Geylang Serai Light-Up and Ramadan Bazaar 2023 have beautiful festive lights and some 700 stalls for everyone to enjoy.
I didn’t read up before heading down yesterday, and for once, that turned out to be a good thing.
As in, I didn’t know the Geylang Serai Ramadan celebrations this year would be so large-scale. After three years of cancellations and subdued festivities, I’ve completely forgotten how grand the bazaars used to be. How wonderful it was to then be “reminded!” Whether while soaking in the vibes at the various food areas or watching the street bazaar stretch all the way from Tanjong Katong Complex to Joo Chiat Complex, and beyond.
Titled Raya Gemilang, or “Glorious Raya,” this year’s bazaar impresses with some hardcore numbers too. There will be 700 stalls and performances/entertainment by over 200 cultural groups. The bazaar will also run till April 22. That’s more than 30 days; I don’t think the previous bazaars were ever that long.
It … was truly great standing beside Geylang Road last night, smelling the food, listening to the thumping music, watching the crowds …
For Singaporean Muslims who had to endure three years of downscaled celebrations, I’m sure the spectacle is especially poignant too.
The Lights of Raya Gemilang 2023
Let me start with the lights. Like previous years, Geylang Serai Light-Up 2023 is a “parallel system,” with enchanting lights over both Geylang Road and Sims Avenue.
There are festival gateways too, of course. The most prominent one is right between PLQ Mall and Tanjong Katong Complex. In other words, the same location as last year’s light-up.
Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar 2023
The festive lights are pretty, but I think I’m not wrong to say … they wouldn’t be the main attraction this year. Because of the Ramadan bazaar!
In one word, it’s huge. HUGE. There are different dining tents/areas. A street bazaar and a “souq city” too; the latter, where local entrepreneurs will sell their wares. Where there would be community shelves for all to donate food and clothing to the needy as well.
Unfortunately, though, most of the souq was still in preparation when I visited; there weren’t many operators. But even without those, there was still a lot to enjoy and photograph. There was, of course, also lots of great halal food to feast on.
(Update: Well, as it turned out, the souq wasn’t empty because things were still in preparation. I’ll just leave the link to an article with the reason here …)
Geylang Serai Ramadan Bazaar ends on Apr 22, 2023. Operating hours are from 10 am to 12 midnight, with closing hour extended to 6 am (!) on Apr 22, i.e., Hari Raya Puasa.
The festive light-up ends on Apr 30, 2023.
Kampong Glam Ramadan Bazaar 2023.
Other festive celebrations in Singapore.