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Remembering Traditions at the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2017

September 25, 2017 Destination North Asia No Comments Email Email

This year’s Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival invites local and overseas visitors to immerse themselves in the most well-loved traditions of the annual festival. Themed “Celebrations of our Traditions”, this year’s festival will bring back the traditional cellophane lanterns, which serves as the inspiration for this year’s Street Light-Up; while emphasizing family togetherness with a new event.

During the month-long celebration from 23 September to 19 October, over 1,000 beautiful, handcrafted lanterns will light up the streets of Chinatown each evening in a grand display of lights and colours, an annual highlight that draws local and overseas visitors to Chinatown each year.

The Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival, organised by the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens’ Consultative Committee (KA-KS CCC) and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, will kick off at this Saturday’s Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony graced by Guest-of-Honour, Mdm Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore. This year’s opening ceremony will take the audience back to 1960s Singapore, and feature a lively showcase of gravity-defying acrobatic stunts and multicultural performances that represent Chinatown’s colourful ethnic mix.

Dr Lily Neo, Adviser to Jalan Besar GRC GRO (KRETA AYER – KIM SENG) said: “The Chinatown Festivals play an integral role in preserving and passing on our Chinese traditions and customs. For this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival, we hope to evoke fond memories for Singaporeans by recreating Singapore’s traditional lanterns popular in the 60s to 80s, and give overseas visitors a wonderful glimpse of our traditional lanterns commonly seen in the past during the Mid-Autumn Festival.

“The Festival is also a time of family togetherness. To enrich our line-up of family-oriented activities, we will be organising the inaugural Mid-Autumn Family Fest @ Chinatown to give families a fun and meaningful way to celebrate the festival together and to pass down their customs and traditions”, added Dr Neo.

Oldies but goodies for this year’s Street Light-Up

Illuminating the streets of Chinatown from 23 September to 19 October are more than 1,000 lanterns along Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road and South Bridge Road, all handcrafted for the highly-anticipated Street Light-Up. This year’s lantern display is inspired by the traditional cellophane paper lanterns popular in Singapore in the 60s to 80s.

Designed in collaboration with students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), the lanterns are made by expert craftsmen from China and reminiscent of the colourful cellophane paper lanterns of yesteryear, traditionally made by tightly wrapping cellophane paper over a wire frame or bamboo strips into various animal shapes such as rabbits, dragons, roosters and fishes. The theme of family togetherness can also be seen in the lantern displays sets of families placed between Eu Tong Sen Street and New Bridge Road.

Adding to the Street Light-Up will be the creative artworks of nearly 400 children and students who took part in the annual Lantern Painting Competition last Sunday. These will be displayed along Pagoda Street until 19 October 2017. There will also be a special group of lanterns drawn by students and painted by the elderly during the event.

Family togetherness celebrated at inaugural Mid-Autumn Family Fest @ Chinatown

A new event this year is the Mid-Autumn Family Fest @ Chinatown on 24 September 2017, where families and friends can take part in a morning of traditional activities associated with the festival. Held at the Kreta Ayer Community Club, there will be various hands-on activities, such as mooncake-making, tea appreciation, calligraphy writing and lantern painting.

Immerse in festive activities till 19 Oct

Starting from 20 September, local and overseas visitors can look forward to finding a wide array of festive must-haves and treats from mooncakes and tea to preserved fruits and decorative ornaments at the annual Festive Street Bazaar.

For the arts-inclined, the Nightly Stage Shows at Kreta Ayer Square will fill the evening air with song and dance performances by local and overseas troupes and entertainers that will amplify the celebratory mood during the festival.

The Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2017 will draw to a close with the Mass Lantern Walk on 1 October, where up to 5,000 people are expected to come together to mark the Mid-Autumn Festival under a moonlit night, topped with entertaining performances by local clan associations, overseas performing groups and dragon dance troupes.

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