Embrace Chinese cultural traditions with 40 different events in the Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay

Published on 14 February 2024
By Team Catch

The Lunar New Year holidays might be over, but don’t forget that Chinese New Year traditionally lasts for up to 15 days! Enter the Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts that will keep the celebrations going. Since its dazzling debut in 2003, the festival has been a beacon of cultural celebration at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, spotlighting Singapore's vibrant tapestry of traditions. With a kaleidoscope of commissions, collaborations, and showcases, Huayi– Chinese Festival of Arts invites audiences on a mesmerising journey, from traditional art forms to avant-garde spectacles, embracing diverse voices and is a must-visit event this 2024.


1. Story-telling comes to life through crafts in A Rain-bowl of Happiness

Wide shot of a circle of parents and children gathering in a circle for A Rain-bowl of Happiness session

Bond with your little one over an immersive storytelling session surrounding a Chinese New Year classic–tang yuan!

The Lunar New Year brings a gathering of iconic dishes and taking centre stage are tang yuan, sweet, chewy rice balls beloved by all ages. But why stop there? Go on a whimsical playdate at PIP’s playbox for a mix of storytelling magic and sensory play! A Rain-bowl of Happiness tells a locally crafted tale of Olive, Kale, and Mum embarking on a culinary adventure by making tang yuan infused with the vibrant hues of butterfly pea and pandan leaves. The twist comes where your little ones will get to mould their own tang yuan using non-edible play dough and natural colourings. This playdate promises creativity and memories that'll linger long after the last tang yuan is rolled.

A Rain-bowl of Happiness runs from 16 to 25 February 2024 at PIP's PLAYbox. Admission is free.

2. Discover a rich tapestry of culture through Appreciation of Chinese Opera

 Wide shot of three actors performing onstage in full Chinese opera wear

Seize this golden opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Chinese opera through two timeless tales!

New to the Chinese opera scene? Step right up for a dazzling showcase brought to you by the Chinese Opera and Drama Society (Singapore) through excerpts from not just one, but two timeless Chinese opera gems! The enchanting world of Peking opera opens with Legend of the White Snake, a tale woven over centuries where love defies all boundaries—human and spiritual alike. Next up, brace yourself for the exquisite beauty of The Peony Pavilion, a Kunqu opera that tells the story of Du Liniang, whose leisurely stroll through the garden leads her into a dreamlike rendezvous with her beloved scholar, Liu Mengmei. The rich tapestry of Chinese opera is a bounty of culture, where each note and gesture transports you to a realm where passion, destiny, and dreams intertwine in a dance of emotions.

Appreciation of Chinese Opera is happening on 18 February 2024 at the DBS Foundation Outdoor Theatre at Esplanade. Admission is free.

3. WUTIAOREN “I Have A Dream” brings both ballads and high energy Chinese rock

Mid shot of Renke and Maotao

Enter WUTIAOREN, a musical force born in 2008 from the creative minds of Renke and Maotao. The debonair gentleman hailing from Haifeng, Guangdong, and the blues enthusiast from the heart of the Pearl River Delta effortlessly blur the lines between art and life, transcending language, geography, social status, and age, solidifying their legendary status in the realm of Chinese music. From the captivating melodies of Cantonpop ballads to the avant-garde sounds of Chinese psychedelic rock, get ready for an unforgettable journey!


WUTIAOREN “I Have A Dream” is happening on 17 February 2024 at the Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets are priced from $68.

4. A creative bonding session awaits in the Parent-Child Workshop: Punch Needle "CNY Special"

Mid shot of a mother and child doing punch needle art

Punch out your creativity in a festive way through a CNY-exclusive punch needling workshop.

You don’t have to be a crafts expert to master the art of punch needling! Easy to learn and great for beginners, enter the whimsical world of punch needle art with a fun and casual Parent-Child Workshop: Punch Needle "CNY Special". Led by Cheryl, the creative textile artist behind craft brand Beadbadwolf, this guided dynamic two-hour workshop brings both parent and child on a creative journey to bring to life a delightful Chinese New Year motif. All materials are provided for, so just bring yourselves and get ready to stitch your way to a masterpiece!


The Parent-Child Workshop: Punch Needle "CNY Special" is happening on 18 February 2024 and 25 February 2024 with two sessions on each day at 1.30pm and 4.30pm, at the Esplanade Bay Room. Tickets are priced from $50.

5. Laugh your hearts out at the antics of Dear Governor Bao – A Crosstalk Production

ide shot of the cast of Dear Governor Bao – A Crosstalk Production onstage

A riotous romp through the annals of iconic figure Justice Bao's exploits.

Mystery, tales of celestial reincarnation and even posthumous reign over the underworld and amidst the enigma, comedy takes centre stage as the Comedians Workshop presents a uproarious cross-examination in the form of Justice Bao, famed for his unwavering fairness and tireless pursuit of justice. Dear Governor Bao – A Crosstalk Production unleashes a riotous journey through his renowned cases, from the Black Basin to Raccoon for a Prince, culminating in an unexpected, uproarious finale. Led by Feng Yi-Gang, Taiwan's Comedians Workshop excels at infusing Chinese culture, history, and literature with a rollercoaster ride of hilarity that offers a glimpse into the quirks of human nature and of life itself.

Dear Governor Bao – A Crosstalk Production
runs from 23 to 24 February 2024 at the Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets are priced from $38. 

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with a repertoire of traditional Chinese arts and culture activities 

Chinese New Year is all about celebrating traditions with family and friends, and the Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts is all about sharing them with your loved ones through a variety of arts and culture events for all ages. Stay tuned for even more exciting milestone events to catch this 2024!


All images are credited to Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.



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