SINGAPORE - The Ramadan bazaar returned to the Kampong Glam cultural precinct on Friday (April 1) after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19.
It will run until May 1, two days before Hari Raya Puasa, with more than 20 food and beverage stalls dishing out an eclectic selection of fare including kebabs and churros from 3pm to 11pm daily in Kandahar Street.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim had announced earlier that two Ramadan bazaars - in Kampong Glam and Geylang Serai - were set to return with accompanying light-ups.
The Kampong Glam bazaar is part of a five-week bonanza dubbed Cinta Cahaya Ramadan ("Ramadan Light of Love" in Malay), organised by volunteers from One Kampong Gelam (OKG), the business association for the precinct.
Other activities to commemorate the fasting month include a light show projected on the facade of Sultan Mosque, craft workshops and tours.
There will also be virtual performances streamed live on YouTube, a virtual walkabout with 360-degree footage and even a kueh-making demonstration by chef Mel Dean.
Cinta Cahaya Ramadan is itself part of a broader year-long campaign called #BagiUp, which started in February.
It aims to encourage visitors to engage with Kampong Glam's heritage.
A broad range of collaborators have come on board for Cinta Cahaya Ramadan, including businesses in the precinct, such as perfumer Sifr Aromatics and large corporations such as electronics manufacturer Epson and e-commerce firm Lazada.
Mr Den Sabari, project director of Laloolalang, the events company behind the bazaar, said it is an all-encompassing experience that celebrates community and enterprise.
Stalls have been spaced out to ensure social distancing between stallholders as well as among visitors, even though the event could have had double the number of stalls.
Attending the launch of Cinta Cahaya Ramadan on Friday night, Associate Professor Faishal told reporters that he was pleased safe management measures have eased in time for Ramadan.
"It will allow everyone to enjoy not only the events here, but also the offerings at Kampong Glam, especially during this festive period."
Prof Faishal, who is also Minister of State for National Development, added: "I find that the most important asset is the people, heritage and culture.
"There are businesses made in Kampong Glam, from food, to perfume to many other things, and people have fond memories, deep connections and aspirations for the place."
He was guest of honour at the launch alongside Central Singapore District Mayor Denise Phua, who is also MP of the Kampong Glam ward in Jalan Besar GRC.
Separately, Mufti of Singapore Nazirudin Mohd Nasir announced on Friday evening that Muslims here will begin fasting on April 3 this year.
The holy month of Ramadan begins with a sighting of the new moon based on the Islamic lunar calendar.
Dr Nazirudin said that according to astronomical calculations, the crescent moon that signifies the beginning of the holy month is unlikely to be seen above the horizon of Singapore at sunset on Friday evening.
"In conjunction with the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan, I would like to wish all Muslims in Singapore a meaningful fasting experience and to fill the month with good deeds and deep spirituality," he added.