Floats participating in the Singapore River Hong Bao Special Show

The Singapore River Hong Bao Special Show was started in 1987 as a grassroots initiative to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year through festive activities held along the Singapore River. The show developed into an annual week-long event held between late January and early February to coincide with the Lunar New Year period. The show’s programme usually comprised of variety shows featuring popular singers and entertainment personalities from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, a night market selling a variety of festive goods, as well as floating barges decorated according to a common theme that was based on the Chinese zodiac animal for that particular year. The decorative theme for the 1992 edition, which celebrated the Year of the Monkey, was based on the ‘Monkey God Goes West’ Chinese fable. The main attraction was a five-storey-high Monkey God (also known as Sun Wukong) figurine (left) adopting a martial arts pose atop a float. Another float featured a sea dragon (right) which, according to folklore, was one of the monsters that the Monkey God encountered on his journey to the West.

Object size: 10.5 x 14.8 cm
Accession No.
Collection of
National Museum of Singapore

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