River Hongbao at Marina Bay floating platform in 2009
Floating platform for River Hongbao
, an annual event held to celebrate Chinese New Year in Singapore, will be held at the Marina Bay floating platform next year.
River Hongbao 2009, with nine days of festivities marking the Chinese New Year, will centre on the Marina Bay floating platform, officials revealed yesterday.
The event's 23rd edition is expected to attract about half a million people, though the line-up for the Jan 24 to Feb 1 festival has yet to be unveiled.
Speaking at the first press conference for the event, organising committee chairman Sam Tan said the floating platform is a 'wonderful' venue.
“It is a central location that is highly accessible. On the right, you can see the beautiful skyline. On the left, you can see the Singapore Flyer, and further down is the Marina Barrage.”
The theme of River Hongbao 2009 will be niu zhuan qian kun, a Chinese proverb which means turning an unfavourable situation to your advantage - a reference to the global economic downturn.
It is also a reference to the coming Year of the Golden Ox, with the first word of the proverb a play on the word for ox.
The organising committee's co-chairman, Mr Seng Han Thong, said funding for the event has not been affected by the financial crisis.
The event will incorporate performances geared towards young and old Singaporeans, new immigrants and tourists. It will culminate in a dinner involving 1,000 people on the seventh day of the new year. According to Chinese customs, this day is the common birthday of all humanity.
The event is jointly organised by the Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore Press Holdings, the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations, the People's Association and the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
Last year's River Hongbao was held at Esplanade Park and ran for 12 days.
Source: The Straits Times, 14 November 2008 ©Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.