Chinatown will be immersed in grand celebrations and festive cheer this Chinese New Year as the Chinese Zodiac race runs across the main streets of Chinatown, with the quick-witted and resourceful Rat leading the pack. The spectacular display of handcrafted lanterns made with 4,000m-long LED strip lights to illuminate Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebrations 2020, themed “Ushering in a Great Year”.

To ring in the Year of the Rat, the Chinatown enclave transforms into a hotspot of festival mainstays and novelties in a 7-week celebration. In addition to the Rat Zodiac, this year’s festival spotlights Cantonese culture with specially curated activities that showcase well-loved Cantonese performing arts, heritage and cuisine in Chinatown.

Heritage & Food Trail

The Heritage & Food Trail opens with a Cantonese chapter in a bid to suss out and savour popular Cantonese dishes from famous hawker stalls in Chinatown. Chow down on a Cantonese spread which includes dishes such as Claypot Rice, Lotus Root Soup and Yusheng from five famous hawker stalls in Chinatown Complex Food Centre.

Traditional Cantonese Opera

Continue to be immersed in Cantonese culture at Traditional Cantonese Opera performances at Kreta Ayer People’s Theatre. Headlined by both local and international artists, witness elaborate and authentic Cantonese opera performances with a programme that includes a medley of famous opera songs and excerpts from classic operas.

13th International Lion Dance Competition

Also held at the Kreta Ayer People’s Theatre is the 13th International Lion Dance Competition. Be enthralled by 14 of the best lion dance troupes from countries such as Vietnam, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, China and Singapore as they pull out all the stops to battle it out in a high-octane competition to vie for the title of “The King of Lions”.

Festive Street Bazaar

The Festive Street Bazaar stretches across Pagoda Street, Smith Street, Sago Street, Temple Street and Trengganu Street, with a total of 329 stalls this year. There will be Disney merchandise on sale by Disney’s authorised dealer, Goldwood Singapore, as well as a chance to shop online at the Shopee booth where shoppers get to enjoy next-day delivery with Shopee24!

Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony

The Chinatown Chinese New Year Celebrations 2020, organised by the Kreta Ayer – Kim Seng Citizens’ Consultative Committee (KA-KS CCC) and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, will kick off on 4 January 2020 with the Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony.

There will be a Chinese ethnic dance, Chinese Orchestra and Cantonese Opera performances by local and international groups that will lead up to an electrifying lion dance performance with 21 Plum Blossom Poles (meihuazhuang) on stage for a festival first. The ceremony culminates in rousing firecrackers and fireworks display to usher in the new year. Chinatown will be all-aglow with beautiful lanterns from 4 January to 22 February 2020.

Street Light-Up

This year’s Street Light-Up features 200 adorable rat lanterns dressed up in traditional Chinese costumes at Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road and the Garden Bridge. Segmented into three sections of Success, Celebration and Family, the centre divider between Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road are decorated with brightly-lit and elaborate hand-crafted lanterns inspired by the Chinese Zodiac.

In line with the festival’s theme, the Chinese Zodiac race springs to life with the quick-witted Rat crossing the finish line, followed by the rest of the Zodiac animals in the order of Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

The towering centrepiece is a 12m-tall, 8m-wide and 8m-long lantern installation featuring the victorious Golden Rat and seven other rats celebrating atop a bed of gold coins, pink peonies and a giant ingot to symbolise good luck and prosperity.

Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road are covered in a sea of resplendent overhanging gold coin lanterns and traditional red and green lanterns accompanied by festive greetings which stretch to South Bridge Road. Delicate flowers and lanterns in shades of red and pink adorn South Bridge Road to top off the spectacular sight.

For even more photo opportunities, head to the Garden Bridge where visitors will be greeted by rat lanterns inspired by the Five Elements which are a part of Chinese philosophy – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.

Some other key highlights of the festival include:

  • Chinatown Wishing Tree
  • Nightly Stage Shows
  • Mass Reunion Dinner
  • Chinese New Year Countdown Party
  • Chingay 2020 @ Chinatown

For more information on these activities, members of the public can call Kreta Ayer CC at +65 6222 3597 or email [email protected].