River Hongbao 2018 (RHB2018), an eleven-day extravaganza of lights, sights and sounds to usher in the Year of the Dog, will be held at The Float @ Marina Bay from 14 to 24 February 2018. Jointly organised by Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations, Singapore Press Holdings, Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Singapore Tourism Board and People’s Association, River Hongbao has been an integral part of our Lunar New Year celebrations since 1987.
Thematic Lanterns to Tell the Story of Home
Themed “An Endearing Home for One and All”, RHB2018 portrays how Singapore built an endearing and inclusive society, while also paying tribute to the philanthropic spirit of our pioneers through thematic lantern displays.
This year’s lantern displays centre on the theme “Home”. The Main Entrance Arch features facades of shophouses in Art Deco and Straits-Chinese architectural styles with a fusion of modern and traditional elements. The largest display set “Prosperous Nation, Flourishing People” draws inspiration from Singapore’s skyline and showcases our aspiration for Singapore to continue to prosper and flourish in the New Year, and also for our people to enjoy both good health and wealth. Another lantern showcase pays tribute to the “Remaking Our Heartland” initiative to renew and develop existing estates, to ensure sustainability and vibrancy of our heartlands.
The lantern displays also seeks to feature the importance of our traditional values. The “Hao Cai Tou” Lantern Set is an adaption of popular Chinese nursery rhyme “Pull the Carrot”, highlighting the importance of family cohesion and unity. Various lantern sets also features different breed of dogs, man’s brave and loyal friend, to express that pets are also part of our endearing homes.
Some of the lantern displays such as “Hao Cai Tou” and “Zhen Cheng” also contain interactive elements. “Hao Cai Tou” features a photo op platform where visitors can participant in “pulling out carrots”. The “Zhen Cheng” display has 2 pairs of stationary bicycles for the visitors to pedal. These bikes convert human mechanical energy to generate electrical power to light up 2 LED scrolls with Chinese New Year greetings.
“My Home, My New Year” – An Experiential Journey
“My Home, My New Year” Exhibition is an experiential time travel which allows visitors to experience how Singaporeans celebrate Chinese New Year over the years. Spanning across three time zones, the exhibition surrounds the life story of fictional character Tan Chun Sheng and describes how his family celebrated Chinese New Year during post-independence period between 1960s to 1970s, economic bloom period in the 1980s to 1990s and 21st century knowledge-based period.
This exhibition is jointly planned by Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, Catholic High School and St. Nicholas Girls’ School. Using objects, photographs, videos and oral history, the exhibition hopes to capture memories of how Singaporeans celebrate Chinese New Year over the years and hopes that visitors will have deeper insights to some of our unique culture and traditions.
Giving Back to Build a Better Home
This year’s wishing well is conceptualised based on the Tan Kim Seng Fountain which was erected to commemorate Tan Kim Seng’s generous contributions towards the improvement of public waterworks. Tan had donated a sum of $13,000 for the construction of Singapore’s first reservoir and waterworks to channel water supply from MacRitchie Reservior to city area. Besides remembering the contributions of pioneers like Tan Kim Seng, the wishing well is also an embodiment of the philanthropic spirit of our pioneers. The flowing water in the fountain symbolises the passing on of this philanthropic spirit to our younger generations with the hope that generations of Singaporeans will always give back to build a better home for one and all.
Other Highlights and Fringe Activities
Visitors can look forward to thematic performances every night. The first five nights (14 – 18 Feb) will feature performances by overseas troupes Anhui Chuzhou Performing Arts Group (安徽滁州演艺集团) and National Taiwan University of Physical Education and Sports (台湾体育运动大学舞蹈系). Visitors can look forward to performance by Local and Malaysian Getai singers (19 & 20 Feb), performances by various schools and youth groups (21 Feb), multi-ethnic and multi-cultural groups (22 Feb).
On 23 & 24 February, RHB 2018 will lead the audience in a “parade dance” to showcase our unity as a nation. On the same nights, the Chingay parade will join hands with RHB 2018 to put up a cultural spectacular for the audience.
On 24 February, to commemorate the Year of the Dog, RHB 2018 is also collaborating with Oasis Second Chance Animal Shelter and Exclusively Mongrels to organise a Lunar Pets Walkathon. The Lunar Pets Walkathon will raise funds for the two animal welfare groups to support their on-going work in the care and rehoming of stray dogs. The event will also attempt to break the Singapore Book of Records for the largest “Pet Walk” in Singapore.
RHB2018 highlights also include 11nights of synchronized fireworks, more than 30 exciting rides and game booths, traditional Chinese art & craft, food street and interactive fringe activities. RHB 2018 will be a fun-filled carnival for the whole family to enjoy during this Lunar New Year.
The River Hongbao 2018 Opening Ceremony on 14 February (Wednesday) will be graced by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, to mark the commencement of 11 days of joyous festivities to usher in the Year of the Dog.