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Singapore Fling

With Singapore commemorating its bicentennial this year, it’s staging a full calendar year of celebrations across the city, marking the 200th anniversary of Sir Stamford Raffles’ – the nation’s founder – arrival.

This is your guide to the events, interactive trails and unique exhibitions that chart the country’s fascinating past over everything from dramatic light shows to augmented reality walks.

What’s more, most of it is free.

Here are just some of the highlights of the bicentennial celebrations – click 'read more' to access the full guide.

i Light Singapore (28 Jan–24 Feb)

Although already famed for its surfboard-capped towers and lotus-shaped ArtScience Museum, each year the ultra-modern Marina Bay is made that that bit more impressive by a magnificent lights festival. The Bicentennial is no exception, bringing the sustainable concept across the city, illuminating the likes of the riverside and Civic District. Expect everything from neon tunnels to giant octopuses that light up to drumming.

River Hongbao (3–10 Feb)

Ushering in the Chinese New Year, this year’s extra-special celebration will be held on the world’s largest floating stage. It’s the chance for tourists and Singaporeans to enjoy everything from acrobatic performances and amusement rides to calligraphy and paper cutting demonstrations.

Chingay Parade (15–16 Feb)

A colourful celebration of the Lunar New Year, Chingay is the largest street performance and float parade in Asia. It promises to showcase the rich variety of Singapore’s multicultural society across the likes of dragon dances, acrobatic acts and, yes, colourful floats.

Singapore Heritage Festival (15 Mar–7 Apr)

Singapore’s annual Heritage Festival aims to make the country’s history more accessible. This year, a special Bicentennial edition will focus on the likes of the Kampong Glam Malay-Muslim quarter and the fishing-village history of Bedok. The festival will shed light on their lesser-known stories across heritage trails, performances and open houses.

The Bicentennial Experience at Fort Canning (1 Jun–15 Sep)

The small hill in Singapore’s southeast hides a rich history, from the kings of ancient Singapura to the colonial fortifications of the 19th century. And, to showcase this diverse past, the Bicentennial will be marked by a multisensory and cinematic display, highlighting the contributions of Singapore’s early settlers across multiple galleries and installations. The food village promises to be a further highlight, offering local fare that maps the city’s culinary history.

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