Chinese New Year 2016 in Singapore promises to be the best party of the year, and there’s plenty to look forward to.
As anyone with an ounce of sense knows, there’s only really one place you should head to join in the 2016 Lunar New Year celebrations in Singapore: Chinatown! It has literally got everything, from shopping bazaars to carnivals, historic walking tours to communal feasts, traditional tea ceremonies to larger-than-life energetic lion dances.
Here is the full lowdown on where to head to celebrate Chinese New Year 2016 in Singapore’s Chinatown. Expect vibrant visuals, patriotic performances and tantalising tastes in what is set to be the best Lunar New Year celebration outside China.
Psst: If you don’t know your way around Singapore’s Chinatown, check out our free map of events at the bottom of the post.
Chinese New Year 2016 in Singapore: What’s on Where in Chinatown
Official Chinese New Year 2016 Opening Ceremony
Let’s get the party started! The official opening ceremony for Chinese New Year 2016 in Singapore promises to be an amazing spectacle that will get you well and truly into the New Year spirit. As we get ready to celebrate the year of the monkey, our primate friends will feature firmly at the center of the performance, which will include daring monkey acrobatics, amazing balancing skills, fire eaters and more swinging through metaphorical trees than you can shake a stick at. The pièce de résistance of the event will be a fantastic firework display, which will give us just a hint of the fantastic New Year Firework display that awaits on the 7th February. Huge squeal of excitement!
When: 16th January 2016
Time: 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Where: New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street
Chinatown Light Up
Singapore’s Chinatown is famed for its amazing annual Chinese New Year light up, and rightly so. The 2016 display will, of course, feature a monkey theme and poetic images of cheeky simians amid romantic peach trees will weave its way through Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road, South Bridge Road and Garden Bridge for a whopping 52 continuous days. It’s definitely a spectacle that is not to be missed.
When: 16th January 2016 – 8th March 2016
Time: 7.00 pm – 6.00 am (7 & 8 February 2016); 7.00 pm – 2.00 am (Friday & Saturday); 7.00 pm – 12.00 am (Sunday – Thursday)
Where: Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road, South Bridge Road and Garden Bridge
Festive Street Bazaar
If you’re looking to stock up on some Chinese New year treats, this is the place to head. The annual Festive Street Bazaar will be making an appearance in Chinatown once again this year to mark Chinese New Year 2016 in Singapore and there will be a terrific range of products to buy, from melt-in-the-mouth pineapple tarts to decadent prune ‘lapis’ (spiced cake), auspicious plants to new year coins, there will be a ton of traditional Chinese New Year knick-knacks to feast your eyes on.
The kids will be knocked for six by the fantastic bustling atmosphere, while mama and dada can browse the goods for sale while munching on some delicious bakkwa.
When: 15 January to 7 February 2016
Time: 6 pm – 10:30 pm (daily), 6pm – 1am (Chinese New Year’s Eve)
Where: Pagoda Street, Smith Street, Sago Street, Temple Street and Trengganu Street, Chinatown, Singapore
Nightly Stage Performances
Once you’re done shopping, stick around Chinatown for a cultural display that will impress even the most blasé kids. Every night in the run up to Chinese New Year 2016 there will be a jaw-dropping performance at the Kreta Ayer Square. A popular annual event, this show attracts tourists, locals and expats in their droves who are looking to get into the 2016 New Year spirit while enjoying festive songs, dances, music and live performances… and more bakkwa.
When: 16th January to 7th February 2016
Time: 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Where: Kreta Ayer Square
If the shopping bazaar at Festive Street isn’t enough to get you into the Chinese New Year spirit, the Festive Street Carnival may just do the trick. At regular intervals throughout the day, street performers will descend on the open space in front of the People’s Park Complex in Chinatown to strut their stuff to the traditional drum beat of Lunar New Year.
When: 9th January to 7th February 2016
Time: 11:00 am – 10:30 pm
Where: Open space in front of People’s Park Complex
Chinatown Walking Tour
Of course, celebrating Chinese New Year 2016 in Singapore should be much more than simply stuffing your face with Chinese goodies. Those who are interested in learning about the traditions and customs of Lunar New Year in Singapore should head down to the Chinatown walking tour, which promises to deliver a fascinating introduction to the life of the Chinese in Singers. What better way to take in the ambience of Chinatown during this special time of year than to enjoy a free English-language guided tour of some of the area’s most important and enduring haunts, including Kreta Ayer Road, Sago Street, Pagoda Street and New Bridge Road. The New Year 2016 theme of the walking tour is “Year of Prosperity and Success” and registration is on a first-come-first-serve basis. Get your names in early folks!
When: 23, 24, 30 & 31 January 2016
Time: 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: Information booth in front of the stage at Kreta Ayer Square
Registration: Chinese New Year walking tour
Chinatown Wishing Tree
Back again this year to mark the 2016 Lunar New Year, Chinatown’s Wishing Tree provides us with a great way to educate our kiddos on the importance of remembering those less fortunate than ourselves at this special time of year. Simply purchase a “Make a Wish” card for $2, and you can write down all your hopes and dreams for 2016 while also making a much-needed donation to the Kreta Ayer Seniors’ Activity Centre. The beautiful wishing tree adorned with the wishes of people from both near and far undoubtedly serves as a poignant reminder of the need to spread festive cheer to those in need this Chinese New Year.
International Lion Dance Competition
No Chinese New Year in Singapore is complete without a lion dance; however, for the participants of the International Lion Dance competition, lion dancing is a serious sport (albeit in a raucous atmosphere). Lion dance enthusiasts should head over to Hong Lim Park on the 23rd and 24th January 2016 to see real lion dance pros in action as they ward off bad luck with pure grace and skill in motion.
When: 23rd and 24th January 2016
Time: 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Where: Hong Lim Park
Price: Single Show ticket (23rd OR 24th January) 2016: S$10; Two-show tickets (both 23rd and 24th January 2016): S$15/-
Bag yourself a ticket: Tickets can be purchased from the Kreta Ayer Community Club or by calling (65) 6222 3597Chinese New Year 2016 Celebrations in Singapore’s Chinatown
Chinese New Year 2016 Singapore: Map of the Celebrations in Chinatown
Have we missed any great events off our list? Do you know of any events that are taking place in Chinatown to mark Chinese New Year 2016 in Singapore? Leave a comment and share all the details.