How to celebrate the Chinese New Year of ‘Paws-perity’ in Singapore

Singapore goes all out for Chinese New Year. Catch a full line-up of festivities right through to mid-March. Source: 13_Phunkod/Shutterstock

AS the world looks to usher in the Year of the Dog this Chinese New Year, there aren’t many better places to ring it in than multicultural Singapore.

With an electric Chinatown right in the city center, and a whole itinerary of events to see you through until March, the Little Red Dot – as Singapore is affectionately known – has put on a feast of entertainment throughout the entire Lunar New Year period.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Blossoms of Happiness and Prosperity” and will see a line up of festivities for everyone in the family – including your four-legged friends.

As we will be entering the Year of the Dog, the city is making this year canine-friendly with dog-themed activities and pet-owner-appropriate events.

Here are just some of the things happening in the coming weeks:

Chinatown Street Light-up

After the official light-up ceremony at the end of January, Singapore’s Chinatown turns into a sea of illumination for seven weeks. Over 2,000 handcrafted lanterns light the way along Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road, showing scenes of man’s best friend at work and play.

The centrepiece is a 11m-tall family of dogs sitting in pride of place at the top of the Chinatown stretch. The light-up runs until March 16.

Photo installations

For the Instagram-friendly traveler, the council has erected a series of 3D dog-themed installations at nine prime photo spots throughout the neighborhood.

Chingay parade

The largest annual street performance and float parade in Asia has become an institution in Singapore, and this year promises to be an extra special one as it marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations on Feb 25.

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Beautifully decorated floats make their way through the city, with performances and appearances from both local and overseas performers.

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Wishing Tree

Make all your wishes come true and do a good deed at the same time!

Write down your hopes and wishes for the new year and hang them from the colorful banyan tree at Chinatown Point. Each card costs SGD2 (US$1.50) and the proceeds all go to a local seniors’ activity center to help Singapore’s aging population.

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Nightly stage shows

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Every night from Jan 27 to Feb 15, you can catch performances at Kreta Ayer Square. This popular gathering spot for local Chinese communities comes alive with musical and cultural acts that shine a light on the rich Chinese heritage and history of the island.

New Year countdown

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Of course, you can’t have New Year without a big countdown celebration. Falling on Feb 15, this New Year’s Eve will see Chinatown taken over with live performances, festive songs, comedy skits and interactive games.

Needless to say, the strike of midnight will be met with firecrackers galore and an explosion of fireworks in true traditional Chinese style.