720 'lions' power their way into record book


Marina Bay had the lion's share of record-setting feats yesterday evening.

A new record for the largest mass lion dance display was set in the Singapore Book of Records when 720 such "lions" assembled to celebrate racial and religious harmony.

Despite the rain, thousands turned up for the three-hour event at The Float@Marina Bay to celebrate harmony in the nation's bicentennial year.

A second record was set when the eyes of 600 of the lions were dotted to "awaken" them, making this the largest such ceremony.

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, who was the guest of honour, was among those who helped to dot the eyes.

The lions symbolised the 720 years since 1299, the year Srivijayan prince Sang Nila Utama was said to have discovered the island Temasek and renamed it Singapura, Sanskrit for Lion City, after he saw what he thought was a lion.

Yesterday's event included an interfaith prayer for Singapore's continued peace and prosperity, led by leaders from the Inter-Religious Organisation.

The event, Peace And Prosperity Singapura 2019, was organised by Tao One, a Taoist non-profit organisation, and involved more than 5,000 participants and volunteers from grassroots groups and sponsors. 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 22, 2019, with the headline '720 'lions' power their way into record book'. Subscribe