SINGAPORE - A fortnight of Mid-Autumn festivities at the Gardens by the Bay began on Friday night (Sept 22) with the lighting up of the "Arrival of the Phoenix" lantern display, where the phoenix is a legendary creature associated with warmth and harvest.
Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development, was present at the launch of the festival, which will run till Oct 8.
Other lantern displays at the festival include a paddy field comprising 4,000 glowing rice stalks, water lily lanterns perched gracefully atop a lake, and the largest display of all, which depicts a fishing village teeming with carps spanning 1,250sqm over water.
"I think the lanterns are very beautiful. The lotus and the animals blend in very nicely," said 26-year-old software developer Tuan Nguyen, who was admiring the lantern display of water lilies together with his wife. He used to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam, where he is from.
Accompanying the lantern displays are nightly music and dance performances by local traditional arts groups across Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures.
The Gardens by the Bay's signature light and sound show "The Garden Rhapsody" will also be taking on a Mid-Autumn flavour with an evocative medley of popular tunes like jazz favourite "Fly me to the moon" and Chinese classic "The moon represents my heart".
Famished ones may stray down a food street, where they can help themselves to a plethora of snacks and beverages, while creatives can try their hand at lantern decorating and umbrella painting at craft booths.
The nightly festival is free for the public to access, but visitors may choose to pay for admission to the Garden's indoor Flower Dome, which now features a floral display themed "Autumn Harvest" in line with the Mid-Autumn Festival.
They will be treated to a lavish field of fruits, flowers and vegetables, as well as a giant pumpkin-shaped lantern.
Locals who wish to visit the Garden's conservatories with an elderly companion can enjoy a promotion that runs till Oct 8: senior citizens enjoy free admission to the conservatories with every purchase of a full-priced local adult admission ticket.
This year’s Mid-Autumn celebrations is jointly organised by Gardens by the Bay and National Arts Council, in partnership with Chinese Media Group of Singapore Press Holdings, Singapore University of Technology and Design, and People's Association. The event is supported by Tote Board and Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple.