The Chinese New Year will begin on February 16, 2018. The Year of the Rooster is ending, giving way to the Year of the Dog. Along with China, Singapore is also very excited to usher in the year grandly.
Singapore'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.
Jalan Besar GRC MP Lily Neo has said while opening the media preview on Tuesday, that the unusual messages are meant to instill "friendship, bonding, and harmony" among people. "Since we're on this theme, we should continue with it."
Neo also added that the messages were intentional as they wanted to spread awareness about SGSecure, the national movement to involve common people in the movement against terror.
While people found the wishes unusual, they were not in objection to it. Several Singaporeans expressed their support for the movement for the country's safety.
Another topic of discussion appeared to be the lanterns that were put up in Chinatown, resembling dogs. About 2,188 handcrafted lanterns were displayed, out of which 88 are dog-shaped and they were designed by the Singapore University of Technology and Design.
Although the lanterns looked magnificent, some said that they appeared more fierce than friendly, perhaps due to excessive usage of steel wires to make them.
The light up has been extended for 800 kilometers along Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road, and South Bridge Road. About 13,000 LED light bulbs have been hung. The total cost of decorations spans around $400,000.
Apart from lights and the Festive Street Bazaar, residents can look forward to community themed programmes like dog shows, costume competitions, etc, to honor the animal of the year.
Kreta Ayer Square is organizing "Paws-perity" @ Chinatown on February 3 to give dog owners a chance to pamper their furry friends. It will include treats, costumes, and fun time for pet dogs, apart from a Costume Competition.
The Flower Market is also being set up after 10 years from February 5 to 15 at the car park at Banda Street. All varieties of Lunar New Year flowers and plants will be available there, including tangerine shrubs, Pineapple Plant, Money Tree, etc.
The theme of this year's Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebration is "Blossoms of Happiness and Prosperity" and it is being organized by the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens' Consultative Committee (KA-KS CCC).
Other events to woo people include the 11th International Lion Dance Competition on February 2 and 3, the Chinatown Chinese New Year Countdown Party on February 15 and the Chingay 2018 @ Chinatown on February 25.
The festivities will go on for seven weeks, beginning with the light-up and opening ceremony on Saturday where PM Lee will be the guest of honor. It will end on March 16.