Tag Archives: Chinatown

Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2017

The time of the year, the Mid-Autumn Festival season in Singapore would start today on the 23rd September 2017, for a month long celebration to 19th October 2017. Many beautiful lanterns, over 1,000 beautiful, handcrafted lanterns will light up the streets of Chinatown each evening, a very beautiful, bright and colourful grand display of lights and colours, a popular annual event that attracts both the locals and overseas visitors as well.

The theme for Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival (牛车水庆中秋) 2017 is “Celebrations of our Traditions 《传统新意庆中秋,同心共乐贺团圆》”, emphasizing on family togetherness along with the return of traditional cellophane lanterns, the inspiration for this year’s Street Light-Up.

Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2017 is organised by the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens’ Consultative Committee (KA-KS CCC) and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board. Mdm Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore, is the Guest-of-Honour for the Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony (开幕典礼与亮灯仪式) on Saturday 23rd September 2017. From my previous experiences watching the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival opening ceremony from the side lines, the opening ceremony performances have always been spectacular and lively!

Visiting Chinatown for Mid-Autumn Festival 2017, observe the lanterns! Do you remember the lanterns shaped like dragons, rabbits, roosters and rabbits made of cellophane paper hung over bamboo strips or wire frames? More than 1,000 lanterns along Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road and South Bridge Road. They are all handcrafted by expert craftsmen from China, designed in collaboration with students from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), inspired by the traditional cellophane paper lanterns popular in Singapore during the 1960s to 1980s, a reminiscent of the colourful cellophane paper lanterns from the 60s to 80s era.

When you visit Chinatown in Singapore, you can’t miss the Mid-Autumn Festival lanterns on display, the lanterns are always well liked and received by both locals and overseas visitors. You can’t miss this big centrepiece lantern on display at Chinatown Mid Autumn Festival 2017! Measuring 12m tall by 10m wide, decorated with about 60 animal lanterns, located at the junction of Eu Tong Sen Street and Upper Cross Street. Keep a lookout for the large-scale lantern display sets of families representing Singapore’s multicultural community on the centre divider between Eu Tong Sen Street and South Bridge Road.

There are many activities and events taking place during Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2017 till 19th October:

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

A new event this year is the Mid-Autumn Family Fest @ Chinatown (中秋 @ on 24 September 2017where 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.

Activities and Events taking place during Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2017

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 (中秋街市集).

For the arts-inclined, the Nightly Stage Shows (中秋综艺晚会) 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 (中秋大型游灯会) 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.

More info on the event highlights for the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2017 can be found in the Annex.

For more information, please visit us at:

Website:              www.chinatownfestivals.sg

Facebook:           https://www.facebook.com/chinatown.festivals

Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail CNY 2017

The Year of the Rooster 2017 is going to start soon in about 12 days time (starting from today 16th January 2017), ushering in the Chinese New Year on the 28th January 2017. Leading up to the festive season of the Chinese Lunar New Year, we have exciting events, activities and our favourite festive bazaar at Chinatown.

Having grew up in Singapore, I visited Chinatown a number of times during the Chinese New Year festive bazaar, to indulge in the festive atmosphere. It can get really crowded during this period and this is a great time to experience the Chinese New Year festivities in Singapore.

I recently went for the Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail held during the Chinese New Year 2017 festivities on 14th January 2017. Let me bring you through some of the destinations, features and highlights that you can experience for yourself with your family, relatives and friends during this Chinese New Year festivities at Chinatown (12 more days of Chinese New Year festivities before the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year on 28th January 2017)

This Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail was interesting for me because we had the gorgeous and beautiful Mediacorp artiste Sora Ma, leading us for this walking trail! She’s a great travel/tour guide, awesome interaction with the stall owners and walking trail participants, in the midst of the huge crowds and congestion!

Meeting point/Starting point: Chinatown Heritage Centre

The Chinatown Heritage Centre is an excellent destination for everybody, for the locals and our international visitor friends. This is the place where you can go and visit, to learn, see, feel and discover the footsteps of Singapore’s early pioneers and explore the personal stories of early Singaporeans who lived in Chinatown.

