Hot or Not: River Hongbao 2017 lanterns

Which lantern displays got us egg-cited and which ones are not worth crowing about?

Photos: River Hongbao and Stanley Chee
26 Jan 2017

Photos: River Hongbao and Stanley Chee

The annual River Hongbao (RHB) is synonymous with Chinese New Year in Singapore and this year, visitors can expect a more futuristic and chick-y spin to the lantern display at the Float @ Marina Bay. While the larger-than-life handcrafted lanterns are the highlight of every RHB, not every installation is a crowd-pleaser. Find out which lantern displays got us egg-cited and which ones are not worth crowing about.

River Hongbao runs from Jan 26 to Feb 4 at The Float @ Marina Bay. It will open from 2 pm to 11 pm daily, except on the eve of Chinese New Year, when it will closes at 1 am. Admission is free.

Heart-shaped walkway
26 Jan 2017

Heart-shaped walkway

This romantic walkway will definitely attract crowds at RHB, thanks to its gorgeous draping lights and heart-shaped arches. Good luck dodging the couples and BFFs doing kissy-face selfies against this backdrop. 

Verdict: HOT

Photo: Stanley Chee

Main entrance
26 Jan 2017

Main entrance

Someday day you'll find it, the - rainbow - er rooster connection...

Verdict: HOT

Photo: Stanley Chee

Main lantern piece: Looking to the Future
26 Jan 2017

Main lantern piece: Looking to the Future

The 13-metre rooster might look hopelessly obiang amidst the smart cars, robots, and city skyline, but much to our surprise, it redeemed itself in the nightly fireworks display. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears open for the rooster’s futuristic “crow” during the laser show. 

Verdict: HOT

Photo: TODAY

God of Fortune
26 Jan 2017

God of Fortune

Er, HOT. You don’t want to get on the God of Fortune’s bad side during Chinese New Year. 

Verdict: HOT

Abundance of Happiness
26 Jan 2017

Abundance of Happiness

Mother hen? Check. Gaudy colours? Chicks? Check. The organisers were clearly inspired by the 881 movie poster (we’ll take human chicks over RHB’s illuminated fowl, though).

Verdict: NOT

Arch at linkway bridge
26 Jan 2017

Arch at linkway bridge

While we like the cloud scroll design, this is a rather half-hearted attempt to infuse a rooster motif into the arch.

Photo: Stanley Chee

Sungei Buloh Wetlands
26 Jan 2017

Sungei Buloh Wetlands

The lantern display modelled after Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve seems little random, yes, but look closely and you will see pheasants and fowls roosting in the display. So we’ll give it credit for subtly adhering to the rooster theme. 

Verdict: HOT

Photo: Stanley Chee

Abundance for All
26 Jan 2017

Abundance for All

This lantern piece may not be as flashy as the others but we like how the flying fish and marine creatures add a touch of whimsy to RHB.

Verdict: HOT

The Virtues of Diligence and Learning
27 Jan 2017

The Virtues of Diligence and Learning

We probably shouldn’t be saying this during Chinese New Year, but the girl is giving us major Chucky vibes (how hard would it have been to give her less demonic eyes?). Parents, you’ve been warned. Keep the kids away from this display.

Verdict: NOT

12 Animals of the Chinese Zodiac
26 Jan 2017

12 Animals of the Chinese Zodiac

These cute cartoonish lanterns are a welcome distraction to keep the kids occupied while you read your zodiac predictions for the Year of the Rooster.

Verdict: HOT

Bonus: Virtual sky lanterns
26 Jan 2017

Bonus: Virtual sky lanterns

Sure, it’s not even a real lantern but for those who have never been to Taiwan, much less released a sky lantern at Shifen, this is quite a big deal. Just download the Nestia mobile app, pen your wishes and watch as they show up as writings on sky lanterns on your mobile screens. Virtual reality glasses will be distributed on site so visitors can enjoy a 360 degree view of the floating lanterns. 

Verdict: HOT

Related:
Hot or Not: Hong Baos of 2017
Fengshui-inspired fashion tips for local celebs
Your Chinese horoscope for the Year of the Rooster

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