Over the next three weekends, celebrate Singapore’s past and look to the future at the Singapore Heritage Festival 2016. This 13th edition of the festival features more than 130 programmes and involves 120 community partners, all coming together to create a festival ‘for the people, by the people’.
Activities at this year’s festival include exhibitions around the island, guided tours, open houses, talks and performances.
Weekend One (29 April to 2 May)
In the past, the National Museum was once a popular spot for hawkers to peddle their wares. On 29 and 30 April, a new generation of hawkers return to transform the museum’s front lawn into a street food destination once again. They will be serving up local favourites and traditional recipes in the evenings.
Other highlights on the opening weekend include an Asian metal rod puppet show by Paper Monkey Theatre, music and dance performances from 4 pm onwards.
Inside, at the Salon, view an exhibition about radio in Singapore. Celebration Radio: Sounds from the Past include a children’s activity area where they can learn how to operate a gramophone, pretend to be a DJ and participate in radio-related crafts.
Radio DJs will also be present for Radio Night on 30 April. Hear their stories and play games with them around the museum.
There will also be a children’s workshop, Make Your Own Mini Drive-in Cinema, held on 30 April.
Another centre of activity on the first weekend is Bukit Pasoh in Chinatown. Step inside historical buildings and visit some of the Chinese clans in the area. Talks will be held at the Grassroots Book Room, including the Little Wayang Kid Storytelling Session, which will introduce little ones to local cultural traditions.
Other family-friendly activities include the Family Fun Workshop by Siong Leng Musical Association which introduces children to Nanyin, a style of Chinese classical music, and outdoor performances on 30 April and 1 May from 6 pm onwards. Watch as performers demonstrate their skills in wushu lion dance and Chinese dance at Harmony – A Bukit Pasoh Street Festival
Weekend Two (6 to 8 May)
The second festival weekend is filled with tours all over Singapore. Go on a Kampong Gelam Food Trail, follow the students from River Valley High School as they share Singapore’s food heritage at separate tours covering Changi, Joo Chiat and Jurong West. Hope on a bus and get a new perspective on Bedok’s and Jurong’s heritage.
On 7 & 8 May, the Former Command House Open House will also open its doors. Pay a visit to learn about its heritage and discover the stories of the people who lived there in the past.
Weekend Three (14 & 15 May)
Rediscover Pulau Ubin on the last weekend of the Singapore Heritage Festival 2016. Hop aboard an island taxi van to view the island’s sights before settling down for music performances in the evening and the premiere of a new film about Pulau Ubin by Royston Tan.
Over the three week festival, many other programmes and exhibitions taking place around the museums and shopping centres in Singapore. Watch out for lion dance performances presented by the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Thian Hock Keng, the Saturdays@ACM where kids can play-pretend as an archaeologist for a day and kampong games at roving exhibitions.
For the full list of programmes and to download the festival guide, visit the Singapore Heritage Festival 2016 website.
Online registration for programmes open at 2 pm, 22 April 2016.