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Sep 4, 2013

Chinatown Mid Autumn Festival 2013

Month-long festivities featuring highlight events - Lantern Making Competition, Lantern Painting Competition, a colourful lantern themed Street Light-Up, an Official Light-Up and Opening Ceremony extravaganza, a bustling Festive Bazaar and a Mass Lantern Walk - celebrating Singapore's cultural diversity and rich heritage.  Visitors to Chinatown can expect a Festive Street Bazaar and Carnival with over 300 festive stalls offering everything from mooncakes, lanterns to handicrafts, and nightly shows staged at Kreta Ayer Square.

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake or Lantern Festival, is a celebration of family reunion and good harvest.  Mid-Autumn Festival is traditionally celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar.  This year, Mid-Autumn Festival falls on Thursday, 19 September 2013.  This event is one of the most widely celebrated Chinese festivals by Chinese communities around the world.

In Singapore, the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2013, organized by Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens' Consultative Committee (KA-KS CCC), will showcase an exciting, colourful and vibrant month-long programme from 31 August to 4 October 2013.  A not-to-be missed highlight event in Singapore's festival calendar, Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2013 aims to enliven Chinatown, engage the Chinese community, other ethnic groups, youths and visitors in preserving Chinese tradition and heritage, as well as enrich and enthrall both the young and old alike in the festive celebrations.

Festivals like the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival can contribute to the preservation of intangible cultural assets such as living cultural knowledge, identity, meaning and core values embedded in certain traditional customs or rituals.
The young, active and energetic Malay dancers and Chinese musicians with flute and "pipa" ... synchronised harmoniously with classical multi-cultural music enjoyable to listen and dance to watch..

The Chinese martial art exponents demonstrate with skills and talents in their performances at the festival.

The Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2013 celebration will kick off with a rousing Opening Ceremony featuring the Official Street Light-Up on 7 September 2013 with dragon dance performance, an exciting line-up of multi-cultural performances by local and overseas troupes from China and Taiwan as well as a spectacular fireworks display.

The stage performances are conceptualized and directed by multi-talented Director, Mr Zhao Bo Jun.

The Panel of Speakers at the "Chinatown Mid Autumn Festival 2013 Preview" on 3 September 2013.  Photo from left to right:  Mr Philip Loh, Dr Lily Neo, Mr Vincent Tan, Mr Poh Chi Chuan.

Dr Lily Neo, Grassroots Adviser and Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC said:
Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival is an important Chinese festival celebration in our cultural calender as it preserves valued traditions and bonds our community.  Singapore is home to a diverse population that celebrates its cultural richness and variety through local festivals, community events, and other grassroots activities.  The community gatherings and festive celebrations demonstrate Singaporeans' pride in where they come from, who they are, and where they live.
Throughout the celebration of this festival, Chinatown and its nearby precints will be soaked in festivities and beautifully adorned with a myriad of colourful lanterns and dazzling decorations.  The Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2013 will feature "Kaleidoscope of Lanterns" [点亮世界。共庆中秋] 。[Brighten the World.  Celebrate the Mid Autumn Festival Together.]

The 9.6 metre tall, 7 metre by 7 metre wide giant lantern.
One of the main highlights of this year's festival is the colourful Festive Street Light-Up from 7 September to 4 October 2013.  Visitors will be enchanted by the lantern-themed decorations of Chinatown as New Bridge Road, Eu Tong Sen Street, South Bridge Road and the inner streets in Chinatown are decorated and lit up by a spectacular myraid of over 20,000 colourful lanterns in 5 shapes and sizes as well as in 7 colours, 5 shapes symbolising celebration across 7 continents and 5 oceans, creating a kaleidoscope of colours.

The Singapore Book of Records certificate has awarded the "Largest Display of Street Lanterns" to the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng CCC for organising the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2013.

Working closely with the Singapore Tourism Board and various festival sponsors and partners, the 16-year-old Festival has grown from strength-to-strength to become a key Singapore cultural attraction.

"Set against the dynamic backdrop of Chinatown, the Mid-Autumn Festival is an excellent platform to showcase to visitors our multicultural identity and heritage.  We are encouraged to see our youths contributing this year to community initiatives such as the Mid-Autumn walking trail and the lantern making competition.  These activities will also help instil a sense of pride and ownership amongst the local community towards Singapore's culture and heritage, and play an important role in the shaping and telling of a compelling story of Chinatown," says Mr Poh Chi Chuan, Director, Cultural Precincts & Tourism Concept Development, Singapore Tourism Board.

Cultivating Cultural Traditions Among the Youths and Engaging the Community

The Youth Festival Ambassador will be involved in various roles spanning from crowd control, ushering, festival rovers and social media content providers.  As Festival Ambassadors, they will move around Chinatown and provide event information during event days to locals and visitors in Chinatown.  To learn more about their experiences, read about them at Chinatown Festivals Youth Volunteers Group on Facebook here .

Under the guidance of lantern making instructors, residents, grassroots organisations, community groups and schools from Kreta Ayer and Kim Seng precints, have demonstrated their creativity and craftsmanship in creating creative lanterns for the Lantern Making Competition.

What's New at "Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2013"?

First-ever Chinatown Mid-Autumn Walking Trail, led by 2 Festival Ambassadors, Mr Ang Wei Jie and Ms Teo Peck Gek.

The "Colours of Mid-Autumn 2012, Singapore" blog here .

About the Mid-Autumn Festival

The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar when the moon appears at its fullest and brightest.  Chinese families around the world will gather over fragrance tea and festive goodies such as mooncakes and pomelos to celebrate this festival.  Throughout the month of September this year, colourful lanterns and decorations will adorn the streets of Chinatown, complemented by spectacular festive lighting and bustling street bazaars.

The 1,000-year-old tradition of the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrates the moon as a deity of utmost reverence.  In Chinese culture, the roundness of the moon symbolizes togetherness, harmony and family unity.  The ancient tradition allows time for the family to gather and unite in a perfect circle like the moon - unbreakable, never ending and harmonious.  In other parts of Asia such as Japan, India and Korea, a similar harvest festival time is also celebrated.  The festival also celebrates the legend of Chang Er, the lady who is  believed to have floated to the moon after swallowing the elixir of eternal life and now lives on the moon.

(Source: Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens' Consultative Committee, with thanks and acknowledgement quoted on this blog).

For more information on Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2013, please visit:

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