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River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014One event that has become almost a tradition for most Singaporeans to visit during the Chinese New Year would be River Hongbao. An annual event held without fail for 28 years since 1986, it features large lanterns made by craftsmen from China, handicrafts, local & regional delicacies, stage performances and numerous fringe activities for all ages. Best of all, it’s free admission and possibly the best place to bring the entire family to infuse the festive atmosphere – without burning a bigger hole in your pocket after giving out all the ang pows (red packets) and buying new clothes.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

The event is held at The Float @ Marina Bay, right in the heart of Singapore’s downtown.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Look at the throngs of people!

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

One of the highlights of this year’s event would be this 18-metre tall God of Fortune 财神爷 – everyone wants a piece of fortune in the new year!

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Fortune God, please look after me this year okok…bring me more money!

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

He does look very prosperous, and I am in love with his pom-pom hat lol

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

This decorated walkway was a natural photo opportunity. I must say it’s very pretty.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

The main feature of River Hongbao would be the large-scale lanterns hand-crafted on-site by craftsmen from the Sichuan province. They showcase familiar characters including the God of Fortune, legendary heroes from “The Three Kingdoms” (Guan Yu, Zhang Fei and Liu Bei) as well as the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

马到功成
Being the Year of the Horse, a lot of the lanterns featured horses. This one features a Chinese idiom “马到功成” which literally means “success is gained when the horse arrives.” In the past wars were fought on horseback. Hence, once the horses reach the frontline, the war will be won. Now, this Chinese idiom means swift success, and is used as a well-wish.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Hungry? Feast on Yunnan and local delicacies at River Hongbao’s Food Street.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Bunny ears for you, madam?

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

It’s all kids play at Uncle Ringo!
Oh this is so nostalgic! Long before Facebook and LAN games, kids squealed in delight when parents brought them to Uncle Ringo for kiddy rides. Most of the kids entertainment centres have bitten the dust by now, and you can only find Uncle Ringo at roving events around neighbourhoods. I so very wanted to join in…but well, guess I am a teeny-weeny overaged by now.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

童真

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

I used to love such games, especially the shooting ones!

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

“Daddy please, can I play again?”

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Bumper cars!

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Wheee! I wonder if this can take my weight wuahaha

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

While the kids have Uncle Ringo, the adults can play too…lottery
I was quite surprised to see a Singapore Pools booth at River Hongbao. It was quite apt too, since everyone wanted a piece of luck during the new year. I joined in the fun too, and I think I stunned the staff for a moment when I asked “How many numbers must I choose huh?” He was dumbfounded for 5 seconds and thought I asked him a trick question.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

The Palace of Beauties and One Emperor

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Dancing Sisters
Sway left, sway right

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

十二生肖 – 马
Somehow this reminds me of My Little Pony

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

One of the reasons why people visit River Hongbao is to read their fortunes for the year at the 12 Zodiac lanterns. Find out all you want to know about your career, health, fortune, romance and even your lucky colour & number.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

恭喜发财 Gong Xi Fa Cai!

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Main Stage Performances
Apart from local entertainers, River Hongbao also partnered the Yunnan Opera Theatre (云南滇剧院) to showcase performances by Yunnan’s ethnic tribes, including the Yi and Dai Tribe.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

福如吉祥

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Longevity Cranes

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

花开富贵

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

巨型走马灯
Read up on Chinese cultural festivals at this huge lantern

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

许愿池 Wishing Well
Take a coin, make a wish and aim to hit the hanging bells when you throw. If it sounds, your wish will come true. I need a super big coin.Or a gold bar.

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

It was quite amusing to see Singapore’s favourite fruits on a giant lantern…if only it came with the durian smell lol

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

Cartoon version of the legendary heroes from “The Three Kingdoms” (Guan Yu, Zhang Fei and Liu Bei)

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

桃园结义

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

水上灯组

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

River Hongbao 春到河畔 2014

I was pleasantly surprised with fireworks from the Chingay event happening nearby. It was great to end my visit to River Hongbao on a high, and hopefully it signifies great things to come for the new year. I’m excited! :)


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Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Have a rwarrING good time with colourful lanterns at Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens on 13-22 Sep 2013!

