River Hongbao 2023” was held at Gardens by the Bay from 20 January 2023. Despite the continuous rain, there was still sustained interest by the public for the event with over 450,000 visitors over the 9-day duration of the event.

Guest of Honour, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Lawrence Wong commencing the light-up ceremony with Minister of Community, Culture and Youth and Second Minister for Law Edwin Tong (right).

There was a multitude of activities held on-site for visitors, with giant lanterns and dance performances by local performing arts groups, laser light shows, a special exhibition entitled “Greetings and Blessings: Chinese New Year Cards Then and Now”, a food street, and family-friendly play equipment.

In order to encourage more youths to participate in River Hongbao 2023, four winning teams from the RHBHacks 2023 entrepreneurship competition were invited to sell their creations at the event. As part of the competition which was organised by River Hongbao this year, teams had to create and market innovative and sustainable products, such as creating bags from scrap fabric. Not only that, this year’s Special Exhibition “Greetings and Blessings: Chinese New Year Cards Then and Now” saw students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Chinese Studies Programme providing free guided tours for the public, with students from NPS International School participating in the design of the electronic Chinese New Year Cards.

Minister for Health Ong Ye Kung with a winning team from the RHBHacks2023 entrepreneurship competition, Kapaw&Co

Student guides introducing the contents of the “Greetings and Blessings: Chinese New Year Cards Then and Now” Special Exhibition to Minister for Education Chan Chun Sing and SFCCA President Thomas Chua

The online activities organised by River Hongbao 2023 were also well-received, especially by youths. Online games like “Prosperity Trail” and “Bunny Tap” added festive elements and allowed the public to experience Chinese New Year culture in a different way. Other online programmes included livestreams of stage performances, virtual exhibitions, online lantern riddle guessing games, which totalled over 1.14 million clicks and views.

Contributing to the community is also one of the highlights of River Hongbao 2023. A charity drive held in collaboration with POSB successfully raised $50 000, which will go towards helping beneficiary families cope with living expenses and the pressures brought by inflation. Furthermore, donations towards the “Wishing Heart” wishing well will be donated in full to the Sree Narayana Mission (Singapore).

The “Wishing Heart” wishing well

Mr Thomas Chua, Chairman of the River Hongbao 2023 Organising Committee and President of Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations said, “River Hongbao has built a deep connection with Singaporeans, while also enjoying high levels of recognition overseas. With further relaxation of epidemic prevention measures and the return of crowds, we have invested greater effort and resources into the successful organisation of the event. In organising programmes, we aim to not only respect traditional customs but also pursue the values of diversity, inclusiveness, and innovation.”

With the support and cooperation of visitors and the various organising bodies, River Hongbao 2023 has successfully concluded its run. Thank you to everyone for their support, and we hope to see you next year!

About River Hongbao

Since its inception in 1987, the River Hongbao event jointly organised by Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations, Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Singapore Press Holdings Chinese Media Group, Singapore Tourism Board, and People’s Association has become an indispensable part of Singaporeans’ celebration of Chinese New Year.

For more information, please visit www.riverhongbao.sg and https://www.facebook.com/riverhongbaosg/.