Waves of celebration and nostalgia sweeps through Chinatown this September in the Singapore Bicentennial edition of the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival, which is now in its 18th year.
Themed “Bicentennial Mid-Autumn Festival 2019” (欢庆开埠两百年 花好月圆庆中秋), this year’s line-up is infused with new bicentennial elements and features a visually-stunning street light-up that spans over two kilometres and highlights 200 yearsof history in lanterns – from the founding of modern Singapore in 1819 to the future.
Bicentennial street light-up illuminates the Singapore story through hundreds of handcrafted lanterns that cover the main streets of Chinatown.
Visitors can reminisce Chinatown’s colourful past with fun and family oriented themed programmes that everyone can enjoy.
This year’s expanded festival line-up features novel concepts and upsized crowd favourites that continue to attract families and friends, young and old, to soak in the convivial atmosphere that Chinatown offers.
Demarcated as an early settlement for Chinese immigrants by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1822, Chinatown is a living and breathing cultural artefact that serves as a reminder of Singapore’s Chinese heritage.
Visitors can experience the rich history that shaped every crevice of Chinatown in the Heritage + Food Trail that covers Kreta Ayer Road, Sago Street, Pagoda Street and New Bridge Road, and ends with a food tasting session at 22 hawker stalls with over 30 years of history at Chinatown’s iconic food haven – People’s Park Food Centre and Singapore’s largest hawker centre and market, Chinatown Complex Food Centre.
Savour popular local dishes like fishball noodles with a 73-year-old recipe and visit stalls that are helmed by second and third-generation hawkers whose stalls originated from pushcarts in olden-day Chinatown.
Besides celebrating local hawker culture, enjoy uniquely Singaporean music where local artistes will take the stage to serenade the audience. Instantly recognisable Xinyao (新谣) medleys will fill the air at the Nightly Stage Shows where local talents including singers who are part of this home-grown music movement will perform hit songs from the seventies to nineties.
Nightly lion dance performances will also drum up excitement for the first time at the Nightly Stage Shows to complete the visual and aural fiesta. At the Mass Lantern Walk, a procession of thousands of lantern-toting revellers will be greeted by psychedelic LED robots, drummers and bicentennial stilt-walkers dressed in elaborate multi-racial costumes of the past for the perfect photo opportunity.
Some other key highlights of this year’s festival include:
• Lantern Painting Competition, with a NEW open category (ages 17 and above) that is free for the public to register and with cash prizes to be won
• Festive Bazaar and Trade Fair, with over 240 street stalls offering a variety of festive goodies such as moon cakes, pomelos, lanterns, handicrafts, tea and more
The Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2019, organised by the Kreta Ayer – Kim Seng Citizens’ Consultative Committee and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board, will kick start on 31 August 2019 with the Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony, graced by Guest-of-Honour Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore.
Chinatown will continue to be aglow with lanterns till 28 September 2019.