Mid-Autumn festival revives old Chinatown

President Halimah Yacob (centre) was the guest of honour at the opening ceremony of the festival. Also at the event were Senior Minister of State Heng Chee How and Jalan Besar GRC MP Lily Neo, both on Madam Halimah's left. The festival's organising c
One of the highlights of the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2018 opening ceremony on Saturday was a wave dance by young dancers. This year's festival will have nightly stage shows, a lantern painting competition, street food and activities like fortune telling.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
President Halimah Yacob (centre) was the guest of honour at the opening ceremony of the festival. Also at the event were Senior Minister of State Heng Chee How and Jalan Besar GRC MP Lily Neo, both on Madam Halimah's left. The festival's organising c
President Halimah Yacob (centre) was the guest of honour at the opening ceremony of the festival. Also at the event were Senior Minister of State Heng Chee How and Jalan Besar GRC MP Lily Neo, both on Madam Halimah's left. The festival's organising committee chairman Vincent Tan is on the President's right.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Dressed in red and electric blue, performing their wave dance with verve and grace, young dancers lit up the final segment of the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2018 opening ceremony on Saturday.

President Halimah Yacob, the guest of honour, officially opened the upcoming festivities.

Themed Our Chinatown Our Mid-Autumn, this year's festival aims to recapture the scenes and experiences of Chinatown in the 1950s and 1960s.

It hopes to encourage young people to learn more about Chinese traditions and heritage, and the lives of their forefathers when they arrived on the island.

Activities include nightly stage shows with dragon dance performances on weekends, a lantern painting competition and a mass lantern walk.

No celebration would be complete without feasting, and visitors can tuck into traditional Cantonese cuisine and street food, such as Gold Coin Chicken and Prawn Toast, while soaking up the carnival atmosphere, with street activities like fortune telling, face threading, Chinese calligraphy and opera.

The festival is organised by the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens' Consultative Committee and supported by the Singapore Tourism Board. The street light-up will last until Oct 8.

Sue-Ann Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 10, 2018, with the headline 'Mid-Autumn festival revives old Chinatown'. Print Edition | Subscribe