To usher in the Solar New Year at Haw Par Villa, we are organising Solar New Year Blessings. The event will take place on 16 April, Saturday, from 9.30am to 11am.
The blessings will be conducted by a Burmese Buddhist monk, a Thai Buddhist monk, a Tamil Hindu priest, and a Sikh priest.
They will begin in the Culture Courtyard, and then go on a procession around the park. All are welcome to observe the proceedings.
After the blessings, there will be a Bhangra performance at the Culture Courtyard. Bhangra is a Punjabi folk dance which is popular during Vaisakhi, the Punjabi New Year. Everyone is welcome to join in the song and dance!
Not sure where the Culture Courtyard is? Check out the Park Map
The New Year is a time of fresh beginnings, renewed hope, and starting things on a clean slate.
The universal New Year is 1 January. The Chinese celebrate the Lunar New Year, which usually falls in January or February. Slightly later in mid-April, another New Year arrives for a host of communities across South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Here in Haw Par Villa, we are celebrating the New Year in April as one event:
The Solar New Year – a world first.
The Solar New Year unites communities that use variants of a solar calendar that originated in the Indian Subcontinent at least 3,500 years ago. Based on these calendars, communities in Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and southern China usher in the New Year between 13 and 16 April every year.
These Solar New Year festivals include the Tamil Puthandu (14 Apr), the Malayalee Vishu (15 Apr), the Bengali Pohela Boishakh (15 Apr), the Thai Songkran (13-15 Apr), the Burmese Thingyan (13-16 Apr), and the Punjabi Vaisakhi (14 Apr), among others.
Bringing the Solar New Year to Haw Par Villa is part of our plan to make the park a vibrant space for all communities. This is in keeping with the spirit of the Aw brothers of Tiger Balm fame – Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par – who completed the construction of Haw Par Villa in 1937. They opened the park to the public to make it a community space. Likewise, our vision for Haw Par Villa is for it to be a space for all to enjoy, regardless of race or religion.
From all of us at Haw Par Villa, we wish you a Happy Solar New Year! 🌞
To find out more about calendars, New Years, and the festivals that will be observed in April, look for these exhibition panels at the Culture Courtyard.
2 & 3. Introduction to Calendars
4 & 5. A Brief History of Calendars
6. Aluth Avurudda (Sinhalese New Year)
7. Bohag Bihu (Assamese New Year)
8. Choul Chnam Thmey / Moha Sangkran (Cambodian New Year)
9. Pohela Boishakh (Bengali New Year)
10. Puthandu (Tamil New Year)
11. Songkran (Thai New Year)
12. Thingyan (Burmese New Year)
13. Vaisakhi (Punjabi New Year)