12-minute fireworks and interactive exhibition on a junk boat among highlights of River Hongbao 2019

Mr Ang Wei Neng (in the middle), chairman of the River Hongbao organising committee, said River Hongbao 2019 is expected to draw more than a million attendees.
Mr Ang Wei Neng (in the middle), chairman of the River Hongbao organising committee, said River Hongbao 2019 is expected to draw more than a million attendees.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO
Artist impression of the giant God of Fortune that will feature in River Hongbao 2019.
Artist impression of the giant God of Fortune that will feature in River Hongbao 2019.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

SINGAPORE - Firework displays by award-winning artists from Australia, China, Italy and the United States will light up the Singapore skyline at this year's River Hongbao.

These special 12-minute firework displays - the longest ever at the annual Chinese New Year festival - will take place on four nights, with each night's display planned by a different country and featuring a different theme.

The international teams have track records of performing over San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, as well as at the Beijing and London Olympics.

The 33rd edition of the River Hongbao will also be the bicentennial edition.

"We have pulled out all the stops to make it a stand-out celebration," said Mr Ang Wei Neng, chairman of the River Hongbao organising committee.

Mr Ang, also an MP for Jurong GRC, said River Hongbao 2019 is the first major event of the year in Singapore and is expected to draw more than a million people. 

River Hongbao, which  has been part of Singapore’s Chinese New Year festivities since 1987,  last year  drew 1.45 million visitors and had fireworks displays each lasting about three minutes.

"It is an opportunity for Singaporeans of all ages to enjoy the majestic fireworks, have fun with the exhibits and interact with fellow visitors through technology and social media," he said.

The festival's firework displays are sponsored by DBS, Singapore Press Holdings and the Kuan Yin Thong Hood Cho Temple, among others.

 
 

Organisers said the festival will remain deeply anchored in heritage while integrating technology-inspired features to engage visitors.

One highlight this year is an interactive exhibition in a junk boat, which showcases 700 years of Singapore's history.

The exhibition, curated by the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall and the Singapore Bicentennial Office, also features a three-minute animation that chronicles Singapore's history from 1820 to 1920 in colourful detail.

Visitors can also expect perennial favourites like the zodiac animal lanterns and a giant God of Fortune lantern, as well as new features like a wishing well in the shape of Suntec City's Fountain of Wealth.

The festival has integrated some new "Insta-worthy" elements this year, including a majestic dragon forming the shape of the numbers "200" at the main entrance. Also on show will be a lantern inspired by paintings on Chinese scrolls, featuring the Unesco-listed Singapore Botanic Gardens and scenes from the founding of modern Singapore.

River Hongbao 2019 will be held from 2pm to 11pm daily from Feb 3 to Feb 10 at The Float @ Marina Bay. Opening hours will be extended to 1am on Chinese New Year's Eve on Feb 4. Admission to the festival is free of charge.