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River HongBao 2024 lantern preview

Let’s embarking on a exploration through Gardens by the Bay provides an exclusive sneak peek into the upcoming River HongBao lantern displays, set to unfold from February 8th to the 17th in a couple of weeks time. Lets take a peek at what to expect for River HongBao 2024 in a lantern preview.

The majestic Dragon piece at the Super tree grove.
The majestic Dragon piece at the Super tree grove.

Moreover, the name “River Hongbao” is derived from the word “hongbao”. It symbolises red packets filled with New Year’s gifts, this festival holds deep roots in Chinese tradition. Nestled in the iconic Marina Bay area, it harmoniously juxtaposes Singapore’s modern skyline with the age-old customs of Chinese New Year all in the vast greenery and space of the Gardens.

Family themed lanterns
Family themed placement lanterns scattered about the grounds.

Moreover, the festival traces to its origin inauguration in 1987, growing into a pivotal event on the annual Singaporean calendar. Also, the event’s evolution mirrors Singapore’s commitment to rejuvenate and celebrate traditional Chinese customs during festive seasons, captivating both locals and visitors alike. River HongBao has grown into a vibrant cultural celebration, embodying historical and contemporary elements.

Dragon reunion
Dragon reunion center piece you can find littered along walkways in the garden meedows.

River HongBao 2024- Super tree dragon preview piece

A focal point of the festival is the vibrant and elaborate lantern displays that adorn the grounds, showcasing intricate designs depicting Chinese myths, zodiac animals, and auspicious symbols. Also, most of the event lanterns in the garden Meadows and the Supertree grove sectors remain accessible on foot. It allows you to leisurely stroll through the captivating garden and view the lanterns early.

The highlight of River HongBao undoubtedly lies in the Supertree grove region. High above, a majestic dragon lantern gracefully hovers, providing a breathtaking spectacle against the backdrop of the Marina Bay Sands building. The god of fortune lantern, though not fully assembled, adds an air of anticipation as it sits in two pieces in the Supertree grove compound.

God of fortune awaiting assembly at the super tree grove area.
God of fortune awaiting assembly at the super tree grove area.

The festival is not limited to visual delights; it features cultural performances, art installations, and a bustling bazaar. Visitors can immerse themselves in traditional Chinese delicacies and shop for festive goods. Also, when the event officially opens, you can expect festive fireworks displays and live performances further enhance the festive atmosphere, creating an immersive experience for all.

A cultural showcase

Furthermore, beyond the revelry, River HongBao serves as a platform for cultural exchange, fostering understanding among Singapore’s diverse population.

Singapore river piece
Singapore river piece by the Bayfront MRT Entrance.

Here, a significant lantern display takes shape on the Dragonfly Lake near Dragonfly Island, mimicking an early scene of the Singapore River. Also here, intricately designed lanterns depict a hand-steered cargo bum boat gliding past iconic 5-foot walkway warehouses, creating a nostalgic ambiance.

Dragon Closeup
Bayfront walkway
Works in progress

The Bayfront archway, leading in from the MRT, is already in place, hinting at the grandeur to come. This has a similar setup to past year’s River Hongbao. However, most displays are yet to be powered on or lit at night, heightening the anticipation for the full spectacle to unfold.

Bayfront entrance archway.
Bayfront entrance archway.
Spring lanterns
Making a scene with music
Tiger zodiac

Animal zodiac and Meadows fairgrounds

Rabbit and cheeky monkey lanterns on the garden meadows sector.
Rabbit and cheeky monkey lanterns on the garden meadows sector.

Venturing into the gardens meadows area unveils adorable lanterns representing the 12 animals of the zodiac. This year’s art style takes on a toony-shouty approach, with a “comic style” emphasis on each animal.

Dragon zodiac piece
Dragon zodiac piece, depicting tako drums in the beat.

Also, the dragon and ox beat drums, while the rabbit, monkey, and rat engage in a musical ensemble, infusing a playful charm into the festivities. Additionally, from, the looks of it there appears to be mini galleries and event tents being setup here too, possibly housing a food street and art galleries like those seen in last’ year 2023 River Hongbao event for instance.

Bull and Dog zodaic lanterns.
Bull and Dog zodaic lanterns.

Furthermore, the choice of Marina Bay as the festival’s location adds a touch of grandeur, seamlessly blending tradition with the contemporary spirit of Singapore. As workers hustle to set up the main performance stage in the meadows area, the nearby carnival and mini fairgrounds ride area hints at the diverse attractions awaiting visitors.

Shouting Rooster
Shouting Rooster.

The meadows area, currently cordoned off, teems with anticipation as amusement rides, still on their trailers, wait to be unveiled. It’s only a matter of time before the rides are unpacked, tested, and ready to add an extra layer of excitement to the event in just two weeks.

Abundance year after year.
Abundance year after year.

In conclusion, this early exploration of the River HongBao festival promises a rich tapestry of cultural celebration, artistic expression, and festive revelry. As the lanterns and lights come to life on February 8th, a re-visit when the event opens through the illuminated wonderland beckon, promising an unforgettable experience for all who partake in the festivities.


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