Chinese New Year 2017 kick-started with the celebration of River Hongbao at The Float @ Marina Bay on 26 January. The annual Lunar New Year event, which has been part of Singapore's Chinese New Year festivities since 1987, was ushered in with fireworks, dazzling music and dance shows.
Sing! China's first runner-up Nathan Hartono gave a breathtaking performance at the event. Other acts at the carnival included xinyao and getai songs by local artistes and performances by overseas groups such as the Chongqing Song and Dance Troupe.
River Hongbao 2017 was 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. They also incorporated 30 rides and game booths, handcrafts and food stalls and an exhibition showcasing Singapore's multicultural heritage.
This year, the Lunar New Year celebration will go on for 10 days and entry will be free. The organisers are expecting that the events will draw more than a million visitors. The party will go on from 2pm to 11pm daily and will feature fireworks.
This year, people can send 360-degree New Year's greeting to friends and family. An interactive mobile app allows people to send wishes which will appear as writings on sky lanterns on mobile screens, reported the Straits Times. Visitors can then put on virtual reality glasses for a 360-degree experience of the flying lanterns.
Marina Bay will also witness a Chinese New Year Eve countdown ceremony on Friday from 10pm to 1am. The New Year eve's event will be organised by the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens' Consultative Committee and will have live performances and games with Mediacorp artists. However, the main attraction of the night will be the spectacular fireworks display at midnight.