SINGAPORE - With the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan just a week away, a sprawling 3-D arch depicting a mosque's dome is welcoming visitors into the hustle and bustle of the Geylang Serai precinct.
Spanning the five lanes of Sims Avenue at the junction of Engku Aman Road, the 12m-high display brings an instant fillip to the joy of Hari Raya festivities.
From Saturday (May 12), over 50 light installations in the Hari Raya Light-Up will illuminate a 2.25km stretch of Sims Avenue, Geylang Road and Changi Road.
Based on Malay art and cultural icons, the displays include two other main arches, one depicting a mosque, and the other a traditional kampung house and sampan, while lights shaped as flowers and crescents will festoon the roads.
Madam Yasmin Razak, 49, a housewife, cannot wait to see the display.
"The lights add a magical feeling to our yearly Hari Raya shopping and festivities," she said.
"Every year I take my family to Geylang just to see the lights and enjoy the bazaar atmosphere. Even though new buildings have come up in the area and the bazaar stalls change, the lights are a constant attraction we look forward to."
The lights will stay on till June 30, and will coincide with the opening of the popular Geylang Serai bazaar. About 800 stalls setting up in the vicinity will sell goods such as traditional costumes and street foods such as vadai and Ramly burger.
The bazaar will also take up the ground floor of Wisma Geylang Serai, a new Malay-Muslim social and cultural heritage hub.
One highlight of the festivities, themed Celebrating our kampung spirit, will have residents and other members of the constituency gathering at sunset to break fast together at Wisma Geylang Serai.
Said Mr Eric Wong, chairman of the Hari Raya Light Up 2018 Organising Committee: "We look forward to celebrating the old kampung spirit in this year's festive light-up. Each year without fail, Geylang Serai comes alive with creative light displays in the lead-up to Ramadan and Hari Raya Puasa.
"This is something the local community eagerly awaits, but the Hari Raya Light Up also invites our international friends to experience and be immersed in the Malay culture of Singapore.
"We hope this year's event will give them a taste of the traditional kampung spirit that resonates with our cultural roots."
The Geylang bazaar will run till June 14, a day before Hari Raya Aidilfitri.