2.25.2013

Chingay 妆艺 2013 : 雪 中火 A Spectacular CNY finale



The Fire begins
Media Invite
View from Daddy M

The theme for this year Chingay is called Fire in Snow 雪 中火


Prelude
God of Fortune
The seats began to fill from 6 in the evening. Before the parade starts, the incoming spectators were treated to a Chinese New Year Medley performed by the choir.
F1 Pit Building
This year , the Chingay  was held at the F1 pit building, with a 360m parade route, over a span of 2 days. Given the opportunity by Marina Bay to cover this event, I did not hesitated as this will be the 1st time that I get the chance to witness  a 'live' Chingay parade.
Warm up dance
Chingay had started in 1973. Our first Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kwan Yew was inspired by a similar
event in Penang. It began as a neighbourhood event to become one of Singapore's Chinese New Year grandest street and float festival. Interestingly, Chingay was also thought to have started  the year after firecrackers were ban in Singapore. The aim was to bring back cheer during Chinese New Year. It may have originally started as a Chinese event, but had since evolved into a multi-cultural event with performance from Malay and Indian community in 1977.
The Crowd
There were 10 000 volunteer performances from both local organisation and international acts for this year Chingay. The pit building was filled to the brim with nary an empty seat in sight. It was estimated that there were 150 000 local audience on site. The crowd eagerly await the start of this spectacular show showcasing the rich, vibrant multi -culturalism of Singapore and cultures all over the world.
 Opening Segment
Let the show began
The event began with 3000 performance lighting up the  firepots along the 360 meters route. They were followed by 450 tai chi sword performance supported by 15 male dancers from China Red Start Dance Troupe in the opening act , 'The Song of Righteousness'.
Song of Righteousness
Next up was the Peach Blossoms choreography by the China Red Star Troupe.
Peach Blossoms
Act 3 was the refreshing PAYM Youth Poppera! by 800 strong youth performing to the enchanting Phantom of the Opera.
PAYM Youth Poppera

The highlight of this opening segment would no doubt be the Chinese New Year Celebrations - Fire display.

This had always been the core performance of Chingay since inception. Filled with mythical dragons, centipedes, stilt walkers and fire crackers, this act brought the loudest cheer from the audience.
Auspicious Centipede Dance
This was the segment that had me impressed.  An awe inspiring performance from all involved.
Kudos to the performers and their excellent choreography which was practiced for many days without fail.
Stilt Walkers
There were even firecrackers released. For this act itself, it was worth the price of admission.
Fire Cracker Stilt Walkers
Finally the famed Chingay floats make its appearances. The floats were always a part of the Chingay procession and they do not disappoint.


This year , Chingay will travel to the heartlands. If you missed the Chingay parade and want to get up close and personal, do take note of the following dates.



Next up was the performances by Chinese Opera Yang's Lady Generals.
Chinese Opera performances and floats

Segment 2 : Ethnic & International items
Ethnic & International Items
In Singapore multi-cultural nation, Chingay is not just about Chinese New Year, but an opportunity to celebrate diversity. Ethic group performance includes performance from Indian and Malay items. Other international act includes Indonesian, Japanese, South Korea, Philippines and France.

Segment 3 : Communities celebrates Chingay
There was a  delicious performance by the Passion culinary community. They did an on site record breaking  mass cooking demonstration. In addition members from 15 GRCs, CDCs, PA councils and community organisations join forces for a show filled with community spirit.

Gangnam Style made its appearances for the night as well. Check the video out!
Home , hope , heart
Segment 4 : Zumba
The show continue with the Zumba performance by the energetic Passion Zumba community.
Zumba
Finale : Fire in Snow
Light my fire
The finale was a touching scene as 1000 resilient Singaporeans moving forward with fire torches. Together with 10 000 performers, they transformed the parade route into an Ocean of Fire to represent the resilient spirit. We heard that the performers brave nights of rainy days to make this day perfect. In more ways than one , this performance was as good as it can get.
 Lion Float
Finally, emerging at the climax of the whole parade, the majestic Strong Man, Lion and Condor floats make their grand entrance, signifying the  collectively courage, bravery and the resilience spirit of mankind.
The Lion roars
Famous artistes 东方比利,洪荣宏,杨烈,彭恰恰,蔡艾珈 and Sebastian Tan performing during the Finale amidst snow and fireworks.
Star Performances
The evening ended with  snow appearing from towers on the floats and at every corner of the seating area. In less than a minute , the evening sky is filled with a blanket of snow.
It's a wrap!
With that , the aptly name Fire in Snow closed with a bang.
All smiles
The look on the performers were priceless. Scenes of jubilation , friendships and a sense of pride were written all over their faces. It was a celebration that Singapore could be proud of. The kindred spirit is alive, and I am honored to have witness it this very night.
PM Lee Hsien Long and Mdm Ho Ching
The 3 main guest of honour for the night includes PM Lee Hsien Loong, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and outgoing PA chief executive Yam Ah Mee.
Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong
I had the privilege to get up close to take photos of them while they move past the cheering crowds.
PA Chief Yam Ah Mee
A special thanks to Marina Bay for the invitation as part of Marina Bay AmBayssador. I truly enjoyed the opportunity to be up close to witness the Singapore spirit. I could see on this night, faces of elation , unity and joy regardless of race or culture.

Next year, I will bring my boys down to watch as spectators. I am sure they would love to be immerse in this finale for the Chinese New Year festival. We caught the performance on TV yesterday, but I can say from first hand experiences, that Chingay is meant to be watch live.

Looking forward to Chingay 2014!





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