春到河畔,我们也到河畔。

I love many things about Chinese New Year. I love the CNY-exclusive dishes, the insane amount of gut busting snacks (that we are expected to gorge ourselves on howawesomeisthat), the catching up with relatives and friends, the red packets (am saving up for my future home and the amount I’m aiming to get this year should be enough for…half a square foot of it), and the islandwide festive spirit.

What I don’t love about Chinese New Year, however, are the massive crowds at certain (I.e. Most) places during this period and I’ve always fastidiously avoided Chinatown, CNY events and even most malls during this time. That is, until this year, when a meeting with friends turned into a diarrhoea of sound and people when we stumbled into the 春到河畔 event while looking for a post-dinner dessert place.

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Located at the, well, 河 (that is, river), the event was a cacophonous collection of fun fair rides, booths hawking new year goodies, tribal performances (?!), large lit statues (of what, you’ll see later) and, of course, a nauseating amount of people.

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Since we were there and it was a departure from our usual activities, we decided to get all touristy and join in the fun.

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One of the highlights of any Chinese New Year event would be, well, the lights and in this case,  春到河畔 didn’t disappoint at all. There were pretty fixtures and huge garish statues of light everywhere which probably each used as much electricity as a small, third-world nation and also blinded everyone nearby like small, oddly shaped suns.

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Other than the usual horse exhibits (because, y’know, Year of the Horse and all) littered around the place, it was also apparently the Year of the Vegetables and Fruits, if these ridiculously oversized light bulbs are any indication.

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Because there was a huge Toto/Singapore Sweep draw going on, we decided to join in on the fun. Here’s Wai rubbing our packet of wealth on a random lucky (we assume?) lantern.

Oh oh, and while we were stumbling around the area, I saw a huge crowd and who should be in the nexus of that crowd but our very own Prime Minister of Singapore!

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Being Singaporeans, we of course had to clamour for a selfie with one of the most powerful politicians in the land. Well, a really really distant selfie.

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It turned out to be a surprisingly fun event, even though we didn’t actually do very much more than just trudging around being lost and confused and overwhelmed. Not something I’d do on a yearly basis but definitely an exciting start to Chinese New Year 2014.

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