A lion dance at the Chingay Parade

An annual procession held during the Chinese New Year, the Chingay Parade originated in Penang in the 19th century and was officially staged in Singapore in 1973 by the People’s Association as an attempt to add excitement to the festive season after firecrackers were banned. Although it was intended to be a Chinese street festival, it eventually evolved to the multi-ethnic extravaganza that it is today. The lion dance is a traditional Chinese dance, performed by one or two people using a mock lion head and cape. There are two types of lions: the Beijing or northern lion (hairy and long mane) and the Southern lion (stylised lion head and decorated cape). The latter is more popular in Singapore than the former.