River Hongbao 2015 @ Marina Bay

PicsArt_1424309507966_bestmasterPicsArt_1424310642259_vignette PicsArt_1424265046912_newThe main entrance arch into the River Hongbao 2015 to usher in the Chinese New Year at the Singapore floating platform at Marina Bay which I could recognise during my childhood days in the 1960s. PicsArt_1424265197690_new

It was reconstructed and copied the design and architecture of the New World Amusement Park’s entrance located at Jalan Besar. Completed in 1923, the New World Amusement Park was one of the few amusement parks in the early days of Singapore.  The vintage entrance and the ticket offices at the sides, took after the distinctive facade of the now defunct New World Amusement Park.  In its glorious past, crowds of people visited the park and it was a source of joy to children while traditional Chinese operas, Malay dance performances and Hollywood movies screenings appealed to the adults. Here, a walk through the entrance reveals a retro extravagance promenade.  The bustling promenade evokes a familiar atmosphere of traditional Chinese opera performances with the classic opera masks, the beautiful winding flowers and the drawn curtains lined on both sides of the pillar.

new world entrance_editThe entrance of the New World Amusement Park c 1962.  Photo courtesy: National Archives of Singapore

A short video-clip of the River Hongbao 2015 evening program on YouTube to share on this blog.

With thanks to Susan Koh, “A Juggling Mom” for her interesting “River Hongbao 春到河畔 2015” blog here .

My contribution of old photos of my family album of the “Memories of River Hongbao 1992 春到河畔” was shared to the Singapore Memory Portal. At the “River Hongbao 2014 @ Marina Bay”, I posted this blog here . img0120 Singapore River Hongbao 1988 Variety Show on the steps of the City Hall on 16 February, 1988.  (Photo Credit:  National Archives of Singapore). img0011 Last year, I did not notice the bronze life-sized sculptures at the Marina Bay. PicsArt_1424264626846_vignette picsart_1424267260062_edited “makan angin” by Lim Soo Ngee Makan Angin (literally, “eating wind” in Malay or “jiak hong” – “吃风” in Hokkien) depicts a family of five enjoying a day out at the old Esplanade waterfront. The commissioned public sculpture by notable local sculptor,Lim Soo Ngee, adds a touch of nostalgia to a promenade still beloved by locals and visitors alike. It reminds us that the simplest act of “eating wind” can be one of life’s greatest delights. I missed the opening of River Hongbao 2015 as reported in Channel News Asia here .  On the eve of Chinese New Year on 17 February, 2015 afternoon to “makan angin” and capture memorable moments at Marina Bay to celebrate the traditional annual events for Singaporean Chinese, foreign visitors, guest workers and tourists.  Tonight coincides with the traditional reunion dinner with the family. PicsArt_1424266118411_new PicsArt_1424266280074_new PicsArt_1424306483694_new The annual Chinese New Year carnival will be held over 12 days at The Float @ Marina Bay from Feb 17 to 28. This year, it will be celebrating both the Lunar New Year and Singapore’s Jubilee year. When we were young, we always used to look forward to the Lunar New Year holidays. Over the years, the Lunar New Year has left us with many wonderful, heartwarming memories. The River Hongbao 2015 takes us through a journey of time to relive the past 50 Lunar New Years for the fond nostalgic memories of pioneer generation Singaporeans for the jubilee celebration of Singapore. PicsArt_1424305894842_new PicsArt_1424305984521_new In the exhibition, we will find precious photographs of Singapore’s pioneer Lim Boon Keng and his family having their reunion dinner, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong carrying his daughter to view the Chingay Parade in Orchard, the late Mrs Benjamin Sheares giving out red packets to the needy seniors. Through the pictures, the younger generation will also have to chance to see how the celebrations have changed over half a century: How did Lunar New Year greeting cards look like in those days? What are the differences between past and present Lunar New Year markets? Besides visiting the homes of their relatives and friends, what else did our parents and grandparents do during Lunar New Year in their time? In this photo exhibition “Reliving the Past, Welcoming the New Year” showcase over 230 photographs curated by the Lianhe Zaobao editorial team at the exhibition.


