At the Dahlia Dreams floral display, eight dragons greet visitors, including a 15m-long centrepiece two-storeys high that rises amidst a thousand colourful dahlias

Dahlia Dreams Chinese New Year Year of the Dragon

In commemoration of the Year of the Wood Dragon, a dragon that reaches the height of two-storeys at 7m tall and stretches 15m across, rises in the centre of Flower Dome amidst more than 1,000 dahlias of 40 varieties. This dragon is the centrepiece of Gardens by the Bay‘s Dahlia Dreams floral display, which opens on Friday, January 19.

For the first time, the annual Chinese New Year floral display involved over 30 beneficiaries from Dementia Singapore, made up of persons living with dementia and their caregivers, who came together for a week to create 30 floral arrangements made of preserved hydrangeas, lunarias, and statice in the auspicious colours of red and yellow. These floral arrangements were then incorporated into the body of the dragon centrepiece, forming its “scales”.

Dahlia Dreams Chinese New Year Year of the Dragon Night

Such flower arrangement sessions have therapeutic benefits for individuals with dementia, such as cognitive and sensory stimulation, enhancement of motor skills, and bolstering of self-esteem as well as a sense of purpose. It is also an occasion to make precious memories, which is particularly poignant for those with dementia and their loved ones.

Spanning a variety of Dementia Singapore’s unique services, these participants are clients of namely the Family of Wisdom enrichment programme, the Voices For Hope empowerment programme and the social service agency’s CARA membership programme.

Dinnerplate dahlias and other lucky blooms

Gardens by the Bay’s signature dinnerplate dahlias, so-called because some measure up to 25cm in diameter, make a return in the Dahlia Dreams floral display. There will also be dahlias of varied shapes and forms. Varieties of note include:

  • Dahlia ‘Gloriosa’ – Lively red petals splashed on a creamy yellow base, resembling the strokes of an artist’s brush.
  • Dahlia ‘Duet’ – A striking two-toned decorative dahlia with bold purple petals and crisp white tips.
  • Dahlia ‘Spartacus’ – A bold, monochromatic decorative dahlia characterised by its dramatic deep wine-red petals.
  • Dahlia ‘Bodacious’ – Petals that boast a gradient of sunset orange at the base, lightening to a sunny yellow toward the tips.
  • Dahlia ‘Kenora Lisa’ – A delicate, multi-hued decorative dahlia, featuring creamy peach petals from their base, transitioning to blushing soft pink at the tips.

Complementing the dahlias are other Chinese New Year blooms such as celosias, asters, chrysanthemums, cymbidiums, guzmanias, oncidiums, marigolds, pussy willows, hydrangeas, lilies, and camellias.

Eight auspicious dragons in Flower Dome

This year, visitors can look forward to seeing eight dragons in Flower Dome. Flanking the dragon centrepiece are four colourful dragon lantern sets, each symbolising the elements of metal, water, fire and earth, which are deeply rooted in Chinese culture. There is also a pair of dragons captured in mid-dance, embodying the traditional dragon dance performed during Chinese New Year and is believed to bring good luck to people.

Dahlia Dreams Chinese New Year Year Water Dragon

Rounding off the dragons is The Bearer of Infinite Blessings, a 6m-tall dragon sculpture specially created by British sculptor James Doran-Webb for the Dahlia Dreams floral display, which welcomes visitors when they enter Flower Dome.

Breathing out smoke and set amidst a water feature, the sculpture is constructed from approximately 2,000 pieces of wood repurposed from dead trees as well as recycled stainless steel and took 9,000 hours to put together. The Bearer of Infinite Blessings symbolises prosperity and renewal this Chinese New Year. After Dahlia Dreams, the sculpture will travel to the United Kingdom to be showcased at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show by The Royal Horticultural Society in May.

Dahlia Dreams Chinese New Year Year Dragon Gate

To usher in positivity for all visitors, the floral display also features a scene that interprets the Chinese saying 鱼跃龙门, which translates into “carps leap over the dragon gate”, a metaphor for courage and the pursuit of greatness amidst challenges.

To add to the Chinese New Year festivities at Gardens by the Bay, visitors can look forward to River Hongbao 2025 in the outdoors, which will be returning from 8 to 17 February for its fourth edition at the Gardens. Highlights include a 140m-long dragon lantern stretched across two Supertrees and suspended 5m above ground at the Supertree Grove, and an 18m-tall God of Fortune.

📅 19 Jan to 17 Mar 2024
⏱ 9am – 9pm
📍 Flower Dome
🏷 Admission charge to Flower Dome applies

You can get tickets online at Klook.

Photos credit: Gardens by the Bay


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