I love, love, love a parade – the color, the bands, the people watching – everything about them! Singapore’s annual Chingay Parade is the largest street performance and float parade in all of Asia and I was sooo excited to be going.
The parade started back in 1973, when the People’s Association (an organization charged with nation-building programs to promote social cohesion and multiracialism) teamed up with the Singapore National Pugilistic Federation (an organization to promote and advance martial arts) to hold a street parade depicting aspects of Chinese culture, i.e. dragon and lion dances, martial arts and street opera.
It was so well received, organizers made it an annual festival, held the first weekend of the Lunar New Year. Two years after its inception, the parade was made more inclusive of the country’s other ethnic groups — Malays, Indians and Eurasians. Chingay is now billed as epitomizing “the dynamism of Singapore’s vibrant and multicultural society.”
The event has a very proud, patriotic feel. The enthusiastic and very loud emcees encouraged crowd cheering and participation. “You are all part of this celebration! We are all Singapore! Here, we celebrate together as one!”