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Chingay 2010

20 February, 2010 by

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.

Parked floats.

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 Chingay route.

The first float that we saw was one of the Butterfly Lovers. Quite a pretty sight. It was followed by waves of random displays.

The groper.

Beneath the Benjamin Shears Flyover.

No idea what was this.

School performers.

Egyptian themed float.

Passing by.

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.

Homies.

Performers from Taiwan.

While the Indonesian performers had the most practical float.

Indonesian.

Peranakans on Trishaws.

You would never guess what float this is.

The Singapore Pools public lottery.

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.

Tampines.

Giant dream catcher.

In an act of pure terror, one school decided to come as bad cosplayer…and a furry.

God no.

...

The ugliest float.

Community Development Council.

Danny Choos.

And their sweet mistress.

The Family Life Association had the single most disturbing display.

The horror!

Performers.

Fire dancers.

Middle age salsa.

Another shot.

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.

Balloon people.

The most unmotivated group since the cosplayers.

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.

Yellow River.

Fireworks.

More fireworks.

Not very aerodynamic.

Minor respite.

More nightmarish creations.

Their kidnapped slaves.

And their demonic offspring.

Settlers.

One of the displays collapsed onto spectators.

Universal Studios had a float at the end advertising the new Sentosa Resort.

Marilyn Monroe

Nazi Egyptian.

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.

Packing up.

Passion float.

Heading back.

Planning your holiday? We recommend visiting Agoda for a full list of hotels with early bird specials.


Chad

Supermerlion's Webmaster and Editor-in-Chief. Singaporean Nikkeijin with over 12 years of experience in the media industry. Producer at a Japanese entertainment company. Former Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Multimedia Programmer, Manager and Consultant. Shoots with a Canon 5Dmk2 and Sony RX100-2.