Chinese New Year (also known as Lunar New Year or Spring Festival) is a time to be surrounded by your family and loved ones exchanging well wishes, feasting, shopping and basking in the fun and festivities!

celebrating Chinese New Year

The traditional Chinese New Year celebration lasts 15 days, with the climax of the festival peaking around the eve of Chinese New Year. 2020 marks the Year of the Rat, and here’s a fun fact for our readers – in the Chinese culture, it is believed that we take on the distinctive personality traits and characteristics of the different zodiac animal signs that we are born under!

Gather your family and learn more about the most important event in the Chinese calendar at the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall’s Lunar New Year celebrations!

Happening from 1 – 2 February 2020, Wan Qing Festival of Spring 2020 features an exciting line-up of festive offerings that are great for families with children. Look forward to the ever-popular lion dance performances, craft workshops for kids as well as interactive activities such as Chinese ink painting and Chinese drum workshops for the whole family!

And don’t miss out on these events as well – the Memorial Hall’s signature Mass Lo Hei where over 200 visitors will get to participate in a traditional Lo Hei toss, a special sharing on Fengshui Predictions for 2020 as well as an evening concert to round up the celebrations!

Admission is free.


Check out this list of exciting activities at Wan Qing Festival of Spring 2020 that the whole family can look forward to:

#1 Celebrate with Auspicious Lion Dance Performances

Auspicious tidings - Art of lion dance

Feel the excitement in the air as the energetic lion and dragon dance performances take the stage! Lion dance is a form of traditional Chinese dance that is performed during Lunar New Year and festive occasions as they are believed to be bearers of good luck.

Date: 25 January 2020 (lion and dragon dance), 1 & 2 February 2020 (lion dance)
Time: 10.15am (25 Jan), 6.00pm (1 Feb), 7.00pm (2 Feb)
Admission: No registration required


#2 Join the Festival of Spring Prosperity Toss (Supported by Kwong Cheong Thye)

Festival of Spring Prosperity Toss Mass Louhei

Lo Hei is undoubtedly one of the most important traditions of Chinese New Year. The tossing of yusheng represents good fortune and it’s often a competition to see who tosses the highest! Join in the Memorial Hall’s signature outdoor Lo Hei as you toss to good fortune for the New Year.

Date: 1 February 2020
Time: 6.00pm – 6.30pm
Admission: No registration required


#3 Embark on the Balestier Heritage Trail

Balestier heritage trail

Join the Memorial Hall’s exclusive Balestier Heritage Trail where you can embark on a journey to learn about the history and origins of Balestier!

You can look forward to exploring landmarks like Tan Tock Seng Hospital, the Maha Sasanaramsi Burmese Buddhist Temple as well as heritage stops such as Lam Yeo Coffee Powder Factory. You can also learn about the architectural and cultural developments of Balestier throughout the years. If you’re a history buff, this is definitely a trail you should consider.

Date: 1 (English) & 2 (Chinese) February 2020
Time: 10.30am – 12.00pm
Admission: $5.00. Register at wanqingyuan.peatix.com


#4 Craft Activities for the Kiddos

– Red Packet Origami (Supported by Wearable Craft)

Design your own angbao

Don’t we all love receiving Ang Pows (red packets)? The colour red is believed to bring good luck and happiness for the year ahead and symbolises abundance and blessings of good fortune.

Design your red packet at this craft station for an even more auspicious year ahead!

Date: 1 February 2020
Time: 11.00am – 2.00pm
Admission: No registration required

– Festive Fan Origami

Festive Fan Origami

This is the perfect craft activity for our sunny climate! Learn how to fold a Chinese hand fan and decorate it with items such as motifs, stickers and more for a personalised touch.

Date: 1 & 2 February 2020
Time: 11.00am – 7.00pm
Admission: No registration required

– Make Your Own Chinese Seal

Make Your Own Chinese Seal

Did you know that back in the days, seals or stamps were used as identification in personal letters or documents? The seals would typically feature either the sender’s full or family names. Go ahead and have fun creating your personalised Chinese seal!

