ONE CITY THREE FESTIVALS
24 August 2 November 2008
From August to November, Singapore sparkles with cultural festivities during the triple celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Mid-Autumn Festival and Deepavali, when the ethnic districts of Kampong Glam, Geylang Serai, Chinatown and Little India respectively come alive in an explosion of colour, street lights, festive bazaars, cultural performances and events.
Kicking off the festivities is the Hari Raya Aidilfitri Celebrations at Kampong Glam (24 Aug 5 Oct). During this time, the historically rich enclave and its familiar landmarks such as the Sultan Mosque and Malay Heritage Centre will be transformed with elaborate fairy lights, festive arches and decorations. Kandahar Street will feature the Hari Raya Food & Goods Bazaar, offering delectable local Malay delights as Muslims break their fast at sunset every day (known as Iftar) during the month-long Ramadan period leading up to Hari Raya Aidilfitri on 1 October. Weekends at the Malay Heritage Centre will feature cultural performances and ketupat-weaving demonstrations.
The Hari Raya Aidilfitri Celebrations at Geylang Serai (30 Aug 12 Oct) will follow with a colourful street light-up following a batik and kampong roof theme in the precinct where the local Muslim community traditionally congregate during Hari Raya. Join the crowds in the extensive street bazaars and be mesmerised by the sheer volume of items ranging from Malay delicacies and festive fare, to traditional clothing, trinkets, and decorative items for the house.
Chinatown will be the focal point for the Mid-Autumn Festival (31 Aug 30 Sep), with colourful lanterns, lights, bazaars and fireworks. The celebration is a Chinese tradition where families and friends gather for reunions, enjoying mooncakes and sipping tea while viewing the moon at its fullest and brightest. Joining the celebrations are the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum, Hong Lim Park, Singapore River, Albert Mall and the Chinese Garden.
Completing the celebrations is Deepavali (20 Sep 2 Nov), or the Festival of Lights, which is a time for rejoicing and renewal as Hindus all over the world celebrate the triumph of good over evil and many homes light up little lamps to usher in light and good fortune. During this time, Little India will be bathed in dazzling lights, while its streets will resound with the bustle of the festive bazaars and lively cultural activities and performances. Festive highlights include Navarathiri or the Nine Nights Festival (30 Sept 8 Oct), Theemithi or the Fire Walking Festival (20 Oct), the spectacular UTSAV Street Parade (24 Oct), and a jubilant Countdown Concert (26 Oct) to herald in Deepavali.