Sea of colour in Geylang Serai as Hari Raya light-up begins

Launch of the Hari Raya light up on May 20, 2017.ST VIDEO: NG SOR LUAN
The light-up this year runs till July 7, with the streets lit up at 7pm every day. Highlights include a kampung house perched above the road, flanked by giant leaves designed to look like the traditional Malay songket brocade.
The light-up this year runs till July 7, with the streets lit up at 7pm every day. Highlights include a kampung house perched above the road, flanked by giant leaves designed to look like the traditional Malay songket brocade.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Thousands of colourful lights illuminated the streets of Geylang Serai last night as part of the annual Hari Raya light-up.

The centrepiece, a kampung house perched high above the road, was flanked by giant leaves designed to look like the traditional Malay songket brocade.

This year's celebrations also include an exhibition of artefacts from the Malay Museum at Kampong Ubi Community Centre, as well as the famous Geylang Serai bazaar, which opens on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the official launch yesterday, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin said the occasion is an opportunity for Singaporeans of all races to celebrate the kampung spirit.

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"It's not just about the light-up or the bazaar and the food," he said. "In many ways, the spirit of it is about people coming together."

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Marine Parade GRC MP Fatimah Lateef and several other MPs were also present at last night's event.

In addition to the arches spanning the 2.25km stretch of Sims Avenue and Changi Road, large installations, such as a 12m kelong and a 4.4m wau - or Kelantanese kite - have been put up around the area.

An exhibition of Malay artefacts - including gongs, weaponry and traditional spinning tops known as gasing - will give visitors an idea of what life in the Malay community was like several generations ago.

"You can't find many of these things anymore," said 79-year-old Arif Haji Zahari, the curator of the Malay Museum.

The Hari Raya light-up will last until July 7, with the streets lit up at 7pm every day. The lights will be switched off at 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, and at midnight on other days. On the eve of Hari Raya, the display will last from 7pm to 6am.

The Geylang Serai bazaar, featuring more than 1,000 stalls, will run from Thursday until June 24.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 21, 2017, with the headline 'Sea of colour in Geylang Serai as Hari Raya light-up begins'. Print Edition | Subscribe