Date: 1 February 2020
Time: 1.00pm – 4.00pm
Admission: No registration required

– Chinese Knot Weaving (Supported by Wearable Craft)

Chinese Knot Weaving

Chinese knot weaving is a form of decorative handicraft art that first began in the Tang and Song dynasties (618-1279 AD). Did you know that the word ‘knot’ (pronounced ‘jie‘ in Mandarin) signifies vitality, interconnections and harmony?

Chinese knots are often gifted in hopes for best wishes and prosperity for the recipient. They are also widely used today to decorate homes during festivities and celebrations!

Date: 2 February 2020
Time: 11.00am – 2.00pm
Admission: No registration required

– Make Your Own Zodiac Door Hanger

Make Your Own Zodiac Door Hanger

Kids will love this fun door hanger craft as they get to use it for their own room! While they design the festive zodiac door hanger, you can make use of the opportunity to teach them about the Chinese zodiac calendar and the animal sign that they were born under.

Date: 2 February 2020
Time: 1.00pm – 4.00pm
Admission: No registration required


#5 Immersive Storytelling and Workshops

– Stories for Children (Supported by the Speak Good English Movement and Speak Mandarin Campaign)

Stories for Children

Storytelling is effective in piquing our children’s imagination and helps them immerse in the storyline. Join the storytelling sessions conducted by our very own local storytellers and authors and your kids can go on a journey to discover the legends and myths behind Lunar New Year!

This interactive storytelling session helps children learn more about the different traditional customs of Chinese New Year such as the reason behind having celebratory lion dance performances during Chinese New Year. They can also look forward to a craft activity relating to the story as well.

Date: 1 & 2 February 2020
Time: 2.00pm – 3.00pm (Chinese); 5.00pm – 6.00pm (English)
Admission: No registration required

– ‘Lunar Guardians’ Sketching Workshop (Supported by BigBoysToys)

Lunar Guardians Sketching Workshop

Look out for the Memorial Hall’s festive art installation ‘Lunar Guardians’, created by Hong Kong collectable label BigBoysToys. The installation features two lion dance-inspired models that are created in a ‘mechanical-anime’ fashion.

Lunar Guardians festival of spring wan qing yuan

Through this installation, you can witness the ever-changing relationship between tradition and modernisation. Make use of this opportunity to discuss with your family the importance and evolution of traditions in this fast-changing world!

And in this sketching workshop, you will learn how to draw your own ‘Lunar Guardian’ from Hong Kong artist, Foon Wong!

Date: 1 & 2 February 2020
Time: 11.00am – 12.00pm
Admission: No registration required. Slots are limited, available on a first-come-first-served basis.

– Children’s Lion Dance Workshop (Supported by Martial House)

Lion Dance Workshop

We guarantee the whole family will enjoy this interactive children’s lion dance workshop!

You will learn lion dance movements, have your go at playing the instruments such as drums and cymbals and your children will also learn about the origins behind lion dance.

Date: 1 February 2020
Time: 4.30pm – 5.30pm
Admission: No registration required. Slots are limited, available on a first-come-first-served basis.

– Festive Chinese Drums Workshop (Supported by Martial House)

Festive Chinese Drums Workshop

Drum to the beat and rhythm of the Lunar New Year! Join forces with your child in this musical workshop where you get to learn the drumming techniques behind Chinese percussion instruments and the different types of beats and rhythms.

Date: 2 February 2020
Time: 4.30pm – 5.30pm
Admission: No registration required. Slots are limited, available on a first-come-first-served basis.

– Fun with Chinese Ink Painting Workshop (Supported by Martial House)

Chinese Ink Painting Workshop

Get hands-on in this immersive art workshop where you can create beautiful Chinese ink paintings and bring them home for display! Join the workshop to learn basic Chinese ink painting techniques and engage your children in expressing themselves through Chinese painting.

