It isn’t officially recognised as a holiday period in Singapore; in fact, this year’s PSLE exams falls smack in the middle of the Mid-Autumn festivities. But that’s not stopping people from celebrating what is traditionally an annual harvest ritual steeped in mythology, folklore and plenty of kids (and a handful of adults too) running around with lanterns under a full moon.
In fact, Mid-Autumn Festival events are sprouting up all over the island just to remind everybody to take a good hard look at the moon while stuffing ourselves with lotus paste and Chinese tea. We have happily decided to help you join in the fracas by putting together a summary of the hottest 2012 highlights during this very special month.
It all starts in Chinatown
The grandest of the Mid-Autumn celebrations will undoubtedly be in the pinnacle point of our Chinese community. Kreta Ayer – Kim Seng CCC kicks off the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2012 festivities with an official Chinatown light-up ceremony complete with a street parade, cultural performances and a grand fireworks display. Chinatown will remain lit upfor visitors to admire through to mid-October, accompanied by a Lantern Park decked with beautiful lantern designs.
There’s plenty more, as is usually the case with our downtown heritage township; look out for the super-bustling street bazaar in the heart of Chinatown, as well as the festive carnival on Bandar Street for mid-autumn goodies to eat and all manner of Chinese paraphernalia to buy. Accompanying the shopping is the comprehensive live stage entertainment comprising mini-concerts, cultural performances and acrobatic acts, lovingly put together by the good people of Kreta Ayer to keep everyone awake until latest 10.30pm every night.
The Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations will reach its peak on 29 September with a Mass Lantern Walk where everyone is invited to carry their lanterns from Banda Street to New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street.
Moonfest by the Esplanade
If sweating it out in a packed open-air bazaar isn’t quite your thing, the Esplanade has prepared a much cooler indoor proposition for you called Moonfest — A Mid-Autumn Celebration 2012, from 28-30 September. In the works are parent-child workshops to guide Chinese families through tracing the origins of their surnames, learn about the traditions and culture behind Chinese Opera performances, make-up and costumes, and not forgetting a quick lesson for your child on making his or her own lantern for the festivities. The Esplanade will top off their activities with The Legend of Nezha, a live Mandarin production telling the tale of the legendary brave superhero boy who fights dragon kings on burning one-wheeled roller-skates.
Not too far away from our homes, the shopping malls are also getting in on the action. Up North, the eXplorerkids @ AMK Hub will be holding a lantern-making workshop for kids to create galaxy-themed lanterns to show off to their friends. Their Downtown East outlet will also be marking the occasion with a chocolate mooncake making workshop, and both locations will include playtime at their indoor play area after everyone’s done.
Yes, the West is covered too; Jurong Point is hosting a showcase of Chinese dance costumes at the main entrance of their new wing through to 23 September, while offering a wide range of traditional, gourmet and fusion mooncakes from various vendors in their atrium.
Right outside your house
If you’ve already stocked up enough mooncakes to hold your own stall at Jurong Point, and your kids are already holding 4 lanterns with their hands and legs (and maybe one more in the mouth), you can always just celebrate the coming of the biggest, brightest moon of the year right outside your doorstep with the your estate. There’s a good chance this is the only time of the year you’ll see so many people hanging out where you live. So get some sparklers if you want, let the kids run and play in the light of the silvery moon, and enjoy the community spirit.Posted in Uncategorized