Soak in CNY spirit at 11-day River Hongbao

This year's edition of River Hongbao will see 11 consecutive nights of fireworks and laser light shows from Feb 14 to 24. It will also feature its biggest exhibition yet - My Home, My New Year - which allows visitors to experience how Singaporeans ha
This year's edition of River Hongbao will see 11 consecutive nights of fireworks and laser light shows from Feb 14 to 24. It will also feature its biggest exhibition yet - My Home, My New Year - which allows visitors to experience how Singaporeans have celebrated Chinese New Year over the years.PHOTO: SINGAPORE FEDERATION OF CHINESE CLAN ASSOCIATIONS

Visitors to this year's River Hongbao at The Float@Marina Bay will get to enjoy fireworks and laser light shows on 11 consecutive nights, one more than last year.

From Feb 14 to 22, the pyrotechnics display will begin at 9pm nightly except on Feb 15, Chinese New Year's Eve, when it will go off at the end of a countdown to usher in the Year of the Dog. The timings for Feb 23 and 24 will be released nearer the event date, the River Hongbao 2018 Committee said.

The annual River Hongbao has been part of Chinese New Year festivities in Singapore since 1987, and this year's edition will run an extra day, from Feb 14 to 24.

The free event, which is expected to draw more than one million visitors, will be open from 2pm to 11pm daily. On Feb 15, the closing time will be extended until 1am.

River Hongbao will also stage its biggest exhibition yet. My Home, My New Year will follow the life of fictional character Chen Chunsheng across three periods - post-independence in the 1960s and 1970s, the economic boom in the 1980s and 1990s, and the 21st century. This is to allow visitors to experience how Singaporeans have celebrated Chinese New Year over the years.

River Hongbao 2018 chairman Cheng Li Hui, an MP for Tampines GRC, hopes the exhibition will encourage inter-generational bonding as grandparents "share personal stories (and) explain some of the Chinese New Year customs of their time to the younger generation".

Several huge lanterns will also go on display at River Hongbao.

The biggest set - called Prosperous Nation, Flourishing People - draws inspiration from Singapore's skyline and will be 50m long and 15m tall.

River Hongbao 2018 is organised by the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations, Singapore Press Holdings, Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Singapore Tourism Board and the People's Association.

Gracia Lee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2018, with the headline 'Soak in CNY spirit at 11-day River Hongbao'. Print Edition | Subscribe