasy and cultural symbolism at Dahlia Dreams, where traditional beauty meets contemporary artistry.

River Hongbao

Experience the grandeur of Chinese New Year celebrations at River Hongbao, a cultural extravaganza held at the SuperTree Grove in Singapore. This annual event showcases the vibrant traditions and festivities associated with the Lunar New Year. Immerse yourself in the dazzling atmosphere as you explore the various attractions, performances, and delicacies.

Marvel at the majestic dragon displays that adorn the event, symbolizing prosperity and good fortune. These intricately crafted dragons are a sight to behold, captivating visitors with their vibrant colours and intricate details. These mythical creatures represent strength and power, and their presence adds to the festive ambience of River Hongbao.

Indulge in the delectable flavours of Asia at the food street, where an array of culinary delights awaits. From mouthwatering local delicacies to international favourites, there is something to satisfy every palate. Take a stroll and savour the aroma of fragrant dishes, immersing yourself in the rich culinary heritage of Singapore.

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The amusement rides at River Hongbao entertain visitors of all ages. From thrilling roller coasters to gentle carousels, there are attractions to suit every preference. Experience the thrill and excitement as you take a ride and create lasting memories with your loved ones.

Each night, the highlight of River Hongbao takes centre stage, a spectacular firecracker show. As darkness falls, witness the sky light up with a brilliant display of fireworks, illuminating the surroundings with a kaleidoscope of colours. The fireworks symbolize good luck, warding off evil spirits and ushering in a prosperous year ahead.

Stage Performances

The stage performances at River Hongbao capture the essence of Chinese New Year traditions. Enjoy nightly shows that showcase local talents, including getai (a form of Hokkien opera) and mesmerizing performances of traditional folk songs. The performances serve as a reminder of the cultural significance of Chinese New Year and celebrate the diverse artistic heritage of Singapore.

January 25, 2024Getai Night
January 26, 2024Traditional Chinese Music Showcase
January 27, 2024Chinese Opera Performance
January 28, 2024Acrobatic Spectacular
January 29, 2024Lion Dance Extravaganza

Join us at River Hongbao and immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural festivities of Chinese New Year. Experience the enchanting spirit of the Lunar New Year amidst breathtaking displays, tantalizing flavors, and captivating performances. Celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Dragon in Singapore and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Starlit Dragon Spectacular at Resorts World Sentosa

Immerse yourself in the dazzling Starlit Dragon Spectacular at Resorts World Sentosa, a mesmerizing performance that brings the spirit of the Lunar New Year to life. This breathtaking show features a giant LED dragon that takes centre stage, captivating the audience with its dynamic movements and brilliant display.

The Starlit Dragon Spectacular is a must-see attraction during the spring festival in Singapore. The show begins with an exciting drum performance, setting the stage for the grand entrance of an 88-meter-long LED dragon. As it gracefully moves across the stage, the dragon blesses the crowd with peace and prosperity, symbolizing good fortune for the year ahead.

This starlit extravaganza showcases the five elements of earth, water, fire, air, and spirit, creating a harmonious blend of energy and symbolism. Each element is represented through stunning visual effects and captivating storytelling, transporting you to a world of wonder and enchantment.

Be captivated by the vibrant colors, the pulsating music, and the awe-inspiring spectacle of the Starlit Dragon Spectacular. It is a celebration of tradition, culture, and the majestic Year of the Dragon.

Experience the Starlit Dragon Spectacular only at Resorts World Sentosa, where the magic of the Lunar New Year comes alive.

Chinese New Year Singapore 2024

In 2024, Chinese New Year falls on February 10th, initiating the Year of the Wood Dragon according to the Chinese zodiac. This celebration is deeply rooted in centuries-old customs and traditions, symbolizing the commencement of a new year filled with hope, prosperity, and happiness.

Singapore, with its rich multicultural heritage, hosts an array of vibrant events and activities to celebrate Chinese New Year, reflecting the city-state’s deep cultural ties to this festival. Key highlights for the 2024 celebrations in Singapore include:

  • River Hongbao 2024: This is Singapore’s largest annual Chinese New Year event, taking place at Gardens by the Bay. The event in 2024 features a spectacular 140-meter-long lantern display, among other festivities, providing a visually stunning experience that blends tradition with modernity.
  • Chingay Parade: Held at the F1 Pit Building, this event is a dazzling parade showcasing a mix of floats, dancing, and performances, bringing the streets to life with its festive spirit and cultural showcase.
  • Chinatown Celebrations: Chinatown in Singapore transforms into a festive hub during Chinese New Year, with decorations, stalls, and activities that immerse visitors in the Lunar New Year’s atmosphere. It’s a place where tradition meets festivity, offering insights into Chinese heritage and customs.
  • River Hongbao Exhibition: A special feature in 2024, taking visitors on a historical journey through Chinatown’s past, enriching the festive experience with cultural and historical insights.

