Chinatown, the vibrant heart of Singapore, is once again set to dazzle as the annual Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival returns with all its glory from September 15th to October 14th, 2023. This highly anticipated event promises to be a spectacular celebration of Chinese culture and tradition, uniting people from all walks of life in a harmonious tapestry of lights, lanterns, and love.
A Dazzling Street Light-Up Like Never Before
The festivities kick off in grand style with the Official Light-up and Opening Ceremony on September 15th. The bustling Chinatown precinct will be transformed into a radiant wonderland, with illuminated sculptures and colorful street lanterns adorning New Bridge Road, Eu Tong Sen Street, South Bridge Road, and Upper Cross Street. It’s an unmissable sight that captures the essence of unity and harmony.
Guests-of-Honor, President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and First Lady Mrs. Jane Ittogi Shanmugaratnam, will grace the event with their presence, officially inaugurating the mesmerizing street light-up.
A Journey of Love and Celebration
This year’s theme, “A Journey of Love and Celebration,” invites visitors on an enchanting voyage that transcends time and tells stories of love and joy. For the first time ever, the festival’s design is brought to life by the creative minds at Raffles College of Higher Education. Three distinct chapters adorn the streets of Chinatown, each encapsulating a unique facet of the Mid-Autumn Festival’s journey.
The design unfolds as the iconic Chang’E and her jade rabbits embark on a journey to share the rich culture and traditions passed down through generations, eventually blossoming into the vibrant celebrations we enjoy today.
A Multi-Chapter Adventure through Chinatown
The three chapters are spread between New Bridge Road and Eu Tong Sen Street. The journey begins with the “Passing of Wishes and Tales,” paying homage to the beginnings of Chang’E’s story and expressing timeless wishes, tales, and profound sentiments.
Transitioning to the “Gathering and Preparing the Celebration,” visitors will witness the festival’s core and its resonance with Singapore’s multicultural tapestry. The first stretch, “Celebrating Love and Having Fun Together,” promises a heartwarming scene where families and rabbits share lantern blessings while celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival.
The journey culminates with the centrepiece light-up—an awe-inspiring eight-meter diorama at Eu Tong Sen Street, nestled within an expansive, whimsical lantern. It symbolizes the journey of love and celebration, binding communities, families, and generations together. The sequence of chapters can also be interpreted as a bi-directional narrative, in which families celebrate and prepare their wishes to be sent to Chang’E through the rabbits.
Preserving Rich Heritage and Cultural Traditions
The Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival is a tribute to the enduring narratives of the Mid-Autumn Festival, cherished and passed down through countless generations. It fosters a connection between diverse communities, cultivating a deeper appreciation for Chinese culture and festivities. This celebration stands as a testament to Singapore’s dedication to preserving its rich heritage, cultural traditions, and values, fostering a harmonious society where diverse communities thrive.
Minister for Communications and Information, Second Minister for Home Affairs, and Adviser to Jalan Besar GRC Grassroot Organisations (Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng), Mrs. Josephine Teo, expresses her excitement: “We are excited to celebrate the annual Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival once again, right here in culturally vibrant Chinatown, uniting with our fellow Singaporeans, and people from all walks of life.”
Ms. Lim Shoo Ling, Director, Arts & Cultural Precincts, Singapore Tourism Board, adds, “The annual Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival highlights our rich heritage and Singapore’s multi-cultural identity. We welcome locals and visitors to Chinatown, where they can immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere, experience our vibrant lineup of programs, including the street light-up, and discover the unique cultural traditions and culinary offerings of the Mid-Autumn Festival.”
A Feast for the Senses
Throughout the festival, visitors can engage all their senses with a captivating assortment of activities. The Chinatown Lantern Walk returns, illuminating the streets from Chinatown Point to Kreta Ayer Square, where weekend stage performances are held. Participants will receive a goodie bag with a cellophane lantern and delicious traditional Mid-Autumn snacks.
The Food Fair on Smith Street and the Festive Fair in front of People’s Park Complex promise to delight foodies and culture enthusiasts alike. Family-friendly activities abound, including free weekend stage performances at Kreta Ayer Square and the ever-popular all-ages Lantern Painting Competition.
Join the ‘Adopt a Lantern’ Campaign
As part of the Chinatown Festival Committee’s sustainability initiatives, selected street lanterns displayed along the streets of Chinatown will be given a new lease of life through the ‘Adopt a Lantern’ campaign at the end of the festival. This initiative allows members of the public to repurpose these beautiful lanterns and be a part of the festival’s ongoing legacy.
Don’t Miss the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2023
The Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2023 is a celebration like no other, running from September 15th to October 14th. It promises to be an unforgettable experience, a journey of love and celebration that unites communities and honors tradition.
For the full festival program and more information, visit chinatownfestivals.sg. Don’t miss this chance to immerse yourself in the magic of the Mid-Autumn Festival in Chinatown!