Celebrate Chinese New Year - and SG50 - at River Hongbao 2015

Artist impressions of next month's River Hongbao being displayed at a press conference for the event held on Jan 29, 2015. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Artist impressions of next month's River Hongbao being displayed at a press conference for the event held on Jan 29, 2015. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Artist impressions of next month's River Hongbao being displayed at a press conference for the event held on Jan 29, 2015. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Artist impressions of next month's River Hongbao being displayed at a press conference for the event held on Jan 29, 2015. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Artist impressions of next month's River Hongbao being displayed at a press conference for the event held on Jan 29, 2015. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Artist impressions of next month's River Hongbao being displayed at a press conference for the event held on Jan 29, 2015. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Artist impressions of next month's River Hongbao being displayed at a press conference for the event held on Jan 29, 2015. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Artist impressions of next month's River Hongbao being displayed at a press conference for the event held on Jan 29, 2015. -- PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
An artist's impression of a 50m-long mural illustrating the Singapore skyline, one of the highlights of next month's River Hongbao. -- PHOTO: RIVER HONGBAO 2015
An artist's impression of a 50m-long mural illustrating the Singapore skyline, one of the highlights of next month's River Hongbao. -- PHOTO: RIVER HONGBAO 2015
An artist's impression of next month's River Hongbao, showing the overall view of the event at The Float @ Marina Bay. -- PHOTO: RIVER HONGBAO 2015
An artist's impression of next month's River Hongbao, showing the overall view of the event at The Float @ Marina Bay. -- PHOTO: RIVER HONGBAO 2015

SINGAPORE - Next month's River Hongbao promises to be the biggest in its 29-year history, as it celebrates not just the Chinese New Year but also Singapore's Jubilee year.

Here are some of the highlights you can look forward to at the 12-day carnival - from Feb 17 to 28 - at The Float @ Marina Bay. Admission is free.

TIGHTROPE-WALKING: For the first six days of the carnival, two members of the Acrobatic Troupe of Xinjiang China, Adili Wuxor and Abulaiti-Maijun, will perform stunts on a 60m-long tightrope, at least 20m off the ground. They hold several world records for tightrope-related stunts.

LANTERNS: More than 60 handcrafted lantern displays will be showcased, including familiar characters such as an 18m-tall God of Fortune and the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

There will also be several SG50-themed lanterns, featuring familiar Singapore icons such as the dragon playground and the New World Amusement Park from the 1920s.

PHOTO EXHIBITION: Find out how Singaporeans celebrated past Chinese New Years through pictures.

Among the photos on display are those featuring Singapore pioneer Lim Boon Keng and his family having their reunion dinner as well as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong carrying his daughter to view the Chingay Parade at Orchard Road many years ago.

The photos have been curated by Chinese newspaper Lianhe Zaobao's editorial team. 

FOOD STREET: Chicken rice, hokkien mee and laksa will be among the local dishes to be sold at the street, which will have 60 local food stalls. Visitors can find out more about the origin of each dish from the panels on display. 

THEME NIGHTS: Different programmes have been lined up for each of the 12 nights. For example, visitors can sing along to popular television drama theme songs from yesteryear during Xinyao Night on Feb 23 and 24.

They can also watch performances from different ethnic groups on Harmony Night on Feb 28. Other themes include Family Night, Getai Night and Youth Night.

FIREWORKS: There will be two displays: one during the light-up ceremony at 8pm on Feb 17 and another during the Chinese New Year countdown on Feb 18, at midnight.

mellinjm@sph.com.sg