Chinese New Year events to check out

Desiree Pakiam
Going Out – By Day

Not in the CNY mood yet? Make your way to these venues, which are all happily decked out to welcome the Year of the Dragon.

River Hongbao 2012
This year's edition is extra special: You get the largest lantern display ever handcrafted by Chengdu lantern masters, as well as the biggest Chinese New Year Carnival and food street since the event's inception in 1984. So you can choose to hop on a theme park ride, win prizes at the game stalls, or sample local and Guangxi delights from stalls that were specially flown in. You can also buy your Chinese New Year goodies and decorations here, and enjoy a fireworks display on the 21st and 22nd of January. The Float @ Marina Bay. 20-29 January 2012.

Chinatown CNY 2012
You will probably feel the most festive in Chinatown, with all of its pretty lights and decorations. It might convince you to stay a while longer too; after all, there are numerous stalls, nightly cultural shows and performances to see. There will also be countdown party on the eve of Chinese New Year, which will be hosted by several Mediacorp artistes. Feeling lucky? Make a wish on the Chinatown Wishing Tree at Kreta Ayer Square before you leave — you might stand a chance to win an iPad. Chinatown area. 25 December 2011-6 February 2012.

Huayi Festival 2012
This art festival is significant in that provides a platform for Chinese artists to present their works. So make time for a martial arts display, a concert with traditional Chinese instruments, and a poetry recital — you won't regret it. The Esplanade. 27 January 2011-5 February 2012.

Chingay Parade 2012
It's going to be all dragon at the parade, so expect an LED Hip hop dragon dance, straw and water dragons, a Zhangjiang human dragon, a dazzling dragon float and two 36m-long dragons from Xi'an. Of course, you can't possibly miss the multi-cultural performances that Chingay is known for. F1 Pit Building 304 February 2012.

Sentosa Flower Festival 2012
To usher in the Lunar New Year, floral creations inspired by the Chinese zodiac — as well other creatures like dinosaurs and fairies — will be on display. The show (pictured above) features 800 species of plants, which will remind you of the freshness of Spring — and all the positive things a new year can bring. Sentosa — Merlion Plaza, Imbiah Lookout and Beach Plaza. 22-29 January 2012.