The Chingay Parade happens on the occasion of the Chinese New Year and is a must watch if you are travelling to Singapore during that time. The origin of the parade is from China, where processions were made in honour of the Lunar New Year for two weeks in preparation for the arrival of the spring.
The meaning of the name “Chingay” comes from its Hokkien dialect equivalent, which means “The Art of Costume and Masquerade”. The first Chingay Parade in Singapore was held on February 1973, and it was so well received that it has traditionally continued until today.
It is one of the most fantastically organized human gatherings and hence attracts a lot of tourists from all over the world to grace this very one-of-its-kind experience. People from all walks of life flock in numbers to see this spectacle and it is truly a wonderful montage of culture and one worth experiencing.
The thing about Chingay which stands out though is not just the way it is organized and presented to the gawking audience but also the number of elements that go into the visual aspect of a monumental event like this. For any normal parade, there would just be people, representing who they are and owning up to their personality and actually celebrating it with maybe some confetti or anything. But the Chingay parade is not that small of a deal. It has to be magnanimous in all its forms and the Singaporeans kid no one when they organize this parade.
The Chinese New Year is one of the most important festivals as which is celebrated in Singapore and Malaysia as a collection of many festivals and the Chingay parade is one of them. The reason the Chinese New Year is celebrated with so much enthusiasm is because of the population which is primarily Chinese and believes in this faith. There is usually a very mysterious air about the Chinese and their traditions and that is because of the language barriers and that the language is nowhere close to any other one and not really decipherable. The Chinese culture is not experienced enough by anyone consciously and hence is stereotyped as different from the rest of the world and is often underestimated. But people should know that the Chinese have a rich and beautiful culture whose history is also worth understanding and hence should be experienced completely.
Tradition in Singapore and Malaysia
So as Singapore offers this on an open platter, we urge you to go and check these festivals not just to get the desired snaps and snippets but to engage in a culture which is otherwise so easily accessible yet seems warded off from the rest of the world just because the mainstream tourists don’t really pay much attention or rather refuse to try something new. The Chingay parade, although just a part of a whole host of other celebrations has something different to offer and hence can be the treat for the viewer and memorable experience as well.
Humans are visual creatures. If something is visually appealing or exciting we usually gravitate towards it and have ourselves the best of the times as we get lost in it and gradually involve the rest of our senses. The Chingay parade does exactly that and grabs the attention of the viewer in such a way that the person gets fully immersed in whatever is happening in front of them. Let me explain what the imagery is.
The celebration is incredibly breathtaking; it is filled with colourful performances, intricate and interesting costumes, fabulous lights and people in every direction. One of the main highlights of this event is the unique street floats that are made with superb attention to detail. The floats are one of the most flamboyant things in the whole affair and amuse the viewer beyond anything. To manoeuvre such a float is a task of utter perfection and it is supremely executed at the Chingay parade.
Each year, the festival shows off floats, dancing dragons, prancing lions, stilt walkers, Wushu masters, performers of different races in their traditional costumes and much more that pleases the eye. Not only young but people of all ages participate in the parade and enjoy themselves to the fullest. It is an event for everybody and includes people from all backgrounds all together. The Chingay parade celebrates togetherness while being unique in its own way. It creates an opportunity for people to be swayed by the colour and glamour that it offers and creates a lasting impression on all.
To get to the festival, you will need to head down to the F1 Pit Building at the Marina Waterfront, where the festivities are being held. The main event can be expected to last two hours and is pure entertainment. While thinking about attending the Chingay parade, I would say not to be sceptical about it because you would probably never experience anything like it ever again. It is an extraordinary experience which is proof of human coordination and spirit of unity in working on making a mammoth event into a whopping success.
The floats, the colours, the people and their unhindered spirit and the sheer fact that it is the largest street parade in the whole of Asia, make it a visit worth considering and actually making it work out.