SINGAPORE – Street lanterns in the shape of majestic tigers will give Chinatown an extra festive glow from Friday, January 7, as the Chinese New Year approaches on February 1.
Daily enlightenment will take place until March 2 from 7 p.m. to midnight, with this year’s theme – Usher in a Roaring New Year – chosen to welcome the Year of the Tiger.
“The tiger represents strength and courage. These are traits that I hope we continue to draw from, as we emerge from the pandemic stronger than before,” President Halimah Yacob said at the launch of the lighting during a virtual ceremony Friday at 7 p.m.
The ceremony, which took place on the Chinatown Festivals Facebook page, was also marked by messages from Ms. Joséphine Teo, Minister of Communication and Information and Second Minister of the Interior.
The district of Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng is under his responsibility as deputy of Jalan Besar GRC.
Ms. Halimah noted that this year’s street light is in its 20th year. She said that over the years, the event has provided a platform for Singaporeans of all races to come together to understand and better appreciate Chinese culture.
She congratulated the organizers and volunteers as they continue to maintain the tradition despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ms. Teo said, “The twinkling lights and colorful decorations along Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road remind us to stay cheerful and confident. At South Bridge Road, traditional greetings and adornments bring joy to families and communities.
The lighting, organized by the Chinatown Festivals Organizing Committee and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, was designed by students from the Singapore University of Technology and Design.
The design features Bengal tigers, the largest of which is up to 4.5m long and almost 5m tall. Stretching 880m along Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road, the lighting features over 300 lanterns, shaping more than 60 tigers.
Organizers worked with Temenggong Artists in Residence and the World Wildlife Fund (Singapore) to exhibit tiger sculptures in Kreta Ayer Square to raise awareness about tiger conservation.
There is a Chinatown Wishing Tree at Chinatown Point, where the public can purchase a $ 2 card to write their wishes before displaying it on the tree. The money collected will go to the less privileged residents of Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng.
Online activities include a live broadcast of a getai performance and a step-by-step tutorial on tiger origami.