I love Mid-Autumn. It’s a time when I can be a child again, and carry brightly-lit traditional cellophane lanterns around with good friends without raising any eyebrows. This year, I had a visual feast of colourful lanterns at Gardens by the Bay which is hosting the Mid-Autumn Festival for the first time. And it’s FREE! :D

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Majestic Temple of Confucius in the middle of the Dragonfly Lake. How cool is that – premium waterfront living!

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

The dragon in this lantern display is made up of 80,000 test tubes filled with coloured water. All the lanterns are made locally by master craftsmen from China.

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

I must say the cooled conservatories make a pretty nice backdrop for the lantern display

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Sky Lanterns

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

A series of charity events is organised in conjunction with Mid-Autumn Festival @ the Gardens to raise funds for President’s Challenge 2013. Visitors can purchase a sky lanterns or Loy Krathong (Floating Lantern) for $10 and all proceeds will be donated to President’s Challenge 2013.

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

The cutest 12 Zodiac Signs I’ve ever seen

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Leo looks so cute, he can rival Hello Kitty!

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

The Dragonfly Bridge decorated with colourful arches

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

They look pretty good in the daytime as well

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

For visitors coming in the daytime, the Flower Dome houses a Mid-Autumn themed floral display featuring three dragonfly lanterns perched amidst a field of vibrant flora such as begonias, chrysanthemums, astilbes and celosias. For me – this would be the easiest insect macro I’ve ever done! lol

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Magnificent scenery at night. I stood still for 5 minutes just to admire this.

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

It’s packed at the 101-hectare Gardens – amazing feat!

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Giant face masks

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

My fave lantern piece – Jurassic Park featuring 8 dinosaurs with movable parts. They scream too, haha.

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Jurassic Park with a suggestive-looking plant

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

This evil-looking thing looks like it’s saying “I’m coming to get you!”

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Pandora 3D Exhibition
What’s more apt than an Avatar experience in the midst of mystical SuperTrees at Supertree Grove? Presented by Keppel Club, this unique exhibition offers visitors a 3D experience as they admire hand-made exhibits built from recycling materials by the staff of Keppel Club.

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Inside the Pandora 3D exhibition

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Birds & Insects Paradise

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

More lantern set pieces at The Meadow

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Cute monks. I never thought I would ever say that.

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

3 little pigs and a goofy-looking wolf

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Dong dong dong CHIANG! Let’s celebrate!

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Oh-so-cute wedding couple

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

I was quite amused with the ‘multi-racial’ lanterns. This piece pays homage to our Muslim friends.

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

And our Indian representation

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Arabian Nights?

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

I got a bit hungry from all the walking and was quite pleased to find my fave snacks at the food stalls – smelly tofu and sour plum drink. Satisfaction. Heehee.

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

It was nice to see families enjoying themselves and keeping the traditional of Mid-Autumn reunion & harmony alive.

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Who says lanterns are only for the Chinese culture?
Our Malay friends came by as well, and everyone bonded together over a candlelight. These people didn’t know each other, and were just happy to lend a light. Awwww….I’m feeling warm & fuzzy again.

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Winning Entries from the Creative Lantern-Making Competition
This piece won first prize. I must say I am quite impressed with the lanterns, all the twinkling LED lights and movable parts . I felt so archaic thinking of the lanterns I used to make in school.

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

These must be Chang-e’s rabbits

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Hello Chang-e!

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

A snake made from fruit wrappers

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Psychedelic Peacock

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

This is my favourite piece – the use of recycled materials is superb! So pretty!

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Monkey sitting on a durian. Hmmm.

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Dragon

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

Phoenix

Mid-Autumn @ The Gardens 2013

And the Gardens’ biggest permanent lantern display – the SuperTrees :)