Interesting Facts About The Chinese New Year in Singapore

  • 🐉 Dragons are Everywhere: During Chinese New Year in Singapore, the dragon dance is a significant tradition, symbolizing power, wisdom, and wealth. Unlike the more globally recognized lion dance, dragon dances in Singapore can feature incredibly long dragons, sometimes requiring dozens of performers to operate, creating a mesmerizing spectacle through streets and public spaces.
  • 🍊 Mandarin Oranges: Exchanging pairs of mandarin oranges when visiting friends and family is a unique Singaporean Chinese New Year custom, symbolizing the exchange of good wishes and prosperity. This tradition is deeply ingrained and serves as a cultural gesture of respect and goodwill.
  • 🎆 Chingay Parade: Beyond traditional celebrations, Singapore hosts the Chingay Parade during Chinese New Year, one of the largest street performance and float parades in Asia. It showcases the island’s multicultural heritage, including Chinese, Malay, Indian, and other cultures, in a vibrant display of costumes, dances, and performances.
  • 🏮 River Hongbao: The River Hongbao festival is an iconic event in Singapore during Chinese New Year, featuring gigantic lanterns and elaborate light displays that illuminate the Marina Bay area. It combines traditional Chinese crafts with modern technology to create a dazzling experience, complete with food stalls, performances, and fireworks.
  • 🍜 Reunion Dinner Variations: While the reunion dinner is a common practice across Chinese communities, Singaporeans have their unique take, often incorporating dishes from various ethnic backgrounds such as Malay and Indian, reflecting the city’s multicultural makeup.
  • 🏠 Open House Concept: It is a practice among some Singaporean Chinese to host “open houses” during Chinese New Year, where friends, neighbours, and sometimes even the public are invited to visit and partake in the festive celebrations, promoting a sense of community and openness.
  • 🎁 Red Packet Digitalization: The tradition of giving red packets (Ang Bao) containing money is evolving in Singapore, with digital red packets becoming increasingly popular. This modern twist allows for electronic transfers, making the process more convenient and environmentally friendly.
  • 🍬 Unique Snacks: Singapore offers a variety of unique Chinese New Year snacks that blend Eastern and Western flavours, such as bak kwa (barbecued meat) flavoured with local spices, pineapple tarts, and even green tea-flavoured cookies, showcasing the city’s culinary innovation.
  • 🍃 Bamboo Forests: In some parts of Singapore, Chinese New Year is celebrated by walking through bamboo forests, believed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. This practice, though not widespread, reflects the blend of traditional beliefs and nature appreciation in the city’s festivities.
  • 🎶 Multilingual Greetings: In Singapore, it’s common to hear Chinese New Year greetings in multiple languages, including English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil, reflecting the island’s rich linguistic landscape. This multilingual practice emphasizes the inclusive spirit of the celebration in Singapore’s multicultural society.


Chinese New Year in Singapore is a vibrant and culturally significant celebration that offers a plethora of activities and events for both locals and visitors. From the lively festivities in Chinatown to the grand parades and mesmerizing light shows, there is no shortage of ways to revel in the festivities during this auspicious time.

The traditions of lion dances and firecrackers contribute to the festive atmosphere, filling the air with excitement and energy. The enchanting lantern festivals, with their beautiful displays and captivating glow, lend an ethereal ambiance to the city. These age-old customs and traditions are deeply rooted in the lunar calendar and are integral to the Chinese New Year experience in Singapore.

As the Year of the Dragon approaches, Singapore eagerly anticipates embracing this symbol of power, prosperity, and good fortune. The city is adorned with vibrant decorations and bustling with activities, showcasing the rich cultural heritage and traditions associated with Chinese New Year. It is a time of joy, family reunions, delicious feasts, and wishes for a prosperous year ahead.

Frequently Asked Questions

u003cstrongu003eWhat are the main events during Chinese New Year in Singapore?u003c/strongu003e

The Chingay Parade, known as Asia’s biggest street performance and float parade, highlights cultural diversity and colour. Another key event is the River HongBao, celebrated at Gardens by the Bay with lantern displays, performances, and food stalls.

u003cstrongu003eWhat traditions are observed during Chinese New Year in Singapore?u003c/strongu003e

Traditions include the giving of Hong Bao (red envelopes with money), reunion dinners, exchanging oranges for good luck, lion dances for prosperity, eating sweets for a sweet year ahead, thorough spring cleaning for a fresh start, and decorating homes with auspicious symbols

u003cstrongu003eWhat foods are traditionally eaten during Chinese New Year in Singapore?u003c/strongu003e

Traditional foods include Yusheng or Lo Hei (a raw fish salad symbolizing prosperity), steamboat or hot pot (symbolizing family reunion), Chinese banquets featuring dishes like abalone and fatt choy, whole fish for prosperity, Bak Kwa (barbecued meat), and pineapple tarts symbolizing wealth.

u003cstrongu003eHow is Chinese New Year celebrated in Singapore’s public spaces?u003c/strongu003e

In public spaces like Chinatown, the festive atmosphere is marked by beautifully designed lanterns and decorations. The official light-up opening ceremony, weekly stage shows, bustling fairs, and vendors selling traditional snacks and goods are central to the celebrations.

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