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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bright lights along Singapore River

This year's Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated with a massive lantern display.
     The event which began on Wednesday 08 Sep 2010 and lsts till 22 Sep 2010, aims to promote better understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture and heritage.  In particular, it provides a host of activities this long weekend, from something o entertain the kids to keeping photography buffs occupied and foodies satiated.
     No Mid-Autumn Festival is complete without the viewing of lanterns and this year's pieces were created by 33 Sichuan craftsmen and took a month to complete. They include a 60m long dragon lantern along Read Bridge at Clarke Quay, which is made up of smaller lantersn in the shape of corals and dolphins to depict an underwater scene, and a 30m long dragon lantern along River Valley Road.
     A highlight is four lanterns that recreate scenes from Chinese classics such as Dream of the Red Chamber, Journey to the West, Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Water Margin.  These lanterns have built-in mechanisms, allowing some of their parts to move.  Master craftsman Fan Jun 53 who headed the team of lantern-makers says in Mandarin that "the moving lanterns give an added dimension to the otherwise static lanterns".
     Along the banks of the S'pore River are lanterns in the form of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals which have proven to be popular with visitors. Visitors can also tuck into Taiwanese street snacks, including the ever-popular smelly tofu, fried eel noodles and scholar's cakes which are rice cakes topped with black sesame seeds or pea-nuts.
     Visitors can also pit their skills against each other on a giant Chinese chessboard or join a lantern riddle contest.  There are also nightly dance performances by the prestigious Beijing Dance Academy and local cultural performances.
Check it out.

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