PicsArt_1424308616255_master PicsArt_1424307919471_new PicsArt_1424308168006_new PicsArt_1424305340564_new PicsArt_1424305168354_new PicsArt_1424305510282_new PicsArt_1424305610506_new PicsArt_1424305785743_new PicsArt_1424307141606_new PicsArt_1424307724550_new PicsArt_1424306851202_best PicsArt_1424306682697_new PicsArt_1424307375006_new PicsArt_1424308342493_new PicsArt_1424308446797_new PicsArt_1424308919516_new PicsArt_1424309174211_new The business was slow at the Food Street at the River Hongbao at Marina Bay and there were fewer visitors on this hot, sunny day.   Chinese Singaporeans were preparing to return home for the traditional family reunion dinner at home. The “River Hongbao 2015 @ Marina Bay” “happening event ” in the evening for the family to remember the Jubilee Singapore50 memories for this special year. family reunion dinner Family Reunion Dinner 團年飯 (Mandarin pinyin Tuán: Nián Fàn – In Cantonese: Tyun Nin Fan) The biggest event of any Chinese New Year’s Eve is the Reunion Dinner, named as “Nian Ye Fan 年夜飯 or tuán nián fàn 團年飯 “. img0087_sm

A family reunion dinner in Singapore in 1950s (Photo courtesy of National Archives of Singapore)


New Generation Weddings With Changing Times


The ways of getting married in Singapore is changing with times … something new, something traditional.

This is a personal blog specially posted to capture the memorable moments of the wedding of my younger son Wei with Jessie Rhee on 29 January, 2015.

The marriage solemnisation and wedding reception was held at the Regent Singapore (a Four Season Hotel), a private, simple ceremony among family, relatives, friends and colleagues of Wei and Jessie.


My blogger friend Lam Chun See posted a blog topic on kampong weddings, so I would “tumpang” it here  with courtesy.  His best-selling book “Good Morning Yesterday” is also included in this kampong wedding chapter.

Another related blog on “Ways Done in the Past – Wedding Reception” here .

A typical Chinese wedding includes numerous traditional rituals that tend to vary according to dialect groups.  The private wedding dinners are held in the restaurants to invited guests and friends.

While modernization has led to simplification of some rituals, certain tradition still remain.  Today, creative wedding events with multimedia entertainment programs for fun and enjoyment of everyone.  The young generation bride and groom’s friends and colleagues helped to plan, organize and manage the wedding event programs with wonderful ideas for home video to share and remember their wedding events.
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Courtesy of Regent Singapore (A Four Season Hotel)







best_PicsArt_1422655174955 wedgift1 wedgift2

best_PicsArt_1422655480315My daughter-in-law Jessie Rhee , a Korean with her parents.


best_PicsArt_1422653908606 My son, Wei, waiting for the hands of Jessie.


Jessie Rhee’s father gave away her hands to Wei.

Modern-day Mums sportingly shared the limelight at the wedding reception





Wei and Jessie offered tea at the traditional Chinese “tea ceremony” to pay respect and gratitude to “Por Por” with love.

wei with mum and porpor


The juxtaposed photos of Wei with Mum and Por Por to remember his childhood memories with love.



best_PicsArt_1422652054686 Wei knelt down to offer the traditional tea to Por Por while Mum watched.

best_PicsArt_1422652501042 Jessie knelt down to offer the traditional tea to Por Por while Mum watched.


vignette_PicsArt_1422984897944“Gamsahabnida” (in Korean), Por Por; “kamsiah” (in Hokkien), Por Por.

The tea serving ritual is an important symbol in Chinese weddings as it is a crucial representation of the acceptance of the bride into the groom’s family. The tea is brewed with lotus seeds and two red dates, ingredients believed to encourage child-bearing. The sweet flavor of the tea also serves as a wish for her sweet relations between the bride and her in-laws.

It is also a way for the couples to show their gratitude and filial piety towards their elders.


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The wedding couple walked towards the stage to toast to the guests







Acknowledgement of thanks to everyone for making their wedding happen … 감사합니다 (gamsahabnida)!


The bride and bridegroom pay respect to their parents with Korean traditional way. Putting the parents first, this virtue of hyo (, 孝) i.e. filial piety.



new_PicsArt_1422649586461 A Korean friend serenade a Korean love song with happiness wishes.

Keep in touch with friends and relatives



vignette_PicsArt_1422979490785A long day for the little busy, sleepy angel to the tender, loving arms of the blessed Dad and Mum.

“건배” [Gunbae in Korean]




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More photos to be posted later from the photographers. Thank you.

Defining Moments of Grown-Up Children

Marriage, a defining moment in life to walk the path, a journey to travel with confidence and hope for the best.  

All of a sudden, the children have grown up and independent on their own, we thought.  The children are not “instant trees” planted on the roadside or products to be manufactured in the factories .

Bringing up the kids was a worthwhile learning experience as roles of parents in life.  Parents are happy to have walked their path with the help of Divine Providence, with love and blessings.  Curated “memory aids” of childhood photos, I enjoyed looking back the favorite selected old photos as a photomontage on this blog to share for posterity.





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Congratulations and Best Wishes to the New Generations!

Please check out the fond nostalgic memories of “Loving Moments with My Kids” blog here .