Chinese New Year 2018: Festival-themed trains, buses to ply in Singapore

Chinese Lantern Festival: When and how did the celebration begin?
A man photographs lanterns at a temple decorated to celebrate Chinese New Year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, February 7, 2016. Reuters

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Saturday that two trains and five themed buses have been decorated with auspicious motifs on the occasion of Chinese New Year in Singapore. The festive decorations on the trains, buses and other places of the country will be up until Mar 2.

The vehicles on the North-East and North-South East-West Lines were launched in collaboration with the country's public transport operators SMRT and SBS Transit, along with the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizen Consultative Committee.

LTA said that the North-East Line station platform at Outram Park MRT Station will also be decorated according to the theme of the upcoming Chinese New Year to be celebrated on Feb 16.

The authority told Channel NewsAsia that the bus services 80, 143, 147, 166 and 174, which travel through Chinatown and areas such as Toa Payoh, Sengkang, Jurong East and Clementi, will also "bring the festive cheer to the heartlands".

Dog motifs, peach blossoms that represent longevity, ingots representing wealth and fortune are all part of the festive decorations in Singapore. It also features traditional Chinese couplets expressing well wishes for the New Year.

The Singaporeans are quite excited to usher in the new year grandly as the Year of the Rooster will be ending, giving way to the Year of the Dog. The country's Chinatown has already hung lanterns, lights and decorations in honor of New Year. Several community-based programmes are also lined up for this time of the year as it will be a public holiday for Singaporeans.

Apart from the usual banners of Happy New Year and wishes of health and prosperity, Singapore has gone one step further to ensure its residents remain alert and safe.

Messages based on preparedness for danger and maintenance of unity are also being displayed in Chinatown. These unusual wishes have invited speculation among the people, who feel these statements are more apt for National Day celebrations, reports Shin Min Daily News.

This article was first published on February 3, 2018