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     FrontPage Edition: Sun 12 September 2004

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Celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival the Uniquely Singaporean way

getforme.com

A traditionally auspicious occasion for the Chinese community, the Mid-Autumn Festival, from 3 September to 3 October, is a good opportunity for visitors to experience Singapore's unique blend of the best of the modern world and rich cultures.

A wide range of colourful and exciting events will take place across three anchor celebration venues at the Chinese Garden, Chinatown and Singapore River, during the month-long celebrations. (Please see Annex A)

Some key highlights for this year's Mid Autumn Festival include the 3939 feet long dragon lantern along the bank of the Singapore River.

Another unique element is the Mooncake Museum at the Arts House where the traditional legends and myths of the festival will be presented in a modern art installation form. Visitors will also get a taste of some mooncakes and tea on display at the museum.

From 19 to 28 September, the promenade along the Singapore River from the Asian Civilisations Museum to Elgin Bridge will be adorned with a dazzling display of lanterns inspired from cultures around the world. Traditional lanterns from countries such as Nepal, Sri Lanka and Vietnam will be showcased.

The Singapore Tourism Board's Director for Sightseeing and Cruise, Mr Chang Chee Pey said: "The Mid-Autumn Festival is a great opportunity for visitors to experience the unique ways in which Singaporeans celebrate this traditional cultural festival with a modern twist.

"With the Chinese Garden enthralling children with its Disney theme and Chinatown showcasing the more traditional aspects of the festival through the light-up and street bazaars, we hope that the activities at the Singapore River would attract younger visitors with its modern interpretation. There is something for everyone at this year's celebrations. Ultimately, the vision is for the Mid-Autumn Festival to be as widely celebrated as the Lunar New Year in Singapore."

A traditional festival venue, Chinatown is also set to wow visitors with its street light-up which boasts a spectacular display of giant lanterns and dazzling lights.

The Chinese Garden's lantern festival is also a visual feast. Its Lantern Fun-tasy takes on an East meets West theme, with lanterns featuring well-loved Disney icons and characters from the Chinese tale, Journey to the West.

To make the Festival venues more accessible and to allow tourists to fully experience the exciting repertoire of the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations, HiPPOtours will also be organizing special Mid-Autumn moonlight tours which will bring tourists to the Singapore River and Chinatown on a specially decorated HiPPObus.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is being actively promoted in Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia and Australia through the STB's regional offices. Travellers from these countries who purchase travel packages to Singapore in the month of September will be able to enjoy more than $60 worth of special discounts and deals as part of the celebrations.

To create the awareness of the Mid-Autumn celebrations, specially-designed racks with dedicated Mid-Autumn brochures have been placed at Changi Airport, along with banners that have been put up at the airport and Orchard Road. In addition, a dedicated website with a detailed calendar of events has also been created at visitsingapore.com.

Beyond the three anchor venues, fringe activities will take place around the island. These include the Mid-Autumn celebrations at various shopping malls, the Mooncake Galore at Ngee Ann City and festivities at Albert Mall.

The Festival celebrations are supported by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in partnership with key stakeholders, including the Jurong Gardens and the Kreta Ayer - Kim Seng Citizens' Consultative Committee, among others.

More.....

Source: Singapore Tourism Board Media Release 6 Sep 2004

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Public Holidays DEEPAVALI is the next public holiday. It falls on 11 November 2004.