Where to go during CNY 2024 in Singapore?

Singapore Chinatown Chinese New Year (CNY) 2024 - Dragon sculptures, lightings, installations 牛车水龙年灯饰
List of activities, things to do & where to go during Chinese New Year 2024 (CNY 2024) in Singapore for families, friends and couples.

Things to do during Chinese New Year 2024

Still planning where to go during Chinese New Year 2024? This CNY 2024 things-to-do guide is perfect for families, friends, and couples, with activities available from CNY eve right up to the 15th day of the CNY.  

Things to do for CNY 2024CNY EveDay 1Day 2Day 3-15
Take a walk in Chinatown area
(1 Jan – 19 Feb) – Free
✔️✔️✔️✔️
Eat hotpot & feast with family and friends
(8 Jan – 29 Feb)
✔️✔️✔️✔️
Celebrate CNY at Wan Qing Yuan
(16 Jan – 25 Feb)
✔️✔️✔️⚠️
Visit Dahlia Dreams floral exhibition
(19 Jan – 25 Feb)
✔️✔️✔️✔️
Visit RWS’s S.E.A Aquarium with the kids
(26 Jan – 25 Feb)
✔️✔️✔️✔️
Watch Dragon drone show at Marina Bay
(10 – 16 Feb) – Free
✔️✔️⚠️
Visit River Hongbao
(8 – 17 Feb) – Free
✔️✔️✔️⚠️
Visit Haw Par Villa
(9 – 24 Feb)
✔️✔️✔️⚠️
Watch a CNY movie at the cinema
(9 – 24 Feb)
✔️✔️✔️✔️
Visit Istana Open House
(12 Feb)
⚠️
Attend cultural events at Huayi Chinese Festival of the Arts
(16 – 25 Feb)
⚠️
Watch Chingay Parade with family
(23 Feb – 24 Feb)
⚠️
Participate in the Prosperity Run to burn off calories
(24 Feb)
⚠️

Take a walk in Chinatown area

Chinese New Year celebration in Singapore is never complete without taking a stroll in the Chinatown district.

This year, streets along New Bridge Road, Eu Tong Sen Street, South Bridge Road, and Upper Cross Street are decorated with dragon-themed lanterns, lighting, and sculptures. The street light-up will be up from 19 January 2024 until 9 March 2024 and lit from 7:00 pm to 12:00 am daily (extended to 6:00am on CNY Day 1) during this period.

Nothing beats going for a walk with your friends and family after the reunion dinner on CNY eve or after visiting relatives on Day 1 and Day 2 of CNY.

Apart from taking a walk and taking photos at the iconic area this season, a host of activities from CNY bazaars, cultural shows, lion dance competition, art workshops, and a countdown event on CNY Eve have been lined-up three weeks before CNY right up till the actual days.

Additionally, don’t forget to buy bak kwa from Chinatown’s bak kwa street as gifts for friends and in-laws ahead of time to steer clear of the crowds!

Eat hotpot & feast with family and friends

The Chinese tradition of hotpot dates back to more than 2000 years ago during the “Three Kingdoms period” (200–280 AD). The tradition has stayed rooted in most Chinese communities and having hotpot is almost a must for all occasions, including Chinese New Year. 

You can easily create your own hotpot at home by buying HaiDiLao Hotpot Seasoning (as the broth), vegetables, meats, seafood, and sauces from the supermarkets.

Alternatively, you can also refer to this list of hotel buffets, hotpot and steamboat buffet restaurants that are open during CNY 2024 to dine, spend time and catch up with your family and friends.

Celebrate CNY at Wan Qing Yuan

Photos via Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall (SYSNMH) / Website

In conjunction with the Chinese New Year, the memorial hall & museum commemorating Chinese revolutionary Sun Yat-Sen is getting ready for the festive season.

Other than learning about the history and role of the 2-storey colonial house used as Southeast Asia’s headquarter for the Xinhai Revolution, a series of festive activities including God of Fortune appearances, lion & dragon dance, art workshops, guided tours have been lined up until 25 February 2024.

