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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

16,800 lanterns to light up Chinatown for Mid-Autumn

Four streets to be lit up in record display of lanterns at festival starting on Sunday.
The Straits Times - September 12, 2012
By: Jessica Lim
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16,800 lanterns to light up Chinatown for Mid-Autumn Lanterns lighting up Eu Tong Sen Street last night during a preview. This year’s Mid-Autumn Festival in Chinatown is expected to attract 1.2 million people. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

CHINATOWN is about to see its brightest-ever celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival, with a record display of street lanterns.

Four streets - New Bridge Road, Eu Tong Sen Street, Smith Street and South Bridge Road - will be lit by 16,800 lanterns over 2km of road.

Also being planned are giant lantern structures shaped like fruits - grapes and apples, for example. The display will be entered in the Singapore Book of Records for the "largest display of street lanterns".

Announcing the details of this year's Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations, organiser Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens Consultative Committee said the event is expected to attract about 1.2 million people, 15 per cent more than last year's crowd.

"We hope the festival will attract more people to Chinatown and help people understand more about Chinese culture," said Mr Vincent Tan, chairman of the Chinatown Mid-Autumn Festival 2012 Organising Committee, who noted that work on the festival began in April. "Hopefully this will also help to bring more business to the shops here."

The $1 million festival will kick off at 7pm this coming Sunday with a street parade, dragon dance performances, a fireworks display, and 14 performances involving more than 300 local and overseas performers.

The festival will run till Oct 14. During this period, lantern exhibitions and stage shows will be held at Kreta Ayer Square.

On Sept 29, a mass lantern walk - stretching from Banda Street to Eu Tong Sen Street - will be held.

Some roads will be closed during the festival. For information on the festival programme and road closures, visit www.chinatownfestivals.sg

This is the 15th year Chinatown's Mid-Autumn Festival is being organised by the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng Citizens Consultative Committee.

The festival proper, celebrated annually on the 15th of the eighth lunar month, falls on Sept 30 this year. Also known as the mooncake festival, it celebrates the Chinese legend of Chang Er, the moon goddess.

Singaporean Phil Loh, 42, had a glimpse of the lit-up streets in Chinatown during a preview yesterday.

"It's really nice to see the whole of Chinatown flooded with lanterns," said the father of two who works in a design company.

"It reminds me of my childhood."

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