River Hongbao Welcomes The Year Of The Dog From 14 To 24 Feb

Everyone knows that with the arrival of Chinese New Year (CNY), there’s always something great to look forward to. This year, usher in the Year of the Dog with plenty of lights, fireworks, and action at River Hongbao 2018.

Held every year since 1987, River Hongbao is Singapore’s largest Lunar New Year celebration, and this year promises to be the best one yet.

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Take a quick peek at last year’s River Hongbao and get hyped up

There’s going to be a multitude of performances, and even carnival games.

Change up your CNY festivities, and spend an evening with family and friends at The Float @Marina Bay.

There’s definitely going to be something for everyone, so we break down what you should do at River Hongbao:

1. Nightly Fireworks

Yeah, we know, we just had epic fireworks on New Year’s Eve. But do fireworks really ever lose their charm? We’d like to think not.

Every night at the River Hongbao, the sky is going to be alight with spectacular fireworks.

That’s right. Every. Single. Night. That’s 11 nights in a row, back to back.

Fireworks with the God of Fortune overlooking? We sense a very wealthy year ahead…

You’ll be able to catch the fireworks 9pm every night, except for CNY eve on 15 February.

2. Get your blessings from the God of Fortune

Maximise your blessings this year with confetti showers from the God of Fortune.

The God of Fortune, standing at a great height of 18 metres, will be sprinkling gold confetti on the crowd every night at the River Hongbao.

In case you didn’t know, the God of Fortune is said to bless devotees with luck, great economic opportunities and of course, what he’s known for — fortune.

The magnificent God of Fortune hopefully bringing fortune to everyone in his vicinity

So if you hope to get rich this year, attend the confetti showers at the River Hongbao.

From 14-22 Feb, the showers of golden glitter will take place at 7pm, 8pm, 9.20pm, and 10pm.

On 23 and 24 Feb, catch his blessings at 6pm and 7pm.

3. Performance by MIcapella

For the first time at River Hongbao, super popular A Capella group MIcapella will be performing.

They’ve won multiple awards and have even topped the iTunes mando-pop charts.

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Check out their rendition of NDP songs to find out what you’re really in for

We’ve never heard our favourite CNY songs in a capella before, so this sure sounds like it’s going to be an interesting experience.

What makes it even greater is that they put their own twist on the songs. Perhaps they’ll even perform a he xin nian and cai shen dao medley.

Unfortunately, as for now, the exact dates of their performances is unclear. Make sure to check out River Hongbao’s Facebook page regularly for updates so you don’t miss out.

4. Other performancs

That’s not all, as there are going to be even more performances by two international groups.

Anhui Chuzhou Performing Arts Group and the National Taiwan University of Sports Dance Troupe will be two of the acts at the River Hongbao.

Woah. Just woah.

These acrobats are literally jumping through hoops to impress the audience. And it sure is working.

Or if you prefer something less heart-stopping, perhaps you can check out the elegant ladies from the performing arts group sway you with their skills and elegance.

Some of us could only ever wish for this level of hand-eye coordination

Live vicariously through the acts, while wondering how they’re about to pull off such amazing feats that seem to defy gravity and logic.

There will also be performances from local favourites such as Marcus Chin, Desmond Ng, and Lin Ruping.

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Desmond Ng making the ladies swoon at the Getai Challenge Final

Desmond Ng is a well-known local getai singer, so be prepared to hear him belt out some crowd favourites. His good looks and powerful voice will be sure to impress your aunties and grandmas, too.

5. Food Street

Did you think there was no food involved? Of course, if it’s an event in Singapore you know there’s going to be food. And plenty of it, at that.

Expect a variety of local and regional cuisine at the River Hongbao Food Street, where you can stuff your face to your heart’s content. After all, that is the best part of CNY.

The calories don’t technically count.

Mmm, we’re drooling.

There will be fried squid from crowd favourite UYI Savoury Squids. And for our Muslim friends who’d like to attend the River Hongbao, there’s good news too. UYI Savoury Squids is halal, so everyone can dig in and enjoy.