There are also life-sized Dino dragon sculptures that visitors can take photos with on the lawn of the museum.

Visit Dahlia Dreams floral exhibition

Photos via Gardens by The Bay / Website

The annual CNY floral display, Dahlia Dreams, is back again at Gardens by the Bay!

This year’s exhibition showcases a 7-meter tall and 15-meter long dragon, adorned with cut and preserved flowers. It also features over a thousand dahlias of varied shapes, sizes, and colors. Visit the Flower Dome this CNY with everyone in your family, young and old, for a relaxing and chilled family day.

With rain almost every day since the start of the year, this floral exhibition offers a perfect family-bonding activity, rain or shine.

Visit RWS's S.E.A Aquarium with the kids

If there are kids in the family, bring them to the S.E.A Aquarium at Resort World Sentosa for an exploratory and educational trip this Chinese New Year! 

On top of marine life and creatures that the young ones can see at the aquarium, special showcase of weedy sea dragons, manta mascot appearances and an underwater dragon dance await all visitors this festive season.

This is also a perfect backup plan if it rains or it gets too hot in Singapore during the CNY.

Watch Dragon drone show at Marina Bay

Photos via Marina Bay Sands / Press Release

To celebrate the Dragon Year, a  dragon drone show will light up the sky of Marina Bay for 4 nights on 10, 11, 15 & 16 February 2024 this Chinese New Year. Titled ‘The Legend of the Dragon Gate”, a fleet of 1500 drones will tell the story of the mythical Dragon King. This 10-minute performance will surely mesmerise the audience with a symphony of lights and music. 

Visit River Hongbao

Where to go during CNY 2024 in Singapore - River Hongbao - Illuminated Dragon & God of Fortune centrepiece
Play Video about Where to go during CNY 2024 in Singapore - River Hongbao - Illuminated Dragon & God of Fortune centrepiece

River Hongbao 2024 (春到河畔 2024), the annual CNY celebrations along the Singapore River since 1987, will be held at Gardens by the Bay for a fourth consecutive year from 8 to 17 January 2024.

Other than the usual God of Fortune and dragon-themed lanterns that will offer visitors lots of photo opportunities, nightly performances and activities have been lined up in the evenings throughout the 10-day event. A food fair and carnival with amusement rides will also be available at the venue. 

And for the first time in over a decade, firecrackers will light up the first three nights of the festival, marking the arrival of the dragon year.

Visit Haw Par Villa

Photos via Haw Par Villa / Website

Yes, Haw Par Villa is open during Chinese New Year! The park is open all year round including public holidays.

The younger generation may not know that Haw Par Villa was once a must-go destination for foreign tourists to Singapore in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. The park contains statues and dioramas, depicting Chinese mythology, legends, folktales, and novels, such as Journey to the West, Legend of the White Snake, Chinese Zodiac, etc.

Haw Par Villa is open from 9:00am –  8:00pm (the last entry is at 7:30pm). Admission is free for Haw Par Villa but you will need to buy a ticket to visit the Hells’ Museum at S$18 for adults and S$10 for children (7-12 years old). According to its website, Hell’s Museum is not recommended for children below the age of 9.

It is useful to note that the ticketed Hell’s Museum is usually closed on Mondays.

Watch a CNY movie at the cinema

Play Video about Where to go during CNY 2024 in Singapore - CNY Movie - Money No Enough 3 (钱不够用3)

Photos via J Team Productions / Facebook

From comedy such as “Money No Enough 3” starring local comedians Jack Neo and Mark Lee, romance movie “If You Are The One 3”, Japanese blockbuster animation “Spy X Family Code: White”, Disney’s cartoon “Turning Red”, to action and thriller blockbusters like “Argylle” and “Rob N Roll”, there are movies suitable for everyone this CNY:

