SINGAPORE - Around 11,000 students were treated to a two-hour parade of dazzling floats and performances at a preview of Chingay 2015 on Saturday evening.
The annual Chinese New Year street procession, to be held at the F1 Pit Building on Feb 27 and 28, is themed "We love SG" this year, to mark Singapore's golden jubilee.
It is the biggest - and youngest - ever with about half of the 15,000 volunteers and performers aged 35 and below.
Among them is Secondary One student Wong Zhi Wei, who is part of a 280-strong contingent from Catholic High School.
Although he is visually handicapped, the 13-year-old will be putting on a vibrant dance performance with his school mates, using moves adopted from hip-hop, as well as from Chinese, Malay and Indian traditional styles.
"When I was rehearsing for the show, my buddies patiently taught me the moves and gave me advice on how to dance... I didn't know how to dance before Chingay, but I've more self-confidence now," he said.
Aside from Chingay, 36 secondary level students from River Valley High School, Singapore Chinese Girls' School (SCGS) and Chung Cheng High School (Main) will also conduct a series guided tours for a photo exhibition held at this year's River Hongbao.
Catering primarily for school groups visiting the exhibition, the student guides will explain how Singapore has celebrated the Lunar New Year in the past 50 years, using the 230 photographs on display.
One of the guides, Lisa Sitoh, a Secondary Four student from SCGS, said preparing for the tours has given her a deeper appreciation of the meaning and traditions of Chinese New Year.
"In the past, children would be extremely grateful to receive new clothes from their parents - it's a once-a-year opportunity. But now, the young people buy clothes several times around the year," she said, citing an example.
The annual River Hongbao carnival will be held over 12 days at The Float @ Marina Bay from Feb 17 to 28, 2015.