It’s safe to say that COVID-19 has been annoyingly disruptive of many plans, causing us to use innovative means to attend events or celebrate festive occasions. As the Chinese New Year passes, the annual River Hongbao event is an integral part of the celebration.
This year, things are a little different (as expected). Instead of being traditionally held at The [email protected] Bay, the event is currently ongoing at Gardens by the Bay.
The free event was initially scheduled to be held from 10 Feb – 16 Feb, but it’s now been extended by four more days to 20 Feb.
The iconic festive event began in 1987, more than 30 years ago. River Hongbao began as part of Singapore’s Lunar New Year celebration, which began as far back as 3,500 years ago.
The event is highly popular, with The Straits Times reporting that nearly 23,000 people had attended River Hongbao during the first four days. In fact, over 800,000 attended the event last year.
River Hongbao is jointly organised by the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations, Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Singapore Press Holdings’ Chinese Media Group, Singapore Tourism Board, People’s Association.
Registration and Details
Ticket bookings for the last 4 days of River Hongbao are now open, and you can find them here!
Do note that you can only register up to 4 people per pax.
Each time slot has a maximum capacity of 2,000 people. For 17 Feb – 19 Feb, time slots run for 2 hours each, beginning at 6pm and 8.30pm. The last day has two more 1.5 hour time slots starting at 2pm and 3pm, in addition to the aforementioned slots.
17 Feb – 19 Feb (Wed – Fri):
- 6pm – 8pm
- 8.30pm – 10.30pm
20 Feb (Sat):
- 2pm – 3.30pm
- 3pm – 4.30pm
- 6pm – 8pm
- 8.30pm – 10.30pm
In compliance with COVID-19 safety measures, visitors will also be allocated colour-coded wristbands in order to identify visitors from different time slots.
There will also be scheduled disinfections of attractions, and the usual temperature screening and safe distancing ambassadors present as well.
What Can You Expect?
The celebration at Gardens by the Bay will provide a unique experience among the flora and fauna.
The organisers have spared no expense—24 giant lanterns shaped depicting icons like peacocks and a pair of butterflies, and the 12 Chinese zodiacs will be on display.
Even an 18m tall God of Fortune was erected, located at the Supertree Grove and The Meadow, alongside the animal lanterns.
“The main God of Fortune character is shown with hands outstretched with victory hand signs celebrating our resilience in facing challenges and welcoming the new year ahead with optimism,” states the River Hongbao website.
There’ll even be the chance for visitors to release flower lanterns on the Dragonfly Lake at Gardens by the Bay.
Another lantern set called the Wishing Well will allow visitors to throw coins or banknotes, or even make a cashless donation while making a wish for yourself and your family. All the funds collected will be donated to charity.
Check out the rest of the lanterns here!
In addition to lantern displays, an exhibition curated by the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall will also be available to visitors. Named “Guardians of Good Fortune: The History of Lion Dance in Singapore”, the exhibition features various collections and artefacts that date back to the 1950s.
Visitors will also be able to indulge in nightly screenings of performances by local artistes, though no live stage performances will be conducted due to safety measures. Whether you’ll be attending River Hongbao or not, you can catch the performances on River Hongbao’s Facebook.
Here’s the latest one:
There will also be virtual games and challenges to participate in—River Hongbao’s TikTok contest, and the POSB #HuntYourZodiac where over $150,000 worth of prizes are up for grabs, as stated in their media release.
Unfortunately, it seems that the tickets are all gone, but you’ll still be able to access information about the exhibition on their website and the performances on their Facebook!
Featured Image: River Hongbao 2021 Organising Committee