  • Johnny Keep Walking! (年会不能停!)
    • Rating / Genre: PG13 (Some Coarse Language) / Comedy
    • Duration: 117 minutes
    • Opening Date: 25 January 2024
    • Cast: Da Peng 大鹏, Bai Ke 白客, Sabrina Zhuang 庄达菲
  • If You Are The One 3 (非诚勿扰 3)
    • Rating / Genre: PG13 (Some Sexual References) / Romance
    • Duration: 119 minutes
    • Opening Date: 25 January 2024
    • Cast: Ge You 葛优, Shu Qi 舒淇, Fan Wei 范伟, Li Chengru 李诚儒, Yue Yunpeng 岳云鹏, Chang Yuan 常远
  • Money No Enough 3 (钱不够用3)
    • Rating / Genre: PG13 (Some Coarse Language) / Comedy
    • Duration: 138 minutes
    • Opening Date: 1 February 2024
    • Cast: Jack Neo 梁志强, Mark Lee 李国煌, Henry Thia 程旭辉
    • Note: Other than the cinemas, the movie will also be screening at Festive Arts Theatre, Our Tampines Hub (OTH) this CNY. Tickets can only be purchased on-site 30 minutes before first show of the day.
  • Argylle (阿尔盖 : 神秘特工)
    • Rating / Genre: PG13 (Some Violence & Coarse Language) / Thriller
    • Duration: 120 minutes
    • Opening Date: 1 February 2024
    • Cast: Henry Cavill, Sam Rockwell, Bryan Cranston, John Cena, Bryce Dallas Howard
  • All In (扑克王者)
    • Rating / Genre: PG13 (Gambling Content & Some Sexual References) / Comedy
    • Duration: 103 minutes
    • Opening Date: 8 February 2024
    • Cast: Jack Lim 林德荣, Namewee 黄明志, Philip Keung 姜皓文, Wang Lei 王雷, Yumi Wong 黄诗棋
  • Fat Hope (超磅名模)
    • Rating / Genre: PG (Some Sexual References) / Comedy
    • Duration: 125 minutes
    • Opening Date: 8 February 2024
    • Cast: Alien Huang 黄鸿升, Lin Yu Pin 林育品, Liu Ling Ling 刘玲玲, Quan Yi Fong 权怡凤, Hong Hui Fang 洪慧芳, Wang Lei 王雷, Henry Thia 程旭辉, Jeffrey Xu 徐鸣杰, XiXi Lim 茜茜
  • Rob N Roll (临时劫案)
    • Rating / Genre: NC16 (Some Violence) / Action
    • Duration: 98 minutes
    • Opening Date: 8 February 2024
    • Cast: Aaron Kwok 郭富城, Richie Jen 任贤齐, Gordon Lam 林家栋
  • Spy X Family Code: White
    • Rating / Genre: PG13 (Some Violence) / Japanese Animation
    • Duration: 111 minutes
    • Opening Date: 8 February 2024
    • Cast: Takuya Eguchi, Atsumi Tanezaki, Saori Hayami
  • Turning Red
    • Rating / Genre: PG / Animation (Cartoon)
    • Duration: 108 minutes
    • Opening Date: 8 February 2024
    • Cast: Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh

Visit Istana Open House

One of the 5 open houses each year, the Istana will be open to the public on the Day 3 of the Chinese New Year from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm.

In addition to getting a glimpse into the official residence and office of Singapore’s President, Chinese dance and musical performances, lion & dragon dance shows, Chinese calligraphy demonstration, candle-making workshops, and guided tours are on the schedule to celebrate the joyous occasion.

Registration is not required. Read more for information on the opening hours, walk-in details, and entrance fees.

Attend cultural events at Huayi Chinese Festival of the Arts

Arts & Culture fanatics will be in for a treat at The Esplanade from 16 to 25 February 2024. Twenty events from concerts, workshops, theatre, dances, to Chinese opera performances, have been lined up for this 10-day Chinese arts festival.

