SINGAPORE – (ACN Newswire) – Hari Raya Light Up 2018 returned to Geylang Serai on 12 May and will run until 30 June 2018, bringing with it a visual feast of more than 50 light installations.
Themed “Celebrating our kampung spirit”, the annual event once again brightened the streets of Singapore’s largest Malay enclave with displays inspired by Malay art and cultural icons. The crowd-pleasing shopping bazaar also returned this year with about 800 stalls serving up a plethora of traditional Malay fare, outfits and ornaments.
Mr Eric Wong (JP, BBM(L)), Chairman of the Hari Raya Light Up 2018 Organising Committee expressed keen anticipation. He said, “We look forward to celebrating the old kampung spirit in this year’s festive light-up. Each year without fail, Geylang Serai comes alive with creative light displays in the lead-up to Ramadan and Hari Raya Puasa. This is something the local community eagerly awaits, but the Hari Raya Light Up also invites our international friends to experience and be immersed in the Malay culture of Singapore. We hope this year’s event will give them a taste of the traditional kampung spirit that resonates with our cultural roots.”
“Hari Raya is one of Singapore’s major festivals. Aside from honouring Malay culture and heritage, the Hari Raya Light Up festivities are a reflection of our multi-racial community and bring vibrancy to the Geylang Serai precinct. We are delighted to continue supporting this event as a rich cultural experience for both local and global visitors alike to enjoy,” said Mr Kenneth Lim, Director, Cultural Precincts Development, Singapore Tourism Board.
Gorgeous displays to cast light on Malay cultural icons
Over the fifty days, visitors can expect to see Malay cultural icons captured in lights along Sims Avenue, Geylang Road and Changi Road. Two main arches welcome visitors with brilliant traditional Malay heritage icons along Sims Avenue and Changi Road, while a circular arch stands tall at the corner of Engku Aman Road and Sims Avenue.
The first main arch features a traditional kampung house and sampan, motifs inspired by the concepts of community and homecoming. The kampung house signifies the gathering of a family or community living closely together, while the sampan is symbolic of the many abroad travelling home to be with loved ones during the fasting month.
The second main arch features a mosque, while the third circular arch presents a stunning 3D centerpiece also depicting a mosque – representative of the place of worship where Muslims may congregate for their tarawih prayers during Ramadan.
Additional arches along the way bear conventional Islamic symbols like the crescent and star, along with words of blessings often exchanged by Muslims during the holy month.
Open plaza at the new Wisma Geylang Serai venue for Hari Raya Light Up launch
In conjunction with the festivities, the open plaza at Wisma Geylang Serai was the venue for the official launch of Hari Raya Light Up. The brand-new Malay-Muslim social and cultural heritage hub also features a larger-than-life backdrop crafted in the iconic shape of a ‘kompang’, the traditional Malay musical instrument.
Crowd-pleasing bazaar to happen 12 May to 14 June 2018
Fans can expect Geylang Serai to be bustling with bazaar stalls from 12 May to 14 June 2018. Spanning the areas around Geylang Serai market, Joo Chiat Complex and the former Malay Village, as well as along Geylang Road, stalls offer delectable dishes including Ramly burger, kebab and vadai. Malay visitors will also be delighted to find a rich offering of traditional costumes and accessories at the bazaar in time for upcoming Hari Raya Puasa celebrations.
Breaking fast together in kampung community
Another aspect of Hari Raya Light Up is the various iftar sessions to be held at Wisma Geylang Serai, where residents and other members of the constituency will gather to break fast at sunset. These events seek to foster a shared sense of affinity and belonging within the community.
Cultural Heritage Race to acquaint participants with Malay culture
Other highlights include an invigorating Cultural Heritage Race that will take place on 20 May 2018 to bring adjacent communities closer together. In teams of three that must include a non-Malay Singaporean and a new Singapore Citizen, as well as a Singapore Permanent Resident or Employment Pass holder, competitors will race within the boundaries of the bazaar and Geylang Serai Heritage Trail to discover nuggets of cultural information about Hari Raya and the Malay community in Singapore. In the spirit of celebration, male and female participants must also don songkoks and selendangs (male and female Muslim accessories) respectively during the race.
For more information about Hari Raya Light Up, please visit https://www.facebook.com/HariRayaLightUpSingapore/.
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