SINGAPORE - Commuters will be able to get into the Chingay spirit when they board one of 20 public buses which are decked out like floats from Chingay parades in previous years.
The buses are also brightly decorated inside and filled with QR codes which people can scan to watch videos of performers, volunteers, audiences and crew members from previous Chingay parades recounting their experiences.
The vehicles will ply the road in areas like Little India, Chinatown, Geylang Serai and the civic district till March 27. They will feature 14 designs, including one designed by local artist Sam Lo and commissioned for this year's 50th anniversary of the Chingay parade.
At the launch of the Chingay50 buses on Tuesday morning (Jan 25) at Seletar Bus Depot, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong, who is deputy chairman of the People's Association (PA), said: "It's part of life every year that we have a Chingay parade. It's hard to believe it's now been 50 years since the procession first plied our streets. It started off as a street procession, and gradually became a big part of how we celebrate New Year's, and also brought in cultural vibrancy."
He added: "Not many people are able to see the procession in the same way as in the past. So by having the reimagined floats on different bus routes, more people can see and be on the floats. This will help to bring people closer to the festivity."
On how PA came up with the idea of the reimagined bus floats, Ms Tan Swee Leng, director of arts and culture in PA, said: "Some people will remember waiting along the streets to catch a glimpse of Chingay floats coming down their way where they (live). We wanted to replicate that as part of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary, but at the same time do it in a safe manner (during the pandemic)."
"At the end of the day, (Chingay) is really about bringing people together and celebrating our people, our culture and our heritage. It's important that we keep this uniquely Singaporean tradition going, because it has been built over 50 years by generations and generations," she added.
Secretary Adeline Ng, 56, who commutes to work, said she is looking forward to seeing the designs.
"Usually I don't notice designs on the bus. It will be nice to have different decorations, especially in time for the Chinese New Year. It will bring a festive mood."