I visited and toured Chinatown Heritage Centre on a separate visit with my university alumni group during an alumni outing. It’s definitely an eye-opener and I strongly encourage everybody to visit Chinatown Heritage Centre. More information and details can be found on their website.

There are two exciting programmes at Chinatown Heritage Centre during the Year of the Rooster festive celebration

Happy Rooster Family Album

6 January to 28 February 2017

Daily: 9am to 8pm

27 Jan: 9am to 5pm

28 Jan: Closed

If you are born in the Year of the Rooster and you are visiting Chinatown Heritage Centre, you can get free admission into Chinatown Heritage Centre if you participate and be a part of the Happy Rooster Family Album!

Year of the Rooster Capteh Challenge

6 January to 28 February 2017

28 Jan: Closed

The capteh is a traditional game, I personally played it before when I was a young kid. A fun game, if you can juggle a football consecutively, you are definitely game enough for the capteh! It can be challenging yet it will be fun!

All you have to do is to catch Chinatown Heritage Centre’s signature memorable moments at 1pm and 4pm daily to participate in the capteh challenge. If you can keep the capteh flying in the air by kicking and controlling it for 8 consecutive times non-stop, you can win free admission to the Centre!

Try it out! It’s going to be a fun experience!

Chinese New Year Festive Street Bazaar

A must visit when you are in Chinatown during the Chinese New Year period, indulge and soak in the festive atmosphere of the Chinese New Year festivities, the huge crowds, the bazaar, the goods and food on sale.

It can be very very crowded, making it very difficult to walk around the congested streets during this time. Take it slow and easy, wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

Check out some of the stalls that we visited during the Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail!

YouthEATS @ Temple Street

A new addition to the traditional and regular Chinese New Year festive street bazaar, it’s my first time too! You have to check out the stalls and their food below –

Must try, I reckon you would love them! Sometimes, I don’t need to write a food review for them because I just want to show you the food and where to find them! Go try it!

Spots for Chinatown light up photography

I do love coming down to Chinatown for photography during the Chinese New Year festival season. I took photos from this location previously! There are a lot of different lightings, lanterns and displays during the festive season. Let me share with you, one of the locations to view, enjoy and take photographs!

Garden Bridge (Chinatown Pedestrian Bridge)

You can’t miss this bridge when you are in Chinatown, many people use this bridge to cross from one side of Chinatown (Pagoda Street, Temple Street, Smith Street, Mosque Street) to People’s Park Complex, The Majestic, OG People’s Park.

This would be one of the locations for me to take photos of Chinatown during the Chinese New Year festive season. Visit it during the night when the lightings, lanterns and displays are lighted up, making Chinatown extra bright and colourful!

Lepark @ People’s Park Complex

This is probably one of Singapore’s not too well known yet locations that I believe would slowly grow, transform and evolve into a destination that is popular with creative artists, youth and future flea markets. Lepark is located on the 6th floor of People’s Park Complex, the roof top carpark!

I heard a lot about this location and I had yet to visit Lepark. Thanks to this special Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail, I finally got to visit Lepark. When we were up there on 14th January, there was YHFLEA: Come Lepark Edition a first-of-its-kind collective flea and car boot market with Lepark and Young Hungry Free. Although YHFLEA was only held for two days (14th and 15th January), I hope they would return again and slowly help Lepark grows into a destination for all to visit in the future.

Lepark is another ideal location for street/urban landscape photography of Chinatown and Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar CBD sector. I have a feeling that more photographers will start to visit this location as time goes by. Let’s hope that all these activities and events would slowly transform and grow Lepark at People’s Park Complex.

After visiting Lepark, this marked the ending point for this specially organised Chinatown Heritage Walking Trail tour on the 14th January 2017. It was a fun trip with Sora Ma as our tour guide! Of course, we have to take group photos with our gorgeous and beautiful Sora Ma!

The Chinese New Year festivities are now taking place at Chinatown, do visit and explore some of the festivities, locations and food that I shared here!

Thank you Ninemer PR for the invitation and Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens’ Consultative Committee for organising this walking trail!

