Chinatown came alive yesterday with bright lanterns in the shapes of monkeys, peaches, spring blossoms and gold zodiac coins, to usher in the Year of the Monkey.
The Chinatown Chinese New Year celebrations opened yesterday with an official light-uplaunched by President Tony Tan Keng Yam, Jalan Besar GRC MP Lily Neo and others.
Firecrackers also went off from the rooftop of People's Park Complex, to cheers from crowds below.
This year's light-up features 2,668 handcrafted lanterns, including a 12m lantern in the shape of a peach tree along the centre divider between Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road.
The Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens' Consultative Committee had designed the street decorations with help from six students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design.
Crowds gathered to watch various acts such as a lion dance, acrobatic shows and drum performances by local and foreign troupes.
As part of the celebrations, about 1,000 residents from underprivileged and needy families in the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng constituency will celebrate Chinese New Year in a mass reunion dinner on Jan 31. This year, for the first time, a Harmony Night, which brings together people of various ethnic, religious and dialect groups, will be held.
"We look forward to organising more of such events to promote closer bonding in the community," Dr Neo said.