Wide shot of fireworks during the Chinese New Year countdown celebration

Also known as Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year is undoubtedly the most important event in the Chinese calendar, and was traditionally a time to honour both traditional deities and familial ancestors.

2024 ushers in the Year of The Dragon, which starts on February 10. Read on to learn more about the ancient traditions and modern-day celebrations that mark this iconic, island-wide celebration.

Unmissable festivities

To get into the heart of the festive action, be sure to visit the historic enclave of Chinatown, home to the Chinatown Chinese New Year Festival. An annual extravaganza, this celebration will see the district’s streets lined with beautifully designed lanterns and luminous decorations.

The official light-up opening ceremony commences on 19 January, at Kreta Ayer Square. Expect to be enchanted by weekly stage shows, bustling fairs and vendors selling an assortment of snacks and traditional goodies.

For more information on the calendar of exciting activities, be sure to check out Chinatown Festivals’ official website.

Festive traditions
Stall in Chinatown selling red coloured items for Chinese New Year

More than just a modern-day celebration, the Lunar New Year is filled with rich customs and meaning.

In Chinese traditions, the colour red is seen as particularly lucky, and undoubtedly the hue of the season. Singaporeans spend much of Chinese New Year visiting friends, relatives and loved ones clad in bright red clothing, while hong bao (scarlet paper packets filled with money) are given to children and younger relatives.

You’ll see this auspicious colour in homes all over Singapore, thoroughly spring-cleaned and decorated with touches of crimson everywhere–in the lanterns hung by the gates, the spring couplets adorning doorways and the bright ribbons adorning kumquat plants, their yellow fruit symbolising ‘gold’ or prosperity.

Feasting with family
An iconic dish of Chinese New Year, lo hei, (Cantonese-styled raw fish salad)

The heart of Chinese New Year is ultimately a celebration of home and family, hence gatherings with family and relatives around the dining table are de rigueur.

And nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the tradition of Reunion Dinner, held on the eve of Chinese New Year. Family members return home (sometimes travelling from overseas) to share this most important meal  with loved ones.

The following days are then spent visiting relatives and friends, conveying blessings of good fortune for the year ahead and enjoying time with the ones who matter most.


What's Unique

The Kreta Ayer Community Club (Chinatown Festival Committee) is organising a series of interactive events to celebrate Chinese New Year. More info can be found here.

Street Light-Up & Opening Ceremony

19 January
Admire the festive lights, lanterns and decorations at New Bridge Road, Eu Tong Sen and South Bridge Road. This year’s festivities are themed 'Soaring into the Auspicious Dragon Year'.

CNY Countdown Party

9 February
As the clock strikes midnight, anticipate an exhilarating showcase of firecrackers, featuring a diverse assortment of comets, mines, and fountains.

Street Festive Bazaar

11 January to 9 February
Dig into traditional snacks and Lunar New Year Goodies, and indulge in a shopping spree for souvenirs at the Festive Fair and Food Fair.

Weekend Stage Shows

27 - 28 January & 3 - 4 February
Immerse in the festive atmosphere with stage performances over two weekends and be entertained by lively activities and Lunar New Year songs by various artistes and performing groups!


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