This seems the right thing to do, ya? As in, display huge, mighty dragons to welcome the 2024 Jia Chen (甲辰) Dragon Year in Singapore.
I mean, shopping malls have been putting up towering Christmas trees for years to celebrate Christmas; they seem to get bigger each year too! With few mythical creatures more majestic than Chinese auspicious dragons, why not go all out with them to welcome Lunar New Year 2024?
Without further ado, here are the biggest, the most impressive, the most huat-auspicious dragon displays to enjoy in Singapore this festive spring season!
- 1. Chinatown CNY Dragon
- 2. Dragons Galore at Dahlia Dreams 2024 (Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome)
- 3. Dance of the Dragon at CQ @ Clarke Quay
- 4. The Dragon Awakens: 2024 Light-Up at The Shoppes @ MBS
- 5. Soaring Dragons at Suntec City
- 6. #HUAT #TO #SHARE @ VivoCity
- 7. Soaring to Greatness at River Hongbao 2024
- 8. Legend of the Dragon Gate @ Marina Bay (Event)
- 9. Starlit Dragon Spectacular 2024 @ Resorts World Sentosa (Event)
1. Chinatown CNY Dragon
The annual CNY Chinese Zodiac display at Chinatown warrants first mention, even though this year’s dragon was, ahem, criticised for resembling certain Hong Kong comedians.
Let me just say that I don’t disagree with the criticism, but I don’t feel it’s that comical too; it’s still a huge dragon in the middle of the road that’s beautifully illuminated after dark. There are smaller dragons of other designs and styles all over Chinatown too. After viewing the main dragon, be sure to check out the gorgeous lanterns at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.
2. Dragons Galore at Dahlia Dreams 2024 (Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome)
The thematic flower exhibitions at Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome have never just been about flowers, and this year’s Dahlia Dreams is no exception.
The showpiece wood dragon* sculpture, 7m tall and 15m long, is a spectacular piece of art. The illuminated elemental dragons surrounding the wooden giant transform the Flower Dome into a Chinese mythical playground too.
There’s also the driftwood dragon sculpture right at the entrance, a masterpiece by artist James Doran-Webb that’s surely one of the most unusual dragon displays this February. The short of it, Dahlia Dreams 2024 is like a dragon gallery. I consider this flower exhibition one of the must-visit CNY events in Singapore this spring festival.
* In Chinese geomancy, 2024 is a Year of the Wood Dragon.
3. Dance of the Dragon at CQ @ Clarke Quay
Displayed at Funan from Jan 18 to Feb 4, Dance of the Dragon will be flying over to CQ @ Clarke Quay and be on show there from Feb 7 to 24.
Meticulously crafted with traditional handiwork by creative studio Tell Your Children and presented by CapitaLand, this eight-metre-wide sculpture combines colourful heritage with technology; there is a 10-minute, immersive experience every 30 minutes.
The playful artistic style is also the stage and perfect photo backdrop for a Joyous Dragon Year 2024.
4. The Dragon Awakens: 2024 Light-Up at The Shoppes @ MBS
The twin 40m dragons at the central atrium of The Shoppes @ MBS impress not just with their size but also with the dramatic way they, literally, seem to swim through the glittering space.
Especially dramatic when illuminated, choice locations alongside the aisles allow you to examine/photograph the dragons up close, during which you will definitely marvel at the lifelike craftsmanship. This majestic duo is among the most masterfully sculptured displays in Singapore this Lunar New Year and a must-visit for all who want to feel empowered for the New Year.
5. Soaring Dragons at Suntec City
Suntec City’s key CNY 2024 event is A Bountiful Spring with LEGO, which has dragon building sets on sale and a 6m Lego dragon as the showpiece. The big draw for me, however, are the soaring dragons above the indoor atriums.
These golden ones aren’t as big as the azure masterpieces over at MBS, but the way they roar and rise is no less majestic. Admiring them from the second floor, I was also reminded of a certain legendary Anime technique from an 80s Manga/Anime series.
Shou Ryuu Ha! May the New Year but a spectacular ascent for everyone!
6. #HUAT #TO #SHARE @ VivoCity
The dragons mentioned so far vary in artistic delivery, but all are inspired by classic Chinese interpretations of the mighty long (龙), and might thus be a bit too imposing for children.
But there is one large display that’s completely suitable for children, and it’s found at the main entrance of VivoCity. Part of the #HUAT #TO #SHARE display and featuring a 6m tall anthropomorphic dragon who’s as adorable as it gets, kids will love posing with this cutie. They were certainly very enthusiastic when I visited!
VivoCity, by the way, is also hosting all sorts of CNY sales till the Eve, such as the Tangs CNY Fair, making the sprawling mall perfect for a pre-CNY family outing.
7. Soaring to Greatness at River Hongbao 2024
Once again, River Hongbao will be held at Gardens by the Bay this year, instead of at the actual Singapore River. (But I acknowledge it’s tough to change the event name …) Together with the traditional big Caishen statue, and lots of lantern showpieces, a 140 m Dragon will announce the Lunar New Year to all visitors. 140 metres! This is possibly the longest and largest festive dragon showpiece in Singapore ever.
River Hongbao 2024 runs from Feb 8 to 17 too, and if you visit on the 8th, 9th, and 10th, you’d be in for a real treat. Firecracker shows will be presented on these evenings. How long have these firecrackers been missing from Singapore’s Chinese New Year scene?
Show timings at the official page!
8. Legend of the Dragon Gate @ Marina Bay (Event)
This is part of Marina Bay Sands’ CNY 2024 celebrations for this year and is thus a climax for the azure dragon displays mentioned above. One that’s not to be missed.
At 8 pm on Feb 10, 11, 16, 17, and 18, 1500 drones will form a luminous auspicious dragon before Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade. Described by the resort as a “dazzling stopper to usher in a spectacular Year of the Dragon,” this is possibly the next best festive night display to enjoy in Singapore after CNY fireworks. Mark the dates on your calendar and do not miss the displays!
9. Starlit Dragon Spectacular 2024 @ Resorts World Sentosa (Event)
Last but not least, an 88 m LED dancing dragon awaits at Resorts World Sentosa on Feb 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, and 18.
Part of RWS’ Soar Into Longevity CNY celebration, there are two shows on performance nights; at 7.30 pm and 8.30 pm. What’s more, if you turn up early, you can receive blessings and “gold coins” from none other than the God of Fortune himself. This magnificent show will be conducted at the Lake of Dreams.