Together with other bloggers, we are invited to the Chingay Parade 2010 by Singapore Tourism Board. The theme for this year parade is ImaginEast (东方奇想). This is also the very first time Chingay is paraded in the F1 Pit Building, beside Singapore Flyer. I thought the Pit Building is a good venue choice because it is near the sea, it gets breezes blowing to the land in the night. The Pit Building is divided into 3 sections, with parade starting from blue to red and lastly yellow. Spectators should also come dress according to the color section they are seated in.
A little background on Chingay Parade. This year is the 37th consecutive year Chingay has been run. Chingay used to be a celebration in Penang during Lunar New Year season, with men carrying Chinese decorated floats on their shoulders, dancers, jugglers and magicians entertain the crowd. It celebrates a beginning to a new year. But Chingay is introduced to Singapore in the 1972 as an substitute activity for the banned firecrackers during the festive season.
Most of the crowd walk by foot from Suntec and Marina Square to the F1 Pit Building. There isn’t much way-finding signs sadly, only ushers nearer to the event venue. Spectators are to be seated by 7pm and the recording will start from 8.15pm. Did I not say that Chingay Parade will be filmed and telecast on the following evening. Hmm…
Anyway, this is our first time watching Chingay live. I can’t tell you how great the experience is. You are immersed into a whole experiential performance with themes, exploding colors, extravagance costumes, beautifully composed music and spectacular performers. Watching TV is a sure no kick.
Chingay Parade 2010 is choreographed into 6 segments: Opening, Legendary Tales, Cultures of the East, Singapore Samba, Yellow River and Finale. Each presenting Asia in the most wondrous imagination.
There are a few highlights for the night. (1) Real firecrackers are lit with furious Chinese dragons and lions dances. You never know how ear deafening and smoky the firecrackers are unless you are there. But it makes a memorable opening for the parade. (2) We have Go Fly Kite participating in the Butterfly Lovers’ float. Their LEDs decorated butterflies fly up the air as the story progresses. (3) Egyptians from Joseph & his Multi-Colored Coat throw bags of rice to the spectators. (4) MPs from Tampines GRC and HDB waved their hands from the HDB float. (5) Tallest and largest dream catcher follow suit. (6) Extremely long Yellow River scene is collaborated with Singapore renowned pianist, Mr Ong Lip Tat. (7) All kids favorite, float from Universal Studios Singapore. Parade ended with fireworks.
So which color section do you sit matter? I think it does. There are some positions where the floats make a complete stop, section like the red one where VIPs are sitting. These are excellent spots for photo taking. Else, most of the floats usually pass by very quickly.
We are looking forward to the Universal Studios float when the host announces at the start of the parade. But to our disappointment, the fireworks come just before the Universal Studios float, drawing all our attention to the fireworks. The Universal Studios float only stop by the red section and accelerates when it reaches our. I only manage to capture a few shots of it.
After the Chingay Parade, all spectators have to clear the spectator stands. A music party is prepared which lasted through 4am the next morning.
As a tradition, these Chingay floats will parade to our heartland HDB areas too. Check out the Chingay Heartlands schedule to get a closer proximity with them.
Written by Li Xiang + Lester Chan