The Art and Profession of Knife Sharpening

Knife sharpening as an art form, a form of professional service provision. Have you heard of them before in Singapore ? Do you know of their presence here in Singapore ? Personally, I didn’t know about knife sharpening professional service although I can relate to the art of knife sharpening because of my Boy Scout and Venture Scouting days.

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It was with great honour that I was invited by National Heritage Board (NHB) to follow along with them in their Heritage in Episodes projects. My exploration, documentation and photographing of Old Places in Singapore led me to discover, learn and share more about heritage, history, conservation and preservation topics in Singapore. The art and culture of traditional trades and businesses soon became part of my interest with the knife sharpening profession that I went along to photograph and documented, a part of a dying professional trade in Singapore.

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Along with the staff from National Heritage Board, reporters from Straits Times and Lianhe ZaoBao. We visited People’s Park Complex, tucked away at a corner on the second floor, there was a unit where we learnt the art, history and profession of knife sharpening. We were greeted by Mdm Lee, who was very kind, humble and friendly, whom was more than happy to share with us her stories, how she got started in knife sharpening, her experiences and memories over her knife sharpening business. Mdm Lee’s knife sharpening caters to hairstylists, seamstress, hawkers and homemakers, with her business trade spanning over 40 years. Mdm Lee was very well liked by her customers whom many were loyal return customers. When customers went to her shop and picked up their goods, they shared their wonderful and thoughts about Mdm Lee’s knife sharpening business. The testimonials by her customers are a testament of her professionalism and enthusiasm in her knife sharpening profession.

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The dilemma and challenges facing Mdm Lee today is succession and passing on of the knife sharpening trade/skills/business. The art and profession of knife sharpening may not be able to carried on into the future generations of Singapore. With the coverage and publicity by National Heritage Board, local press stories and history enthusiasts like myself, we hoped that Mdm Lee would be able to Pass-It-On her art and skill of knife sharpening. Do check out both our local newspapers Straits Times and Lianhe ZaoBao wrote excellent in-depth detailed reports of Mdm Lee and her knife sharpening business.

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There were a few things that I was able to struck a chord deeply with Mdm Lee’s knife sharpening, that is the art and skill of knife sharpening. I would not be able to know the operations and business management of a knife sharpening trade/business, however, I knew how Mdm Lee felt when she was sharpening the knifes on the grinder and honing stone. This was because I was once a Boy Scout and Venture Scout, I had to learn the skills of sharpening my small swiss army knifes, dagger, parang (machette) and axe. Mdm Lee’s grinder was machine/motor operated while the grinder that I learned was manual turning with one hand while the other hand held my knife/parang/axe. When I saw how Mdm Lee sharpening the knifes on the sharpening/honing stone slab, splashing water on the stone slab and knife while sharpening, these actions brought me back many memories to my Scouting days, it’s exactly the same skill and actions!

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I had a great chat with Mdm Lee, sharing with her how I used/sharpened my knife, parang and axe (Those were the rugged outdoor adventure days) during my Scouting days. It was fated that I was able to meet a professional knife sharpener and able to share together why we sharpen our knifes for our various purposes, for Mdm Lee, a professional service provision, for me, my Scouting outdoor adventure! If you ever need a skillful professional to sharpen your knifes, scissors etc etc, you can find Mdm Lee at People’s Park Food Complex, #02-1040! Let’s help to spread the awareness of a knife sharpening art and profession in Singapore and we might find this traditional knife sharpening trade and business can be Pass-It-On!

I would like to say a Big Thank You to National Heritage Board and Madam Lee for giving me this opportunity to photograph, document and share the story of knife sharpening.

This blog entry is written in support of the “Heritage in Episodes” project under the Heritage Institutions Division of NHB which seeks to document traditional trades and businesses, and to promote public awareness of these trades and businesses through NHB’s social media platforms. The knife sharpener will be featured in an upcoming episode of the “Heritage in Episodes” project and video clips of traditional trades such as rattan weaving and Chinese lantern painting have been uploaded on NHB’s YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/yesterdaysg.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Mid Autumn Festival in Singapore

In the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the 8th Month, an important festival that would fall on the Lunar 15th Day of the 8th Lunar Month, known as the Mid-Autumn Festival – 中秋节 , the history, mythology and origins, varies accordingly. Nevertheless, it was a month of gatherings, events, enjoying moon cakes, admiring the moon in the sky, carrying lanterns and photography for me.

