Photographing this year’s Ramadan festive lights at Geylang Serai and Kampong Glam.
The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan begins this Saturday. With that, it’s of course time to switch on the festive lights at Geylang Serai and Kampong Glam.
Yup, Kampong Glam too. Not a location I’ve previously been heading to for Ramadan festivities, but since last year, a heart of the celebrations too with exciting art projections at the awesome Sultan Mosque.
What’s more noteworthy is that the food bazaars are finally back, after a much-lamented absence of two years. This return further coincides with a major, and I mean SUPER MAJOR, relaxation of COVID-19 social distancing rules. In the weeks to come, I’m sure joy would be aplenty at both precincts. Not just for the Muslims but also all Singaporeans and international visitors heading there each evening.
Anyhow, as the bazaars have yet to start, I’ll just focus on festive street decorations and illuminations for the moment. Once the food bazaars are up and running, I’ll put up some pictures of those too.
Geylang Serai Festive Light-Up 2022
I visited on Monday and so the whole area was relatively quiet; the tents for the bazaars have only just been erected. With the air wet and crisp from earlier showers, there was also a certain, I don’t know, pensive ambience about?
It was quite relaxing strolling about, in other words. Rather romantic too, with the rosy setting sun.
Kampong Glam Festive Illuminations 2022
Cinta Cahaya Ramadan at Kampong Glam is up! Commencing about a week after the festive light-up at Geylang Serai and organised by One Kampong Gelam, a business association made up of volunteer stakeholders. The festivities are also part of the yearlong #Bagiup campaign, which celebrates the unique heritage of the historical district.
There’s a stronger festive feel here, to be honest. The Walk Thru Souq features more food stalls than the bazaar at Geylang Serai. It lines most of Kandahar Street, some 150 m long, and has over 20 stalls.
Highlight of the Hari Raya Lights is also The Light of Gelam light show at Sultan Mosque. Happening twice each evening, this awesome art projection features mesmerising colours and dazzling Islamic geometric patterns on the Kampong Glam side of Singapore’s grandest mosque.
Together with spiritual chanting music, there’s a certain Arabic nights feel during the show. For Muslims who broke fast at the souq, I’m sure the performance is a wonderful way to end dinner with.
Update Apr 5: Geylang Serai Ramadan Food Bazaar 2022 and Kampong Glam Walk Thru Souq
The food stalls are up and running! Here are some pictures to give you an idea of what to expect, if you’re heading over.
Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar 2022
Alongside approximately half the length of Wisma Geylang Serai, the food bazaar is, noticeably, much smaller in scale than those of previous years.
It was also quite crowded when I visited on Monday evening. There was a long queue to check-in. (Yup, social distancing still required)
Update Apr 6, 2002: Great news! The bazaar will be expanded, with 30 stalls to be added.
Walk Thru Souq at Kampong Glam 2022
As far as food choices are concerned, there’s definitely more here. Way more “hipster” stalls too.
And prices are reasonable overall. A seafood bucket, with half a crab, and squid and shellfish, is SGD 15/-.
Ramadan festive light-up at Geylang Serai ends on May 8, 2022. The celebrations at Kampong Glam end earlier on May 1, 2022., i.e., right before Hari Raya Puasa.
Read my other Festive Celebrations in Singapore posts.