Other than fewer giant trees and no street booths, Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up 2020 is the same as every other year.
‘Right. I originally intended to do my annual Orchard Road Christmas photo walk this weekend. However, while at Ion Orchard last evening for a prehistorical dinner, I noticed most decorations have already been switched on.
Yup, that made me decide to get my photos done ahead of schedule; Thursday evening itself is probably a much better i.e. less crowded time for the walk too.
In short, I’m pleasantly surprised, and not just because the light-up went ahead despite a traumatic year. Previously, news reports stated that decorations this time around would be more subdued, with no festive villages or fairgrounds. After reading that, I assumed most if not all of the malls wouldn’t be putting up Yuletide displays.
Several annual showpieces are indeed markedly missing; for example, Ngee Ann City’s signature 4-floor tall Christmas tree and basement festive market. But other than those, most malls did still put up something. There are also festive trimmings hanging all over the interiors.
The street lights are, as reports stated, more modest too, but it would be grossly unfair to say they are underwhelming. Actually, I think this year’s decorations are attractive in their own avant-garde way. They are certainly still way more elaborate than those I’ve seen in other cities, over the last ten years.
Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up 2020
As I mentioned above, I was at Ion Orchard. And so I started with the artsy tree there, as well as the festive gate.
From Forum Galleria, I decided I’d make the trek up-road to Tanglin Mall; I was sure there’d be eye-worthy decors there. I wasn’t disappointed.
Okay, this might creep you out a little. While choosing which Santa pic to put up, as in the one above, I noticed HIS EYES MOVED! So this huge Santa could possibly be animated?!?!
I like to end this Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up 2020 post with some musings.
On the whole, the illuminations this time are quieter, as official announcements said. But frankly, I don’t think they are un-festive, or at all “sad,” if you know what I mean.
I’m saying so because I was already in mid-primary when the first light-up took place in the 80s. (In other words, half-aware of the world) As I remember, things were very much just fairy lights and traditional trees back then. There weren’t that many eye-catching showpieces by the shopping malls too.
But since the 90s, we got more and more elaborate and extravagant. Then performances and festive villages came into the mix . And so on and so forth.
This return to smaller-scale celebrations might end up being a good thing, at least spiritually. I mean, as much as I personally enjoy them, do we really need hugely expensive decorations and energy bills to enjoy the year-end? Do consumer expectations also create a recurring horror for struggling retailers every November?
I … know part of the answer for the latter question, but it’s too glum a subject for this festive post. For the moment, I’d just invite you to take a stroll under this year’s light-up. And savour the fact that awful 2020 is almost over.
The festive illuminations are ongoing till January 1, 2021.
Read my other Festive Celebrations in Singapore posts.