They have the wildest seasoning for their squids, ranging from curry to sour plum.

We can feel this food going down our throats already…

Not only will you be feasting your eyes on the colours all around the River Hongbao, you’ll be able to eat them, too.

Still trying to figure out how all that pulling results in dragon’s beard

More traditional snacks will be available too. For example, dragon’s beard candy — which is basically just candy floss made fancier. Although admittedly, the name dragon’s beard is way cooler.

6. Lantern display

The display of lanterns at River Hongbao is undoubtedly the best part of the whole event.

Everyone likes dogs, and with it being the Year of the Dog, the River Hongbao is going to filled with images of dogs.

The Year of the Rooster had such a huge rooster, so just imagine the dogs there’ll be this year

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the River Hongbao. Ha ha. Okay fine, that’s not funny.

The Float is going to be awash with bright golds and reds, and of course, doggies!

What the entrance to this year’s River Hongbao will look like 

River Hongbao goes all-out every year, and their lanterns are always extravagant and beautiful.

What’s even more exciting about this year is that it’s the Year of the Dog, which means we can hope to expect giant lanterns of man’s best friend.

Just keep swimming, swimming

Get lost walking through a maze of lanterns that’s sure to impress adults and kids, alike.

The main lantern attraction titled “Prosperous Nation, Flourishing People” is expected to be huge, at 50m long and 15m tall.

7. Amusement park

For those of you that find giant lanterns and performances meh, hop on over to the amusement park to let out some steam.

There will be more than 30 rides and game stalls, so there won’t be any shortage of fun.

Bump into friends who annoy you passive-aggressively to keep them in check

Bumpers bring true, unadulterated joy. There’s no feeling better than being able to bang into things purely for the fun of it.

Having a bad week at work? Take your anger out on the other bumper cars. Your friends won’t thank you, but at least you’ll feel better.

Rolling in the deep

Perhaps you want to get in a small workout in-between snacking on pineapple tarts.

The best way to do that is to get into one of these wheels, and roll around on the water like a hamster.

Carnival games are a great way to bring the family together

Perhaps you’ll leave with more than you bargained for, winning one of the plenty of toys that are going to be up for grabs.

Your friends and family will surely be impressed.

8. Cultural activities

Attending any one of the numerous cultural activities is a great way to get back in touch with your Chinese roots.

And for those of you that are visiting the River Hongbao purely for a good time, you can learn a good deal about the Chinese culture through the exhibitions and activities they’ll be having.

After all, there’s no better time than CNY.


Try your hand at calligraphy, paper cutting, stamps, and traditional handicrafts.

Bring out your loved ones’ competitive side, by suggesting that the one with the most well-done handicraft buys the snacks. Heh.

What the exhibition will look like

The “My Home, My New Year” exhibition is going to tell the story of CNY through the years in Singapore.

The story will be told from a character’s perspective, who you’ll follow through the 60s, to 90s. You’ll get to see how CNY used to be celebrated, and what it’s evolved into today.

How to get there

River Hongbao expects a million people in attendance this year, so you should probably plan out your trip there ASAP.

Yes, a million people. Considering that’s a lot of people, you should probably figure out trip logistics in advance so you don’t get caught up in the bustle of people that will be attending.

The event will be going on from 2pm to 11pm every day from 14 to 24 February. On 15 February, expect it to go on until 1am.

Located at The Float @Marina Bay, it’s well connected by bus and MRT routes, so you don’t have to drive there and struggle with parking.

The closest MRT stations are City Hall, Raffles Place, Esplanade, Promenade and Bayfront.

The closest bus stops by name to alight at will be opposite Ritz Carlton, Pan Pacific Hotel, One Raffles Link, Esplanade Bridge, and Seating Gallery.

From these bus stops, it’s only a short walk over to The Float @Marina Bay.

This event promises to be plenty of fun for the whole family, so make sure you don’t miss out on the chance to head on down.

Featured image from Instagram.