SINGAPORE - The annual Hari Raya Bazaar at Geylang Serai is back this year, and promises a more pleasant experience, with wider walkways giving more space for visitors to stroll through the bazaar, as well as more fans and communal seating areas.
Mr Nash Ruddin, 25, who visits the bazaar almost every year, said: "It is a lot more customer-friendly this year, due to the larger walkways and fans, which make it less humid."
The Cisco officer added that he looks forward to the food each year.
"You should try the prata waffles," he recommended.
The bazaar is one of Singapore's most popular pasar malam, or night market, held in conjunction with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
This year's bazaar aims to evoke feelings of nostalgia, said organiser Wisma Geylang Serai, through a greater emphasis on the "kampung spirit".
Attending the bazaar's opening was President Halimah Yacob, Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Maliki Osman, and MP for Marine Parade GRC, Professor Fatimah Lateef.
President Halimah was also treated to a Hippo bus tour of the Hari Raya lights, spanning a 1.8km stretch along Changi and Geylang roads and Sims Avenue.
About the enhancements to this year's bazaar, Dr Maliki told reporters: "We want to make sure that we give a positive experience for visitors to Geylang Serai Bazaar.
"We've done our best to respond to feedback and give them a new experience, and we hope that Singaporeans of all walks of life and all races can come and experience what Ramadan is, and how the Muslims prepare for Hari Raya."
The bazaar boasts more than 500 stalls serving a mix of traditional Malay fare, accessories and household items, along with an array of contemporary food options and household items, including fabrics and traditional Malay wear.
To evoke a kampung spirit, there will be more traditional offerings this year, in proportion to modern and trendier products and through its thematic layout, with a special curated lane offering only traditional foods sold amid old-time, rustic decor.
The bazaar will run from May 3 till Hari Raya Puasa, on June 5.
Its opening was marked by performances by guest artistes Hady Mirza, Junainah M. Amin, Nuradee Brothers and The Purnamas, who entertained the crowds with a nostalgic medley of songs harking back to the Pop Yeh Yeh music explosion of the 1960s.
Other programmes like break fast sessions at Wisma Geylang Serai will be held in communal spaces, along with a ketupat-making session, bringing residents and members of the community together for a taste of "kampung spirit".