River Hongbao draws 1.4 million visitors

Fireworks at the final night of the River Hongbao celebrations on Feb 4, 2017.
Fireworks at the final night of the River Hongbao celebrations on Feb 4, 2017. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Attendees at the final night of the River Hongbao celebrations on Feb 4, 2017.
Attendees at the final night of the River Hongbao celebrations on Feb 4, 2017.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Attendees at the final night of the River Hongbao celebrations on Feb 4, 2017.
Attendees at the final night of the River Hongbao celebrations on Feb 4, 2017.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Attendees at the final night of the River Hongbao celebrations on Feb 4, 2017.
Attendees at the final night of the River Hongbao celebrations on Feb 4, 2017.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Dancers performing at the final night of the River Hongbao celebrations on Feb 4, 2017.
Dancers performing at the final night of the River Hongbao celebrations on Feb 4, 2017.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam was the guest-of-honour for the final night of the River Hongbao celebrations.
Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam was the guest-of-honour for the final night of the River Hongbao celebrations.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - This year's River Hongbao celebrations drew 1.45 million visitors after 10 days of festivities, a higher turnout compared to previous years.

Last year, there were 1.06 million visitors, while 2014's event attracted 1.23 million people. Figures for 2015 were not available.

On Saturday evening (Feb 4), Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam was the guest-of-honour for the final night of the event, themed Harmony Night.

Commenting on the significance of the theme, Mr Shanmugam told reporters that "harmony is a key fundamental for any society to succeed, and for people to live together to achieve their full potential... And for us to emphasise harmony, particularly in the context of our society, is extremely important."

He also took a tour through the event's lantern displays. There were more than 60 of them, including a main 53m-long, 13m-high lantern set piece bearing the image of a rooster, and upcoming local landscapes featuring Jewel Changi Airport and Punggol Eco-town.

Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Sun Xueling, who is chairman of River Hongbao 2017's organising committee, attributed the high visitorship numbers to the effort that was put into crafting the intricate lantern displays this year.

River Hongbao has been part of Singapore's Chinese New Year festivities since 1987. This year's edition featured daily fireworks, xinyao and getai songs by local artists, as well as performances by overseas troupes such as the acclaimed Chongqing Song and Dance Troupe.