Come see, hear, taste the past come back to life

Annual HeritageFest has events over three weekends to cater to different interests

Check out the architectural styles of various religious institutions, including the 1930s Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church, on May 7 at 10am and 2pm.
Check out the architectural styles of various religious institutions, including the 1930s Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church, on May 7 at 10am and 2pm. ST FILE PHOTO

The 13th edition of the Singapore HeritageFest, taking place across three weekends from April 29 to May 15, caters to a variety of interests. You can sign up for the activities at

If the smorgasbord of events looks too daunting, we have cherry-picked some events for you, depending on your interests.


•Did you know that the National Museum was home to a vibrant street hawker scene in the 1960s? The National Heritage Board has arranged for 15 food stalls, serving a range of street foods from Indian rojak to wonton noodles, to be set up on the museum's front lawn on April 29 and 30, 6pm to 10pm.

•The more adventurous foodie can work up an appetite on the food trails, scheduled for May 7, at Changi Road Food Centre, Joo Chiat and Jurong West. These trails, at 10am and 2pm, have been pieced together by River Valley High School. Or you can also take in the charms and colours of Balestier on a food and heritage trail on May 7 and 8 at 10.30am. There's also a Kampong Gelam Food Trail by independent food researcher Khir Johari at 9am on May 7 to sample halal food in the historic district. Those who fancy Indian cuisine can go on a food journey with the Indian Heritage Centre on May 7 and 8 at noon.

•If you prefer a hands-on experience, sign up for cooking classes on May 15 set in a century-old kampung house on Pulau Ubin. Cookery Magic, which runs cooking classes, will teach participants how to make nasi kerabu, a Malay rice dish, and ice kachang.


•Learn more about the architectural styles of various religious institutions here. Explore the red-brick 1930s Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church that was designed by colonial architectural firm Swan & Maclaren, on May 7 at 10am and 2pm. On May 8, you can join a tour of the century-old Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery temple complex in Toa Payoh at 10am or 2pm, or step into the Maghain Aboth Synagogue in Waterloo Street - the oldest Jewish synagogue in South-east Asia - at various time slots.

•Hear first-hand the history of the Bukit Pasoh area from the Urban Redevelopment Authority's director of conservation management, Mr Kelvin Ang. Highlights of his tour on May 1 include a visit to the Goethe-Institut, where he will take participants through the process of conserving the building.

•The Urban Redevelopment Authority will also hold tours of the winners of its Architectural Heritage Awards. They include the old St Andrew's School and the Church of Ascension on May 7; Yueh Hai Ching temple on May 7 and 8; and St Patrick's School on May 14. The public can pick from the time slots of 10am, noon and 2pm for these tours.


•Watch a free performance which tells the legend of Prince Sang Nila Utama by Bhaskar's Arts Academy on April 29 and 30 at 7pm on the front lawn of the National Museum. The performers will use the ancient classical Indian dance form of Kathakali to tell the story of how Singapore got its name.

•Experience a physical theatre performance by students and alumni of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. They will present their take on Singapore's history. The performances will be held in the concourse of the National Museum on April 29 and 30 between 7pm and 7.30pm.

•A series of films will be screened at various venues during the HeritageFest. Among them is the premiere of Royston Tan's new documentary about Pulau Ubin, on the island's wayang stage on May 14 at 7.30pm.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 23, 2016, with the headline 'Come see, hear, taste the past come back to life'. Subscribe