Sunday, September 24, 2017

Street Decorations (Light Up) for the Mid-Autumn Festival 2017 @ Chinatown [Singapore]

It's been a few years since i last covered anything on the mid-autumn festival but since i was on leave last Tuesday to accompany my dad, i thought i might as well make use of the time to take photos of the decorations at Chinatown! 

Hanging LED lanterns across the parallel Eu Tong Sen street and New Bridge road - not impressive enough although it could be a different story at night. Just like Christmas lighting along Orchard road, you can only feel its beauty at night. 

Still, i don't get the logic of the animals that were on display; initially, i thought it would be based on zodiac animals. However, there were also birds and fishes. Thankfully, i do read the Straits Times and i understand the ten animals on display were based on "traditional lanterns popular in the 1960s to 1980s". 

The main 12-meter centrepiece raised even more questions; why was the tree blue!? Was it with reference to the blue skin of the indigenous tribe featured in the mega-movie, Avatar?

Instead of fruits and leaves, sixty animal lanterns adorned the tree. My immediate reaction was horrified; it's like the animals were sacrificed and put on the tree as part of a ritual! 

Don't believe me? Convert the photo into a black and white image and then tell me if the centrepiece would look out of place in Halloween Horror Nights 7.

Whatever the case, there were more than a thousand handcrafted lanterns and they were "designed in collaboration with students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts". Out of the ten animals, the chicken, the dragon and the rabbit were clearly represented in my childhood memory!

In addition to the animals, i found lanterns featuring people; from the look of them, it's likely the representation of the four major races in Singapore. 

Main performance stage which would be ready for the grand opening of the Mid-Autumn festival light up this evening.

Going down the staircase from the bridge connecting people's park complex and pagoda street. I love the way the photo panned out to include both the shophouses in the past and the covered canopy in the present. 

A recreated scene from the past - definitely before my era as i don't remember seeing any rickshaw when i was young! Such photo spots would be popular with instagrammers! 

Since i don't take photos of myself (and don't trust the skills of others), i shall present to you my lao-peh who would have looked right in place with his tanned skin, if not for his folded shirt and long pants. 

Lantern painting competition with some really good ones! It's already hard for me to paint on a flat piece of paper and it must have been quite a challenge to do it on a lantern.

This period would also be the time when lanterns were brought out to be sold; unlike lunar new year celebrations which is restricted to the respective zodiac animals, designs from past mid-autumn festivals can still be displayed for sale. 

There could be changes in material used though; in the past, paper, my time was cellophane, it later advised to hard plastic and then recently, plastic that could be blown up. 

Another change would be the design to reflect the latest trend for the kids; Jovyn's favourite cartoon now is the My Little Pony. I think her favourite character is rainbow dash. 

I still prefer my traditional paper lanterns; reasons being they are priced way cheaper and it's always a thrill to see them lighted up and gone in a flash. 

Do the above ring a bell? They were the same chicks and chicken used for the rooster year light up this year! You can actually adopt them after the festival; maybe i should do it every year and place them in my relatively empty living room.

By the way, Sago Lane was renovated and it now features a wider walkway and purpose-built stores with elevated platforms (to protect against flooding), power and better protection in event of wet weather! 

Ending the walk at the amazing Buddha Tooth Temple


Street Light Up
Until 19 October 2017

For more information on the mid autumn festival at Chinatown (Singapore) and its various activities, please check out the Chinatown Festivals website here.

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