As the year of the Rabbit draws to a close, River Hongbao prepares to welcome the Year of the Dragon with the biggest New Year Carnival in Singapore at The Float @ Marina Bay! From 21st to 29th January 2012, The Float will be turned into a wonderland of culture, food, lights and entertainment daily from 12 noon to 11.30pm (On Chinese New Year’s Eve 22 January 2012, from 12 noon till 1am).
With 25 years of success, next year’s River Hongbao aims for even greater heights, focusing on Fun, Culture and Heritage. Visitors will get to learn more about Chinese culture and heritage while engaging in fun-filled activities throughout the River Hongbao site.
River Hongbao will be collaborating with the Culture Department of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region for the very first time, bringing the region’s specialties in food, dance, song and handicraft to River Hongbao visitors. Performers from the region’s ethnic minorities will entertain the audience with many song and dance items native to their individual tribes as well as excerpts adapted from the highly acclaimed movie Liu San Jie (刘三姐). Visitors will also have the opportunity to view traditional handicraft exhibits and get first hand experiences with live cultural demonstrations like caramel painting, paper cutting, rice carving and many more!
Possibly the largest lantern display in Southeast Asia, River Hongbao 2012 will see more than 60 exquisitely designed lanterns on display, adding to the spectacular view of the Marina Bay. Handcrafted by Chengdu craftsmen, this year will see a myriad of materials used and the marriage of traditional design with technical effects, creating livelier and more vibrant designs to bring the Float to life with lights, movement and sound.
Chinese New Year is all about auspicious tidings and good luck, which makes the God of Wealth, deemed as the patron of wealth and prosperity, an integral part of River Hongbao. This year, River Hongbao welcomes the Martial God of Wealth as the main highlight of the lantern display. According to traditional belief, the Martial God of Wealth is a symbol used in boosting economy and bringing wealth and prosperity to businessmen. An expert in geomancy has also advised that placing the Martial God of Wealth at the Bay area this year will help in stabilize Singapore’s position in the recently tumultuous global economy.
With more than 40 stalls, this year’s River Hongbao Food Street will be the biggest ever set up and aims to tantalize visitors’ taste buds with 70 varieties of New Year goodies and local hawker favourites like Hainanese Chicken Rice, Nasi Lemak, Roti Prata and many more. Other than local fare, visitors will also have the rare opportunity to sample Guangxi local specialties specially prepared by Guangxi chefs like Guilin Rice Noodles （桂林米粉）, Bamboo Rice （竹筒饭）and Yu Lin Meatballs （玉林肉蛋）.
River Hongbao will also be collaborating with At-Sunrice Globalchef Academy for the very first time, inviting their students to create and market a special Nian Gao （Chinese New Year Sticky Rice Cake年糕）, only available for sale at River Hongbao. More details of this culinary showcase will be unveiled in future press conferences.
Expect a more ‘youthful’ River Hongbao as the committee plans for more youth involvement. Students will be invited to train as tour guides of River Hongbao’s ‘History of Chinese Education in Singapore’ Exhibition as well as to visit the Exhibition as part of their Chinese cultural curriculum, organize Lantern Riddles Contest and also get the chance to perform nightly on the River Hongbao stage. Online quizzes, of which answers can only be found at River Hongbao site, will also be hosted via River Hongbao’s website (www.riverhongbao.sg) and Facebook Page to pique their interest.
Nine nights of festivities, nine nights of exciting performances to wow the audience! With Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gracing the event as the Guest-of-Honour, River Hongbao will open on 21st January with a wonderful fireworks display as well as performances by Guangxi Performing Group and Taiwanese Singer Zhang Xiu Qing（张秀卿）.
On 22nd January, President Tony Tan will be ushering in the Year of the Dragon with another spectacular fireworks display followed by exciting performances by Guangxi, Zhang Xiu Qing as well as our very own local performing groups, artistes and students!
From 26th to 29th January, our local talents like Liu Ling Ling, Huang Qing Yuan, Li Pei Fen, Wang Lei, Chen Jian Bin will be hosting Local Talent night (26th January), performers from the Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines will entertain the masses on SCCCI Night (27th January), student groups will take center stage with
their dynamic performances on Youth Night (28th January) and performers from all different ethnic groups will come together in a grand finale to wrap up River Hong Bao on Harmony Night (29th January).