While many in Singapore feel that the annual Chingay parade, now in its 41st year, has moved away from its original purpose of a street parade for the masses first celebrated in 1973 to make up for a total ban on the long held tradition of letting off fireworks during the Lunar New Year, the parade is without a doubt still very much a celebration of what Singapore is and what perhaps Singapore has become. The parade has in its recent editions become a show of the spectacular, combining a street-like parade in which the people from all major races and from all walks of life participate, with a well-orchestrated show of lights, music and effects which never fail to dazzle the audience. The theme of this year’s parade, “Fire in Snow”, will on the evidence of Saturday’s rehearsal, no doubt be as dramatic, if not more so, than last year’s water show was, with the opening scene seeing some 3000 performers light pots of fire, which turns the 360 metre parade route at the F1 Pit Building into a spectacular sea of light. The parade’s dramatic opening is matched by an equally staggering finale during which the parade’s audience and participants will be showered in falling “snow”, in which falling soap and pieces of paper brings the parade to a sensational close.
Chingay brings together members of the various communities in Singapore in an annual street celebration.
The opening scene sees the lighting of pots of fire.
The spectacular closing sees “snow” falling on the parade.
Saturday’s rehearsal, which was opened to members of the media, also had some 8,000 students in its audience. The students, representing some 56 schools, were there to participate in a National Education (NE) show to educate students about multicultural harmony. This is the first time students an NE show, usually associated with National Day Parade rehearsals, is being held in conjunction with the Chingay Parade rehearsals. The six-part parade will see some 10,000 performers representing some 120 organizations and will include a Chinese classical featuring 450 young performers from Singapore and China; a combined Chinese Opera Show with 300 members of local Teochew, Hokkien and Cantonese opera troupes who will perform to the strains of Phantom of the Opera; Tai-chi Swordmasters; and the participation of a 1,000 strong PAssion Zumba Community which includes the youngest participant in the parade who is only 4.
The largest Chinese Classical Dance in the show’s history sees 450 young dancers from both Singapore and China peform.
A close up of the Chinese Classical Dance segment.
The parade will be held on Friday 22 February and Saturday 23 February this year. More information including that on ticketing can be found at the Chingay 2013 website.
Members of the Queenstown CC Cantonese Opera troupe pose for a photograph before the rehearsal.
Student performers dressed in Chinese Opera costumes practicing before the parade.
The youngest participant who is 4.
Ms Elaine Tjon a member of the PAssion Zumba Community sharing her experience at the media conference.
Student participants at the media conference.
Mr Nah Juay Hng, Chairman of the Chingay Parade Exco speaking.
Members of the Japanese community.
Float carrying more participants from Singapore’s Japanese Community.
The NE Show audience – schoolchildren expanded a lot of energy during the parade.
More photographs from Saturday’s rehearsal: