Every country has its own diverse culture and beauty, which always provides that special and unique identity. Singapore, the land of multicultural ethnicity has its own way of showcasing the cultural amalgamation among the people living here. Vibrant colours, warm and happy people are the strengths of this rich and stylish country. The most happening street carnival or parade, which is a legendary occasion in Singapore is the Chingay Parade, celebrated right after the Chinese New year.
The Chingay Parade started in China to pay homage to the goddess of mercy the Guanyin. In different regions this parade or the carnival is celebrated in various ways. In Singapore it started way back in 1973. It was merely a parade, which was mainly organised by the Chinese population to ring in the New Year. But with time this became a grand celebration for all the other nationalities residing there. Even the Indians and Malays started taking active part in all the events of the parade. Now more than ten thousand people participate in the different performances from all around the globe, making this a grand international celebration, right in the leagues of the Rio Parade.
The colourful events and celebrations
The word Chingay describes the creative art of colourful costumes and masquerade. This meaning is fully preserved by the programmes, vibrant costumes and performances the performers wear during the parade. The organiser, the Singapore People’s Association, devote their energy and time to this event. The event is well planned and exhibits the ultimate experience for the viewers. Dazzling lights, colourful floating dragons and exotic dance performances have been the highlights of the Chingay Parade for years now. Every performance has a deeper meaning and spreads smiles among thousands of people. The participants and the performers come from all around the world including China, Malaysia, Philippines, India, Japan, Indonesia, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
The 2016 Chingay Parade Grand Celebrations
The year 2016 proposes to be a glittering affair, as the theme for this year is “Lights of Legacy, Brighter Singapore”. With time, new technologies have taken centre stage and various other creative additions make it one of the most spectacular and legendary events. Some of the highlights of the event are:
- Spectacular acts with vibrant and dazzling float lights and lanterns
- Multicultural and ethnic acts by various performers
- Famous flying dragons
- Colourful and glittering performances by local residents
- Vibrant fireworks illuminating the skyline of Singapore
- Various international acts and performances
- Click here for a stunning Chingay Parade Gallery
So gear up for the celebrations and get ready to watch the spectacular Chingay Parade. See you there!
Visiting the Chingay Parade and see all the diversities put together into a great show is a unique experience. However, visitors, in particular those holding tickets to the Green Sector (water side) should be warned for some shortcomings which I would like to highlight here.
On the event of February 19th 2016 heavy rain accompanied the event and the performers have to be admired for their huge efforts to make this parade still a success.
On the tickets it was stated that access starts at 6 p.m. while spectators were asked to be seated by 7 p.m. A huge crowd gathered in front of the general entrance which only opened at 6:40 p.m. No announcements were made for any delays and no reason could be spotted. Despite the rain, the show was delayed by 15 minutes, so the spectators and performers had the enjoyment of more downpouring rain, getting trenched and waiting for nothing. The inflow of spectators continued far beyond the requested seating as well as starting time, being a nuisance to those being seated on time, blocking the view and disturbing unnecessarily. This is unfortunately a huge problem of lacking discipline and consideration for others that can be found around the country at many instances.
While Singapore in general is a well developed nation the access to this area is of lower third world quality. Not only that there is no covered walkway, you even have to trample across muddy and water trenched grass pits until the water floods your shoes. Additionally, after the show, police blocks the direct access towards the MRT station in favour of smoother traffic flow, while people have to accept walking an extra 300 meters through the rainy weather.
On this subjects the organiser has quite some room for improvement and it will hopefully be taken into consideration for future parades. Equally, F1 events will benefit from any improvement on the walkways to all seating areas.