The light up had begun in Singapore, with Chinatown and Clarke Quay spruced up with beautiful lights and displays, brightening up the region even brighter, many people, including tourists were all beginning to visit and enjoy the festivities and atmosphere. Starting at Central, I began my walking down along the Singapore River, taking photographs of the displays and lights. It was too crowded yet, as the date draws nearer to the the 15th day of the 8th Lunar Month, whereby the Moon in the sky would be round and beautiful, the crowds would slowly build up.

There were booths with different varieties of snacks, food and cultural items, that drew quite a crowd and it was quite a challenge to get across to the other side, crossing the bridge to Clarke Quay and hiked back towards Central. Along the way, finding suitable locations and making use of the surroundings to take long exposure shots of Singapore River and the Mid Autumn Festival lightings.

Proceeding to Chinatown after that, it was another area of packed activities, lots of people enjoying the festivities and celebrations of Mid Autumn Festival. People, of all ages, young and old, locals and tourists, were enjoying themselves and taking photographs to celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival.

Check out my photographs here on Flickr ! The Mid Autumn Festival 2010 in Singapore is still ongoing 11 September to 10 October, do drop by Clarke Quay, Chinatown and Central for a visit !

Must Try Food : Qun’s Noodles at People’s Park Complex

My colleague, Gabriel mentioned about a Wanton Mee near his home that is different from the rest of the Wanton Mee he ate usually. Since I am on a Must Try Food photojournalistic adventure, I was curious and decided to meet him for lunch at his home ground in Chinatown and try out this Wanton Mee.

They are located at People’s Park Complex Food Centre and their Wanton Mee is pretty tasty, they didn’t rush their noodles and had a bit of a wait, not too long though. They used black soy sauce, different from the tomato or chili sauce that you would usually find in other Wanton Noodles. In their bowl, they also shredded chicken slices and it was nicely cooked. Their soup is nice too and their dumplings make it a bit more different with prawn pieces mixed along with their minced meat, you don’t usually find the Wanton (dumplings) to be filled with prawns slices.

Gabriel ordered the paper wrapped chicken too as a side dish and it’s been a long time since I tasted it, overall, I liked it. If you like to try them out, here are their details

Qun’s Noodles

People’s Park Complex Food Centre

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Do drop by and Try them !

View from 24th Floor

One of Singapore’s newest landmarks, known as the Pinnacle @ Duxton, the views taken from the 24th Floor, using my iPhone 3G moreLomo application.

In time to come, I would go up there again to the 50th Floor and spend more time there to do sunset photography, aerial and landscape photography !

Celebrating Mid Autumn Festival 2009 !

Dear Readers

中秋节快乐!!

Wishing all of you a Happy Mid Autumn Festival 2009 ! One of the well known Chinese festivals, it’s not just about eating those delicious moon cakes, drinking Chinese Tea and enjoying the sight of the beautiful full moon under the dark clear sky.

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Just a bit of quick facts for my readers on Mid Autumn Festival, it is celebrated on the 15th Day of the 8th Month in the Chinese Lunar Calender, the mythical story of 嫦娥 and the story of the overthrowing of the Mongol Dynasty with pieces of paper written and hidden inside the moon cakes rallying the people to unite together.

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Today, the spirit of the Mid Autumn Festival remains, it’s a time for family gatherings too, Singapore’s Chinatown was lighted up with lanterns and lights, along with a mass walk along the road with people of all ages and nationalities, holding lanterns on their hands. Although the scale of the Mid Autumn Festival 2009 wasn’t as big scale as past few years due to the economic crisis, people still take the chance to enjoy themselves with their family and friends !

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Had 2 days of Mid Autumn Festival Celebrations, it was fun and a good break from the current crisis and gloom, the lanterns and festivities giving all of us a bright fire ahead !!

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Check out my Mid Autumn Festival 2009 Photos on my Flickr !!! Do take this time to enjoy the time with your family and loved ones too, under the beautiful moon !! Once again, Happy Mid Autumn Festival !!