How lucky are we in Singers? We get to ring in not one, but two new years, and benefit from all the revelry (and time off work!) that goes hand in hand with a big holiday. Not only that, but it’s Singapore’s 50th anniversary this year, which means a celebration like no other for the upcoming Year of The Sheep! From festivals and parades packed with mouth-watering eats to kids’ workshops and more, it’s all here in our guide to Chinese New Year events!
Chinatown festive street bazaar & carnival
Immerse the family in traditional CNY culture by browsing Chinatown’s festive market stalls while tucking into tasty treats like egg rolls, bakkwa, pineapple tarts, dried fruits, sweets and more. From decorations to apparel, there’s plenty to stock up on at this year’s bazaar. Once you’ve finished pounding the pavement, head over to the fun-filled carnival for rides, games and more good times.
Festive street bazaar
When: 30 January-18 February, 6-10.30pm. 18 February 6pm-1am
Where: Pagoda Street, Smith Street, Sago Street, Temple Street and Trengganu Street
How much: Free!
When: 20 January-18 February, 11am-10.30pm
Where: Open Space in front of People’s Park Complex
How much: Free!
Chinatown light up
Designed by SUTD’s super talented students, this year’s sheep-themed display is an impressive exhibition of lights that merges traditional Chinese culture with modern design. So gather the little ones, head down to Chinatown and prepare to be mesmerised by this gorgeous contemporary display. Don’t forget to bring the camera, mama!
When: 31 January-19 March, Sun-Thurs 7pm-12 midnight, Fri & Sat 7pm-2am. 18 & 19 February 7pm-6am
Where: Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road, South Bridge Road and Garden Bridge, Chinatown, Singapore
How much: Free!
Chinatown walking trail
Learn more about Chinatown’s extensive and fascinating heritage by joining one of Chinatown’s free guided walking tours. The local guides will spark your curiosity about Chinatown’s history and culture while imparting their expertise on this year’s CNY theme, “Abundance of Joy and Prosperity”.
When: 14 & 15 February, 2-3.30pm & 5-6.30pm
Where: Meet at information booth in front of stage at Kreta Ayer Square
How much: Free! Spaces are limited, register by emailing [email protected]
Chinatown Wishing Trees
Make your wishes for the Year of the Sheep by visiting Chinatown’s wishing trees with the family. Buy a mandarin, write and attach your wish and throw it onto the lucky banyan tree. Tradition says that if your mandarin gets stuck in the tree, your wish will come true! All proceeds will go straight to the Kreta Ayer Seniors Activity Centre so you can rest assured you’re spreading plenty of good karma.
When: Now-18 February, 11am-9pm
Where: Chinatown Point, 133 New Bridge Road, Singapore 059413
How much: $2 donation
Having joined forces with SG50, this year’s “We Love SG”-themed Chingay Parade is set to be bigger and better than ever. With over 11,000 international street performers, from incredible dancers and acrobats to fire-eaters, lion dancers and more, the whole family will be amazed and enthralled by this spectacular street float parade. Make sure you don’t miss the “We Love SG Flowers” flower bed which has been lovingly created by community members from recycled plastic bags, and the illumination of 150 blossoming “Singapore Trees of Hope“, made out of recycled plastic bottles by some of the region’s best artists and different community groups.
When: 27-28 February, 8pm
Where: Promenade and F1 Pit Building, 1 Republic Boulevard, Singapore 038975
How much: $28.50-$60. Buy your tickets by clicking here!
Floral arrangement workshop
Little ones can have fun with flowers this upcoming CNY season by creating their own floral arrangements at the Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden. Time to liven up the house with fresh and colourful blooms.
When: 14 February, 10-11.30am
Where: Jacob Ballas Children’s Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens, 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569
How much: $30. Register by clicking here!
Gardens by the Bay
Taking inspiration from traditional Chinese brush landscapes, Gardens by the Bay are celebrating the Lunar New Year with stunning floral exhibitions and distressed wooden sculptures. Bring active little ones down to the Flower Dome where they can run wild through the goat-themed displays.
When: Now-8 March, 9am-9pm
Where: Flower Dome, Gardens By The Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953
How much: Kids $8, Adults $12
Boasting an impressive line up of traditional Chinese theatre, music and dance, this year’s Huayi Chinese Festival of the Arts is one to mark in your diary, mama! Encourage little ones to get down to the beat by signing up for the Parent-child Chinese drumming workshop and express their inner creativity by joining a free stamping art workshop or keychain-making class! For mums and dads, make sure you don’t miss the slightly more risqué “What is Sex” performance by the Edward Lam Dance Theatre.
When: 20 February-1 March
Where: The Esplanade Theatres by the Bay, 1 Esplanade Drive, Singapore 038981
How much: Mix of free and ticketed events. For full details and tickets, click here!
Port of Lost Wonder
POLW have upped the ante this Lunar New Year with plenty of exciting action for the whole family. From lion dance performances and arts ‘n crafts sessions to meet-and-greets with the God of Fortune, little ones are sure to have a blast running wild at Port of Lost Wonder this holiday season!
When: 16-22 February, 10am-6.30pm
Where: Port of Lost Wonder, Palawan Beach, 54 Palawan Beach Walk, Singapore 098233
How much: Weekdays $10, Weekends and public holidays $15.
River Hongbao Carnival
One of the city’s most iconic Lunar New Year celebrations, the River Hong Bao Carnival is a must-visit for the whole fam. Snap some pics with giant Chinese lanterns, take home traditional handicrafts such as Chinese calligraphy and paper cutting, tuck into mouth-watering eats, enjoy a plethora of street performances and delight in amusement rides and games with the little ones. Plus, the floating platform is a perfect spot to catch the city’s stunning fireworks display on 17 and 18 February.
When: 17-28 February, 2-11pm
Where: Marina Bay Floating Platform, 20 Raffles Avenue, Singapore 039805
How much: Free to attend!
Sentosa Spring Festival
Don’t fret if you’re not jetting off this CNY, make your way to Sentosa to enjoy an action-packed mini getaway at the Spring festival. Enjoy lion dancing, stunt performers, acrobats, live music and more while soaking up the sun, sand and surf! Be sure to find out what the Year of the Sheep has in store by having your Chinese Zodiac forecast by feng shui master Lilian Too.
When: 19-22 February, 11.30am-9.30pm
Where: Merlion Plaza to Beach Station, Sentosa, Singapore
How much: Free!
Get up close and personal with some furry friends and enjoy plenty of festive activities during Lunar New Year at the Singapore Zoo. Enjoy a Southern Lion dance show, meet the zoo’s prosperity mascots, hand-feed some of the zoo’s residents and snap a few pics with adorable baby goats. Make this holiday season one to remember!
When: 18-22 February, 8.30am-6pm
Where: Singapore Zoo, 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore 729826
How much: Kids $14.70 Adults $22.40
Gong Xi Fa Cai, mamas!