SINGAPORE - The Chingay parade is an annual street procession to mark Chinese New Year. This year's is themed: We love SG. It is one of the key events lined up to mark Singapore's golden jubilee. The main show for the two days - Feb 27 and 28 - will be held at the F1 Pit Building.
What's different this year:
1. Highest number of international performers in its 43-year history
It will feature 1,000 performers from overseas, including a warrior dance troupe from Rwanda and 40 young people from the Stamford American International School, who will put up a song and dance item. Troupes from Turkey and Thailand have even specially choreographed dances for Singapore's 50th birthday. In total, 19 cultural troupes from 15 countries and regions will take part in this year's parade.
2. The biggest and youngest Chingay yet
Half of its 15,000 volunteers and performers this year are aged 35 and below. Last year, it had 10,000 participants and a smaller proportion - about 40 per cent - were under 35. Many of the young performers are from schools and groups such as the People's Association.
3. Street carnival at Orchard Road
Chingay returns to the shopping street for the first time since 2007 with a street carnival on the evening of March 1. Visitors will be able to mingle with 2,000 local and international performers, and take photographs of themselves while standing on one of 13 floats on display. They can also sing along to familiar National Day tunes such as Chan Mali Chan, Di Tanjong Katong, and Home alongside 2,000 community singers.
4. Homegrown singer JJ Lin performs finale song
At the parade's grand finale, the singer, whose real name is Lin Jun Jie, will perform a song titled Dreams. It was jointly composed by him and music director Goh Kheng Long, and the lyrics were written by singer-songwriter Corrinne May.
5. "We Love SG" flowers
Some 100,000 flowers made from recycled plastic bags will be given out to visitors during the Chingay street carnival for them to exchange among one another, as an expression of good wishes for Singapore's jubilee year.
6. Trees of Hope
The F1 Pit area will be decorated with 150 tree structures, designed to make the area look like an enchanted forest. These "trees of hope" will be adorned with messages by Singaporeans on their hopes and dreams for the country, which they submitted via a mobile app and the Chingay website.