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Date [ 2014-02-06, 05:17 ]
The celebrations started as early as last November and will soon dovetail into the streets.


 
(Singapore=Koreanpress) Benjamin Kim = Last year, Chingay in Singapore roped in about 35,000 people to turn city streets into twirling riots of colour and lights and a whirling mass of smiling faces. This year there will be no such thing because everything will be double of 2013.  The People’s Association (PA) will unleash around 70,000 people for this year’s Chingay festivities. This will be the biggest street parade to come down the streets of Singapore.

The parade will begin from the Formula 1 Pit Building in just a few days time, on February 7 and 8, 2014. Viewers will be able to see flowing pass them, fabric art as batik paintings and knitted tapestries. For some time now, Singaporeans had produced, via a number of interactive programmes, some 1,500 pieces of knitted tapestries and batik splashed on two 360 metres of fabric. It will be the world’s longest and largest batik art piece when it is presented by 1,000 performers on the day of the parade. Knitted by a number of constituencies and more than 30 schools, a lot of the painting and knitting has been done in the residents’ homes itself. 

Said to be the grandest opening parade ever. There will be a Chinese dance by 700 young ladies, a Chinese New Year parade of 700 horses, Pio Se from Wuchuan City and playful String Lions from Fujian, China will prance at the parade.

This year’s event has a number of ‘FIRSTS.’ These will be the 4m Giant Artistic Puppets, a mass ballet display by children and an Outdoor Community Drama. The Ge Tai will have performances by celebrity artistes Liu Ling Ling, Wang Lei, Lee Pei Fen and Rawi Hamin. Add to this the attractive multi-cultural youth performances, who would make up the total of 8,000 performers ready to ‘wow’ the crowds this Chingay.

To add spice to the occasion, Indian dancers will perform with vibrancy while the Malays will show off a mix of traditional and contemporary Malay dances.It will all be brought to a fitting grand finale when the colourfully knitted tapestries take centre stage.Lee Si Song, a renowned local musician, who composed the original song, ‘Knit as One’ will have it rendered at this time...
Chingay has become a national event of the city-state. The word denotes ‘the art of costumes and masquerading.’  Mainly a Chinese festival it has the Indians, Malays and even the Eurasian taking part in it now. The result is the largest street performance and float parade in Asia, showcasing the ethnic diversity of Singapore.

After this there was no way to go but out. Thus in 1987, the first foreign group was featured. This was four pop singers from Tokyo. Today the spill- over will have performances from Indonesia, China, Italy, the Philippines, Malaysia and South Korea. In the case of South Korea, more than 40 performers from the Sunhwa Arts School will thrill the crowd. 

Chief Executive Director of PA, Ang Hak Seng divulged, “The highlight of the parade will be the extra long tapestry. As it has been compiled by many ordinary Singaporeans, 70,000 strong, it clearly indicatesour theme this year – ‘Colour of Fabric, One People.”

The Chingay Parade was first mooted by the then Singaporean PM, Lee Kuan Yew. It was to pacify the ban on the customary Chinese New Year practice of bursting strings of firecrackers in an effort to drive away evil spirits.Accordingly the first street parade took place on February 4, 1973, and so will mark this year’s celebration as the 42nd.

In an effort to get the event more close to more Singaporeans, the parade will be moving further inland. This would be to the Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency (GRC) and Radin Mas Single Member Constituency (SMC) on February 9. the East Coast GRC and Joo Chiat SMC will have Chingay on their doorstep on February 15 and Punggol-Sengkang New Town on February 22. Looks like the celebrations are going to stretch for a long time to the delight of many.

abc@koreanpress.net

Date: February 7-8, 2014
Time: 8 pm (Pre-Parade: 7pm) 
Venue: F1 Pit Building (Next to Singapore Flyer) 
Ticket :  S$ 40~60


 
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