Date: 2 February 2020
Time: 6.00pm – 7.00pm
Admission: No registration required. Slots are limited, available on a first-come-first-served basis.


#6 Get your Feng Shui Predictions for 2020 (Supported by Master Eric Lim)

Fengshui Prediction Sharing Session
Are you curious as to what the Year of the Rat has in store for you? Led by Master Eric Lim, learn about how to increase your personal harmony, luck and happiness in this sharing session.

Date: 2 February 2020
Time: 2.00pm – 3.30pm
Admission: No registration required. Slots are limited, available on a first-come-first-served basis.


#7 Evening Concert

Wan Qing Festival of Spring 2020 Evening Concert

Look forward to the evening concert and experience a dynamic showcase of modern and traditional art forms! Be wowed by iconic Chinese performing arts such as traditional lion dance performances, Chinese drums, face-changing, and more!

Date: 1 & 2 February 2020
Time: 7.00pm – 9.00pm
Admission: No registration required.


#8 Don’t Miss Out on the Fringe Activities

– Balloon Art

Balloon Art

Want a souvenir for the kiddos to bring home from the festival? Look out for our roving balloon artist and make your request – be it a colourful flower, animal or crown!

Date: 1 & 2 February 2020
Time: 11.00am – 7.00pm
Admission: No registration required.

– Meet the God of Fortune

God of Fortune

Be sure not to miss the chance to meet our roving God of Fortune mascot and make sure to shake hands with him and receive abundant blessings for the New Year!

Date: 1 & 2 February 2020
Time: 11.00am – 7.00pm
Admission: No registration required.

– Glitter Tattoo

Glitter Tattoo

Need that extra ‘jazz’ for your Lunar New Year outfit? Choose from a range of unique glitter tattoo designs suitable for all ages!

Date: 1 & 2 February 2020
Time: 11.00am – 7.00pm
Admission: No registration required.


#9 Special Exhibition and Guided Tours: “From Brush to Lens: Early Chinese Photography Studios in Singapore”

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall Special Exhibition Guided Tour

“From Brush to Lens: Early Chinese Photography Studios in Singapore” is a special exhibition showcasing the journey of a skilled Chinese immigrant struggling to earn his place during the colonial era. In this exhibition, you will also discover the reason behind the rise of photography studios in the region during that period.

Date: 1 & 2 February 2020
Time: 10.30am – 11.30am (Chinese); 1.30pm – 2.30pm (English)
Admission: No registration required.


#10 Sharing Session: Preserving Photographs and History: Through the Lens of Paper Conservators (Supported by Ms Mariko Watanabe-Hirano and Mr Tay Jam Meng)

Sharing Session Preserving Photographs and History

Are you an avid photographer? Join this sharing session and learn more about the history of photography, the differences between albumen prints and gelatin silver prints and how you can differentiate them.

This special sharing session led by professional paper conservators will also delve into the elaborate details of the processes involved in photograph conservation. You will look at actual case studies of such conservation treatment done on photographs featured in the “From Brush to Lens: Early Chinese Photography Studio in Singapore” special exhibition.

Date: 1 February 2020
Time: 2.00pm – 3.30pm
Admission: No registration required. Slots are limited, available on a first-come-first-served basis.


#11 Permanent Galleries Guided Tour

Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall Permanent Galleries Tour
Take a tour of the Memorial Hall’s permanent galleries and learn more about Dr Sun Yat Sen’s revolutionary activities in Southeast Asia and Singapore’s role in the 1911 Revolution.

Date: 1 & 2 February 2020
Time: 2.30pm – 3.30pm (Chinese); 3.00pm – 4.00pm (English)
Admission: No registration required.


Celebrate the beginning of the Lunar New Year at Wan Qing Festival of Spring 2020 and plan a visit to Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall with your family today!

This advertorial is brought to you by National Heritage Board and Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall.

Photos by Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall. Text by Marinne Santiago.

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