Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ring in the Year of the Dragon

According to google maps, it would take 8 days to get to Singapore if we drove from London.
We're going to arrive at the tail end of the Chinese New Year celebrations. This year Chinese New Year falls on 23 January, and 2012 is the year of the Dragon. Any dragons out there?? I'm a rat. The rat's motto is "I rule." This is a motto that definitely resonates with me.

My student Queena recently told me the quick version of the Chinese zodiac story. There was a great race between all the animals and they had to cross a river. Ox was the strongest and fastest, so Rat made a pact with him that if he carried Rat across the river on his back, he'd let Ox finish first. However, Rat was very shrewd and Ox was naive, so he lied and jumped off Ox's back at the last second to clench the victory.

According to it looks like we're going to miss most of the festivities, except for The Chingay Parade, which is on 3 February from 6-11pm.

"The Chingay Parade first began in Singapore when firecrackers were subsequently banned during Chinese New Year. In order to keep up the celebrative spirits, the Chinese organised a simple procession where they played music and cheered. The tradition has carried on since then, so much so that today’s Chingay Parade comprises cultural groups from other races and parts of the world. This is a parade that truly embodies the local community spirit of Singapore." (From

This year will be the first ever water parade in its history. They're going to somehow incorporate water into various segments of the parade, but it says there will also be a LED dragon display. I hope it won't short-circuit with all the water flying around. This sounds like a recipe for a health and safety disaster, and would NEVER be allowed in England. We can't even plug in a hairdryer in the bathroom in this country.


  1. What will Julius be doing in Sigapore?

    I'm so jealose

    1. Julius will be working on a collaboration project between NTU and Imperial College. He will be giving his feedback and expertise in the design of a mechanism to measure wrist movements.