8 Things to know before visiting Singapore this Lunar New Year

Singapore Chinatown thrives during the lunar new year celebrations and the 2019 theme centres around a  “Celebration of Abundance and Prosperity” promising a line-up of exciting performances and festive delicacies.

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What does Year of the Pig signify?

The year of the Pig symbolises luck, overall good fortune, wealth, honesty, general prosperity and rewards.   A vibrant and innovative Piglet-themed light-up, conceptualised and designed by Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), will adorn the main streets of Chinatown.  The street light-up along South Bridge Road will see rows of lanterns forming a giant Spring and the auspicious Carp, a beautiful sight from an aerial view.
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Destination Singapore – 9 Things to think about when travelling:
The main cultural traditions are Malay, Indian, Chinese, and to some extent Western (British):
1. Humidity: plan a non-stick, airy, anti-sweat wardrobe with minimal layers, you’ll thank us after.

2. Duty-free Regulations – if you bought cigarattes from where you flew in from, prepare to pay a tax on them when you enter, there’s no concessions on any duty free items.

3. Transport: There’s a subway station at most corners and you can count its reliability, taxis and even Uber run at inflated rates – never pre-negotiate fares if offered.

4. Airbnb Rentals Are Illegal.

5.  Free Wifi is everywhere but shotty connection speeds vary due to the demand in the common public malls, museums and spaces you’ll find a network to connect to.  Worst case scenario, tourism SIM cards are available at 7-Eleven.

6. Drinking: Water from taps is safe to drink, public consumption of alcohol is restricted at certain times.

7. Getting a glimpse of real Singaporean life: Hawker / Food Courts (“Kopi-tiams”) are a great affordable way to sample the local cuisine, a visit out into the residential districts will give you real insight into how the locals live.

8. Busking Is Illegal Without a License in Singapore – leave the guitar at home if you’re looking to make some easy cash while on your trip.10. Be Aware of Tourist Scam Hotspots – predominantly around electronic and telecommunications products if you’re shopping for these goods
Chinatown Lunar New Year Festivities:
The famous festive street bazaar, nightly stage shows and the exciting lion dance competition will be some of the highlights. Do not miss The Chinese New Year Countdown Party as we usher in the Lunar New Year.
The Official Light-up and Opening Ceremony will kick-start the Chinatown Chinese New Year 2019 celebrations on 19 January 2019, followed by continuous days of street light-up along Chinatown until the 6 March 2019. Against a dynamic and hi-tech stage backdrop, visitors can expect spectacular live performances with awe-inspiring visual effects comprising skits, songs, and dance, acrobatic and martial arts performances put up by performing troupes from Singapore and China.
With a wide variety of street stalls operating from 18 January to 4 February 2019 at the upcoming 2019’s Festive Street Bazaar, visitors can browse through a huge array of traditional Chinese New Year goodies from mouth-watering delicacies like sweets, traditional cookies, waxed duck and preserved fruit, to decorative items like potted plants, fresh flowers and even festive clothing.

Those hunting for high-spirited entertainment can catch the Chinatown Nightly Stage Shows at Kreta Ayer Square, a popular gathering point for local Chinese communities and also home to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum. Rhythmic drumming and clashing of cymbals will lead visitors to the Lion Dance Competition on 26 January 2019 that will wow the crowd with heart-stopping displays of skilful stunts and intricate manoeuvres. The competition is a rare chance to witness the most renowned and prolific troupes from Singapore and around Asia Pacific pit themselves against one another to vie for the grand title of ‘King of the Lions’.

Other key highlights of this year’s festival include: 

Chinatown Chinese New Year Countdown Party, with appearances by local celebrities, culminating in a rousing display of fireworks

Chinatown Walking Trail, a free expedition covering Kreta Ayer Road, Sago Street, Pagoda Street, and New Bridge Road

Chingay @ Chinatown, the largest street performance and float parade in Asia will make an appearance on the 15th day of Chinese New Year

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Visit Singapore

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