One a year, Singapore holds the most unfortunately named Chingay Parade. While originally a float competition in Penang, Malaysia more than 100 years ago, the event was adopted by Singapore in 1973 as part of the Lunar New Year festivities.
Traditionally, this event was held in Chinatown with the floats passing through the narrow streets. In more recent years though it was shifted to Orchard Road to help increase business. This year in an attempt to get a piece of the tourist action the Chingay Parade was held at the Singapore F-1 race track. Seats have been set up at the pit and audiences are charged between $40-$80 dollars.
The event will repeat twice this year on the 19th and 20th of February. Auggie, Yan and myself went down last night to view the parade’s first day. It was free to enter as a standing audience but we were limited to a small area near the end of the route.
We got there little late from our Dim Sum excursion and saw some performers already packing up so we were afraid that the show was already over. Thankfully it turned out that only a couple of floats had passed by so far.
The first float that we saw was one of the Butterfly Lovers. Quite a pretty sight. It was followed by waves of random displays.
All the different ethnic groups in Singapore contributed with their own display for the parade. The Singapore Japanese community had the single largest gathering of people at the parade.
While the Indonesian performers had the most practical float.
As perhaps one of the most eye catching groups, the Tampines district float came as cabaret dancers. Tampines as the the largest residential area in Singapore, were the only grassroots to have their own float.
In an act of pure terror, one school decided to come as bad cosplayer…and a furry.
The Family Life Association had the single most disturbing display.
It would had make sense if this group were Pride. But they were not. They were just a bunch of students wearing balloons. Things really started going downhill from here.
Next was the Yellow River display, a horde of kids in full yellow pajamas carrying yellow cloths. Had they red dots on their cheeks we would have experienced the largest Kigurumi Pikachu gathering ever. There was a really short fireworks display as they passed by.
Universal Studios had a float at the end advertising the new Sentosa Resort.
It felt as if the parade finished without any real high point. While it attempted to capture the diversity of Singapore many of the groups put up really tacky displays.
We headed back to the parking area to take some photos of the first floats that we missed. One of which was a really nice float for the Passion Card (Singapore’s new Suica). We then had to struggle through the sea of human traffic before making our ways home.Planning your holiday? We recommend visiting Agoda for a full list of hotels with early bird specials.