Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chingay Parade 2011

The African groups. Not from Africa but Singaporeans dressed in festive African animal costumes.
Giraffes, dancing Zebras, and...

...Yes. Dancing trees.

This year's Chingay parade, both Saturday and Sunday, was the most organized parade we've ever attended. Have you ever attended a parade with huge gaps in the the "action"? Sections where nothing was going on and usually right in front of you.
Well, the Chingay parade is run and paced by music. The parade route is lined with loudspeakers piping out music. There is a motif for marching and a separate motif for performing. Marching groups perform their routines when the performance music is blaring and the entire parade moves on when the marching music begins.

What's a parade without the Music Man.

Firecracker Dragons.
Live firecrackers have been banned for most celebrations in Singapore since 1972 when two people were killed as a result of a massive firecracker explosion during the Lunar New Year celebration, but this is Chingay and if there are going to be fireworks, there may as well be firecrackers.
Most ceremonies in Singapore which would normally use live firecrackers now use simulated firecrackers. They pose little of the potential dangers of live firecrackers but still have a somewhat muted sound of firecrackers. The ban on firecrackers, although necessary, disappointed many people who felt it dampened the lively spirt of the celebrations.

Fireworks capped the end of the parades.

and... any parade associated with Chinese New Year will end with a dragon. Two 88 metre long dragons in the sky made them the longest floating dragons ever in Singapore.

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