Chingay, the largest street performance and float parade in Asia is back to wow Singapore on 19 & 20 February at F1 Pit Building this year! With vibrant floats, dancing dragons, prancing lions, stilt walkers, wushu masters, performers of different races in their traditional costumes and many, many more… This yearly street parade has truly become a uniquely Singaporean tradition that we look forward to every Lunar New Year.
Introduction To Chingay
Whether you have joined Chingay as a spectator, watch it from home with your family, or even joined as a performer, Chingay is definitely no stranger to Singaporeans. However, how much do we know about Chingay? Have you ever wondered what does the word Chingay actually means?
Chingay is actually equivalent to the Mandarin word ‘Zhuang Yi’ (妆艺), which means “the art of costume and masquerade” in the Hokkien dialect. You might also be surprise to know that Chingay was first mooted by the then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew who was also the chairman of the People’s Association (PA) to compensate for the ban on firecrackers, a customary New Year practice to drive away evil spirits with its noise and gaiety.
“Lights of Legacy, Brighter Singapore” 智 慧 灯 海, 璀 璨 新 加 坡
The official theme for Chingay Parade 2016 is “Lights of Legacy, Brighter Singapore” As the theme suggests, Chingay 2016 will be the brightest ever with the biggest full-scale illuminated show. The theme is also inspired by the legacy of our Founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, and the values embodied by our Pioneers such as Racial Harmony and Social Cohesion, Caring Community, Resilience as a Nation, Can-Do Singapore Spirit and Uphold high moral values.
A) Lights Of Legacy
Chingay 2016 represents our first step towards SG100 after our milestone SG50 celebrations where Singaporeans from diverse backgrounds come together to celebrate core values important to Singapore. Together we celebrate these values that have transformed us from a fishing village into a modern metropolis and bring us forward into the future with confidence.
1. Celebrating Racial and Religious Harmony
During the segment called “Because We Are Different, We Are One”, we got to see for the first time in Chingay’s history, an item presented by the lnter-Religious Organisation (IRO) and their collaboration with 30 religious groups. We will also see various Special Effects Dragons including the “Lighted LED Flying Dragon” and Multi-cultural performances – Chinese, Malay and Indian Cultural performances.
Anicia Chan, 7 years old, will also be performing in the Indian Dance performance at Chingay 2016 with her friends! She first started off learning ballet at Toa Payoh South CC. But, the dance steps, music, costumes and accessories of the Indian dance class next door caught her eyes (and ears!). She soon switched over and got to know many Indian friends who further fanned her interest in the Indian culture. This is her first time at Chingay and she is proud to be a part of the action with her friends!
This segment also takes on a special meaning as the racial and religious harmony Singaporeans enjoy today was forged through trials of fire. It is something we must never take for granted.
2. Caring for the less fortunate
From performers to spectators, Chingay celebrates as one where age, race, language and creed are no barriers. Amidst the celebration, it is also important that Singaporeans remember those who are less fortunate than us.
To keep Chingay an inclusive event, People’s Association will be inviting 5,500 beneficiaries from Voluntary Welfare Organisations and their caregivers to the Parade. Thanks to the support and sponsorship from many individuals and corporations.
3. Caring for our environment
One of the key highlights that you will not miss out at Chingay 2016 is the 8,000 ‘Sky Lanterns’ which will be used as performance props to light up the evening. Each spectator will also be given hand-held light bulb.
These lanterns will be reused and exhibited at the PAssionArts Festival 2016 and community events such as National Day Celebrations after Chingay 2016. After that, they will be handed over to a recycling firm approved by NEA to be responsibly recycled. The proceeds from the recycling will go towards charity.
4. Coming together as one united community
Chingay Parade could well be a treasured glimpse into the different cultures of Singapore and it is the people like you and me that play a part in building a cohesive and harmonious society that we live in today. Through the segment “United and Vibrant Community”, we are able to see performances put up by communities from diverse background, showcasing the vibrancy of our community through various performing arts and dance genres.
Participating in Chingay for the 4th consecutive year is a loving couple Mr Vincent Yong (72) and his wife, Jenny Wong (65).Their passion in dancing started since 2007 and they have been practising regularly with their interest group members during their free time. From Cha-Cha to Line Dance and now Waltz, Jenny shares that joining Chingay has been a very satisfying experience as they are able to showcase their passion and skills through the different dance genres at Chingay. Participating in Chingay has also allowed them to get to make new friends beyond their interest groups and neighbourhood, and spend time together. This year, the couple will be performing Waltz together; do keep a look out for them!
Chingay has also evolved to be more than just a local event but an event that garner international interests as well. With 14 international groups from 9 countries participating in Chingay this year, you will also get to experience the dynamism of different cultures beyond Singapore.
B) Brighter Singapore – Confidence in our future
As we look back at the values that have made us uniquely Singaporean, we can also look to the future with confidence.
1. Biggest Full-Scale Illuminated Performance at Chingay
This is best represented by the parade’s Opening act “Voyage SG 100” and the Finale item “Lights of Legacy, Brighter Singapore”, which will be an illuminated performance involving 3,000 Singaporeans, of which 800 are youths. Their performance symbolises a youth-led nation for the next 50 years and signifies that our progress so far can only be sustained if we are a caring community, where no one is left behind.
We also caught up with Vinny Lai, 17,a first-time participant at this year’s Chingay. She’s a part of the PAYM contingent and shares that she is very excited about this year’s parade.
“Every year, I look forward to Chingay as there is always something new – from the costumes, performances to the theme. This year, the audience can look forward to the biggest full scale illuminated show in Chingay history, which I am elated to be a part of and a 50-metre tall sky stage, which will feature aerial performances. While training for the performance, I am also reminded of our nation’s values, which I must uphold as Singapore heads towards the next 50 years.”
2. Community Engagement
Members of the public also got the chance to contribute to a “brighter” Singapore in the four-month lead up to Chingay. More than 50,000 youths from schools and youth groups have been participating in two Community Engagement Programmes:
a) Hopes & wishes for the future
200,000 Singaporeans from all walks of life will be customising 8,000 ‘Sky Lanterns’ with their hopes and wishes for the future. They will add illustrations and signatures that pledge support towards our shared values. The Sky Lanterns will be presented as part of the Parade Finale and at the Chingay Night Fiesta.
b) Youths paint their ideal Singapore in 2065
2,500 lighted cubes are being painted by 50,000 young children and youths that represent their ideal Singapore in 2065. Friends and family members will add their signatures to these paintings as a show of support for the youths’ aspirations for the future of Singapore.
Get Your Tickets Today!
You can book your Chingay 2016 Tickets online at SISTIC Website. Prices and Admission Rules are as follow:
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