River Hongbao 2013 welcomes the Year of the Snake at The Float@ Marina Bay from 8th to 16th February 2013. 2013 also marks the 27th consecutive year since River Hongbao was first held. Organized by Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA), Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SCCCI), Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and People’s Association (PA), this annual event has long since become an integral part of Singapore’s Chinese New Year celebrations, attracting locals and tourists to come forth and immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere which is open to public with free admission.This year, River Hongbao promises an even more vibrant atmosphere than before with larger-than-life lantern displays, intricate handicrafts, and crowd pleasing local delights and foreign delicacies from Guangdon at the largest outdoor Food Street in Singapore. Visitors to The Float will also be entertained by a myriad of activities from the Fringe activities happening throughout the grounds, amusement rides, carnival games to nightly Main Stage Shows featuring local performer and foreign talents performers all the way from China, Taiwan, Malaysia and our South East Asian neighbours like Malaysia and Indonesia!
As part of efforts to further cultural cooperation with Guangdong Province, River Hongbao will be partnering the Department of Culture and Department of Tourism of Guangdong Province to bring the region’s highlights to Singapore. Visitors to The Float will be entertained by the Guangdong Arts Troupe, which comprises of performers from the highly acclaimed Nanfang Song and Dance Company and acrobats from Shantou Acrobatic and Magic Troupe. Guangdong is also well known for its popular Cantonese cuisine so expect your tastebuds to be tantalized by the region’s delicacies available at the River Hongbao Food Street. Handicrafts from from different provinces of Guangdong like silk scarves from Shunde, Guangzhou bone and jade sculptures, Foshan paper cuttings and souvenirs from The Musuem of Dr Sun Yat Sen will also be available for visitors to bring a small piece of Guangdong back with them.
Lanterns are the biggest part of River Hongbao and this year, we aim to wow visitors again as the scale of lanterns reach new heights and lengths! Designed locally and handcrafted by China craftsmen, the Float will be lit up by the not to be missed 12 Zodiac lanterns, 18 meter tall God of Wealth. A major highlight which sets a first for River Hongbao will be 2 Giant Screen Lanterns measuring 30m long and 10m tall! Another first will be the constructing of a Chinese style bridge which will not only be a lantern display but also serve as a vantage point as visitors mount it to get a clearer view of the entire Float. Apart from these new innovations, visitors will also experience nostalgia with the Wayang inspired lantern piece which will feature lantern puppets as well as real life puppet shows at selected timings throughout the day.
Continuing with 2012’s success, River Hongbao’s Food Street will bring back last year’s winning local fare like Char Kway Teow, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Fried Hokkien Noodles, Satay Bee Hoon, Oyster Omelette, as well as Asian street favourites from Taiwan and Thailand. Guangdong chefs will also be flown in to entice palates with popular Guangdong delicacies like Grilled Quail’s Eggs, Soup Dumplings, Oysters steamed with garlic mince, Traditional double boiled soups and many more.
River Hongbao’s Light Up Ceremony announces the beginning of 9 continuous days of festivities on 8th February with a wonderful fireworks display and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gracing the event as the Guest-of-Honor. For the Countdown Night on 9th February, Minister for Prime Minister’s Office Mr Lim Swee Say, will join the crowds in the countdown to ushering in the Year of the Snake with another fireworks spectacular.Our local and foreign performers from Guangdong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and many more will entertain the crowds with music, song and dance at the Main Stage nightly.“Local Talent Night” on 13th February will feature our very local talents with focus on local compositions, while “Youth Night” on 14th February showcases up and coming young talents as well as student performers. “SFCCA Night” on 15th February will see clan associations take centrestage with both chinese and dialect performances! “Harmony Night” on 16th February brings together performers of different ethnic groups, old and new immigrant groups in a grand finale as River Hongbao wrap up yet another year of festivities.
This year, River Hongbao will work together with the Singapore Memory Project (SMP) to collect memories of Chinese New Year celebrations in Singapore. Visitors can share their memories of the festive traditions or past River Hongbao events at the Memory Collection Drive. For memories contributed, they will receive specially designed hongbao packets, while stocks last. These memories will enable future generations of Singaporeans to understand the collective journey of our nation and the different facets of Singapore. Members of the public can also submit photos and stories via singaporememory.sg or the SG Memory iOS App.