I really love parades. I love watching them. I love marching in them. I love the floats, the music and the costumes of parades. In my opinion, there are not enough parades in our lives. In my little hometown of Alpharetta, the Old Soldier’s Day parade in August was one that I looked forward to every year. And don’t get me started on the mother of all parades, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. More than once, I have recorded the parade to watch later becuase I was out running the Atlanta 1/2 Marathon. True story. (Yes, I realize it made me sound old when I said, “record.” Yes, I was around before there was DVR. And, yes, sometimes I still say “tape” instead of DVR. )
Well, last weekend I was down in Singapore visiting my dad and he supported by parade addiction by getting tickets to my very first Chingay Parade! For those of you that don’t know the Chingay Parade is….see below: (Note: It has nothing to do with the Gay Pride Parade in Atlanta every year, which I have also watched and found highly entertaining.)
|Origin of Chingay Parade in a Nutshell!|
|A dazzling extravaganza of colours and cultural diversity, Chingay Parade Singapore is known for its resplendent floats and multi-cultural local and international performances that are an insight to our festive traditions and delight the hearts of many Singaporeans and tourists.|
|The word Chingay is from the Hokkien dialect, of which the Mandarin equivalent is Zhuang Yi (??), meaning “the art of masquerade”. The festival began as a neighbourhood parade with only Chinese elements in 1973. Today, the Chingay Parade has evolved to be the grandest street and floats parade in Asia, showcasing the rich, vibrant multi-culturalism of Singapore and exciting cultures all over the world. To all Singaporeans, the next Chingay Parade is a parade of our people, our dreams and our pride!|
I would describe it as Mardi Gras, a rave, and the 4th of July all in one. There was fan participation, a goodie bag and refreshments offered. The parade took place on what is normally the F1 racing track, but the coolest thing about the parade was it was all done with the parade participants marching and dancing in about 6 inches of water! Since it is the year of the dragon, specially the blue water dragon, the organizers had the brillant idea to have people trapsing through water in a parade. It sounds like a nightmare, but only with the mad organization skill of the country of Singapore would something so big, so public and so wet be pulled off so well. Don’t try this at home.
There were so many cool floats and dances, I took a ton of pictures, but these ones were my favorite. (The rest I will put on facebook for anyone that is interested.)
- First the Phoenix came in. Check out the guys running through the water carrying her!
- My favorite from the whole night! A group of older Chinese did Tai Chi with fans spanning the entire F1 track!