SINGAPORE - New Year's Eve used to be the night when people in Singapore and elsewhere bid goodbye to the past year and welcome the new year with a bang.
But times have changed amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
There will be no Marina Bay Countdown firework display for the second year running, and the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) has strongly urged people to "avoid crowded places and enjoy the New Year's Eve celebration from home".
But this New Year's Eve can still be a night to remember. Here are four ways to ring in the new year.
1. Celebrations in the heartland
Although the firework display at Marina Bay has been scuppered again by Covid-19, the People's Association of Singapore (PA) has organised smaller firework displays to be set off in the heartland at the first strike of 2022.
You can watch these multi-coloured delights from the comfort of your home if you live in these locations: Bedok, Bishan, Boon Lay, Buona Vista, Chua Chu Kang, Hougang, Kembangan-Chai Chee, Sembawang, Tampines and Woodlands.
Beyond the pyrotechnic displays in the heartland, PA's Grassroots Organisations (GROs) will also be organising 15 virtual year-end countdown community programmes to connect residents in a safe way and as a community.
Highlights of these programmes range from musical skits, comedy shows, and singing and dance performances, to games and quizzes.
Find out more about your neighbourhood's virtual celebrations by visiting the Facebook pages of the GRCs you live in.
2. Marina Bay light show
Even without fireworks, the show must go on at the Marina Bay precinct - the nation's favourite location for countdown events since 2005.
In place of the iconic fireworks, the Marina Bay light show, which made its debut in 2020, will take centre stage on New Year's Eve.
Shine A Light, which features 60 moving beams of light mounted on the floor of The Promontory, has taken place nightly since Dec 1 and will end on Dec 31 with an extended time of 8pm to 11.45pm.
In addition to Shine A Light, people at the location can also enjoy another light projection show called Share The Moment, which transforms the facades of The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, the ArtScience Museum and the Merlion, with original artworks by local students.
They can also take a stroll along the waterfront promenade to enjoy other light installations while waiting for 2022 to arrive.
3. Free live-streamed symphony performance
Classical music lovers are in luck this New Year's Eve - the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Singapore has scheduled a free live streaming of Beethoven's 9th Symphony for everyone to enjoy.
The symphony, including its famous fourth movement Ode To Joy, will be performed live by the Bamberg Symphony orchestra, led by Singaporean conductor Wong Kah Chun (or Kahchun Wong, as he is known internationally).
4. Free music performances at Esplanade Outdoor Theatre
Enjoy free live performances by Singaporean rising stars at Tonight With WOKFUNK: Class Of 2022, a music show at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre.
Three shows are scheduled at 7pm, 8.30pm and 10pm with seats going on a first-come-first-served basis for audiences to enjoy music ranging from pop to funk against the backdrop of the city skyline.
Do note that all attendees must be either fully vaccinated or have a negative pre-event Testing (PET) result.
The PET must be done at Ministry of Health-approved test providers or at quick test centres within 24 hours before the end of the performance. On-site PET will not be available at Esplanade for this event.