Highlights of the festival this year include a Cantonese Opera performance by veterans Liza Wang 汪明荃 and Law Ka-ying 罗家英, a concert by Golden Melody award winner 金曲奖 Waa Wei 魏如萱, and a musical performance by Guangdong’s indie rock band Wu Tiao Ren 五条人.

Watch Chingay Parade with family

Photos via Chingay / Facebook

In addition to the customary Chingay floats, youth performances, and multicultural street acts, this year’s parade boasts Singapore’s longest-ever interactive floor projection (230 meters). A PAssionArts Street art exhibition offers audiences a chance to take photos, interact, and fully immerse themselves.

The event will be held in person at the F1 Pit Building on the 23 & 24 February 2024, with tickets starting from S$20 per person. For those who are unable to make it on the two days, partial display of the floats used in the parade will be on display in the neighbourhoods after the parade.

Participate in the Prosperity Run to burn off calories

Overeat from all the CNY gatherings and pineapple tarts since the eve of the new year?

Sign up for the 5km Prosperity Run that will be held on the last day of CNY (元宵) at Singapore Sports Hub!

Other than participating in the race, runners and visitors can look forward to taking photos with dragon-themed installations, watching dragon & lion dances and cultural performances, and immerse in a host of handicraft activities at this event.

Embark on a jog and share your run on Instagram to kick off the Lunar New Year in a healthy way.

Where to pray during Chinese New Year 2024

If you want to experience CNY the local and traditional Singaporean way, visit a temple to pray or watch how others pray!

Many Singaporeans tend to visit the temple during Chinese New Year’s eve or Day 1 of CNY to pray for wealth, career, health, or marriage for the whole year. 

We have included key information on praying at the popular Si Beh Lor Guan Yin Temple 四马路观音庙 and praying to Tai Sui at various shrines and temples in Singapore during CNY 2024:

Shrines and temples to pray at during CNY 2024CNY EveDay 1Day 2Day 3-15
Pray at Waterloo Street’s Guanyin Temple
(26 Jan – 24 Feb)
✔️✔️✔️✔️
Pray to Tai Sui for good luck in the new year
(10 Feb – 9 Mar)
✔️✔️✔️✔️

Pray at Waterloo Street's Guanyin Temple

It is a tradition for devotees of Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple 四马路观音堂 (also colloquially known as Waterloo Guanyin Temple or Si Beh Lor Guanyin Temple) to queue outside its premise on CNY Eve to offer the first incense of the year as the clock strikes midnight. It is believed that the act of being the first to place your incense stick on the urn would usher in prosperity in the new year. This activity has been called off for the past 3 years due to the pandemic and will remain cancelled for the fourth year in CNY 2024.

However, the temple will still operate on CNY Eve, CNY Day 1, 2 & 3 over its usual opening hours from 7:00 am to 6:30 pm (closed from 12:30 pm – 1:00 pm for cleaning). It is useful to note that drawing divination sticks 求签, seeking amulets & flowers 求平安符 / 请平安花 will not be available for five days from 8 – 12 February 2024.

Pray to Tai Sui for good luck in the new year

According to Taoism tradition, those whose zodiac signs clashes with the Tai Sui of the year will face disturbances for the whole year. 

As such, from the first day of the Chinese New Year, it is a custom for worshippers with zodiac signs that clash with Tai Sui to perform a ritual known as An Tai Sui (安太岁) at the shrines and temples to seek protection from Tai Sui. In 2024, these zodiac signs are Dragon, Dog, Rabbit, Ox and Goat.

Many Taoist shrines across Singapore offer this service during this period and some even started before the CNY. If you are born in the year of Dragon, Dog, Rabbit, Ox, and Goat, you will need to pray to Tai Sui in 2024. If you are not, you can also pray to Tai Sui for a peaceful and healthy year. 

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Andrew L
A geek who's into start-up scene, business and technology. True blue Singaporean who checks his phone every other minute for breaking news and is someone who must always be in the know. Dislike queuing, though.

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