Organised annually since 1987, the 2021 edition of River Hongbao is a hybrid physical/virtual event that offers visitors a different experience anchored on safe management measures and virtual elements.
Date: 10 to
16 20 February 2021 (Extended by 4 Days)
Time: 2pm onwards
Venue: Gardens by the Bay
Registration starts 3 February 2021 at 11am (See below for details)
The life-sized lanterns, giant God of Fortune installation and exhibition which have made River Hongbao (RHB) one of Singapore’s most beloved and exciting Chinese New Year celebration events will return this year at a new venue at Gardens by the Bay. It will run for
seven eleven days from 10 February to 16 20 February 2021.
RHB, which has been held annually since 1987, is organised by the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations, Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Singapore Press Holdings’ Chinese Media Group, Singapore Tourism Board and People’s Association.
Mr Tan Aik Hock, Chairman of the River Hongbao 2021 Organising Committee, said: “This year’s RHB will be a different experience from previous years. In deciding whether to proceed with RHB, the first question we asked ourselves was whether we can ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our visitors. It was also important that we did our level best to try and adjust to the new normal, while continuing the RHB tradition. After extensive deliberation, planning and consultation, and together with our venue partner Gardens by the Bay, we have adapted the event and we are confident that we have put in place robust safety protocols that will allow our visitors to imbibe in some festive flavour, as we launch into new beginnings in the Chinese year of the Ox.”
Ensuring Safety and Wellbeing
This year, safe management and crowd control measures will take priority at the physical RHB event. Baseline safety protocols include SafeEntry check-ins, fever thermal screening, and the provision of hand sanitisers. High-touch points will be cleaned several times a day.
In addition, to prevent crowding, visitors are required to pre-register by booking slots online to avoid disappointment. Daytime slots are 90 minutes in duration, while night-time slots are 120 minutes in duration.
Visitorship is capped at 2,000 visitors per time slot to ensure that there is sufficient room for safe distancing between visitors and prevent bunching.
More than 100 volunteers, safe distancing ambassadors and uniformed auxiliary police officers will be deployed to prevent crowding, and also to ensure that all visitors follow proper safe management measures.
The RHB Organising Committee will continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation, and will adjust the RHB 2021 programme further, if necessary.
New Venue: Gardens by the Bay
Even though there will be restrictions placed due to COVID-19, visitors can still expect to see some perennial RHB favourites at the new Gardens by the Bay (GB) event site.
Mr Felix Loh, CEO of Gardens by the Bay, said: “We are honoured to be entrusted by the River Hongbao 2021 Organising Committee as their venue partner. At the same time, we are conscious of the need to work doubly hard to ensure that the popular event is carried out in a safe way and seek visitors’ understanding of the need for enhanced safety measures. While this year’s edition has been scaled back in line with the muted celebrations, we hope that the occasion will still bring some cheer and joy to our community as we welcome a new spring of hope together.”
A “Different” RHB Experience
Due to concerns over COVID-19, there will be restrictions on crowd numbers and several of RHB’s key features such as the fireworks, the amusement park and live stage performances have been cancelled.
What RHB visitors can still enjoy and take photographs of this year on-site are 24 giant lanterns featuring icons like a peacock, a pair of butterflies, the 12 animal zodiacs, and the crowd-pleasing God of Fortune. These lanterns will be scattered throughout GB’s outdoor gardens.
➡️ Related Read: Year of Ox Zodiac Forecast 2021
Cultural elements can also be found at RHB whereby visitors can boost their knowledge of Chinese culture at the River Hongbao exhibition, which will highlight the Lion Dance tradition. The exhibition includes a curated selection of lion dance artefacts from private collectors and organisations, with some dating back to as far as the 1950s. It also shows the significance of the lion dance in different cultures and countries, as well as the history of the lion dance and its development in Singapore.
In place of student-led guided tours which have been cancelled due to COVID-19, pre-recorded videos of the students introducing the exhibition contents will be available for viewing online at the RHB website. Onsite visitors can access these easily by scanning a QR code at the exhibition.
Main stage live performances have also been cancelled this year. Instead, nightly screenings of pre-recorded performances will be held at the Main Stage, featuring local talents on different themed nights including Getai Night and Xinyao Night. RHB, in collaboration with Mediacorp and the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, is producing a specially curated show which will be broadcast on Channel 8 on 26 February 2021. RHB will also be collaborating for the first time with Singapore Press Holdings’ Chinese Media Group to pre-record one night of performance – “Joys of Springs” – which will be screened on 16 February 2021.
As visitor numbers are limited, many different elements of RHB will be posted online at the RHB website for the public to enjoy from home. This includes the Lion Dance exhibition, lantern displays and videos of the pre-recorded performances.
There will be plenty of opportunities for visitors to engage with River Hongbao virtually, such as through games and other interactive elements. RHB will be launching a TikTok contest for the first time with attractive prizes to be won.
POSB #HuntYourZodiac, an interactive virtual game first introduced by key partner POSB at RHB last year, will be back bigger and better this year. From 10 to 14 February, visitors can enjoy a fun, immersive experience where they hunt the twelve Chinese zodiac animals via their mobile devices. Previously confined to RHB grounds, this year’s edition of POSB #HuntYourZodiac is scaling up into an exciting island-wide hunt.
Players who successfully catch the animals stand to win cash prizes (over SGD 150,000 worth of prizes to be won), and also obtain specialised Chinese horoscope predictions based on their zodiac animal and element (metal, wood, fire, water, earth).
With safety protocols and a new venue, RHB 2021 will certainly be different from previous years. As one of the most familiar and well-loved events in the Singapore calendar, through its adaptation, RHB hopes that everyone can still usher in the Chinese New Year in a joyful manner and enjoy festivities in a responsible way.
For more information, visit here. #RHB2021 #riverhongbao2021 #riverhongbao #cny
Visitor Must-Knows: Online Pre-registration
In order to manage crowd numbers, an Online Booking system will be implemented for online reservations. Visitors are required to book their slots online to avoid disappointment.
The system will open for registration from 3 February at 11am. Visitors will be able to re-login after 6 Feb to change their registered timeslots, subject to availability.
|Event dates||Booking Release Date and Time|
|10 and 11 Feb||3 Feb, 11am|
|12 and 13 Feb||4 Feb, 11am|
|14, 15 and 16 Feb||5 Feb, 11am|
|17 to 20 Feb||Registration open|
Upon successful registration, a confirmation email with QR Code(s) will be sent. Visitors are to present the email for entry into RHB on the event day. One person can book for a maximum of 4 persons, including him or herself. Each timeslot has a maximum capacity of 2,000 people. Visitors will be assigned a specific entrance point, to prevent crowding.
Table: Timeslot durations and timings. Entry checkpoints (Check-in time) will open 30 minutes before the start of the time slot, for visitors to file in, and close 30 minutes after the start of the time slot (Entry Gate Closure).
Upon check-in and showing the QR code in the email, visitors will be issued with colour-coded wristbands. Visitors for each time slot are allocated wristbands of different colours.
For more information, visit here.
CHINESE NEW YEAR 2021
We have compiled a list of Where to go during Chinese New Year 2021 especially for our readers. Click on the image to read more.
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