Mid-Autumn Festival 2010

Lighting up more than the Singapore River

21 September, 2010 by

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a Chinese harvest festival celebrated yearly in Singapore. Locally it’s often referred to as the or Mooncake Festival or as the Lantern Festival, because children get to play with lanterns during the occasion.

Traditionally, the festival is celebrated in Chinatown and at the Chinese Gardens. Intricate lantern constructs would be brought over from China for display. This year, additional events have been scheduled over at the Singapore River too. We headed down over the weekend to check out the festivities.

Along the Singapore River.

Not again.


The Chinese Clan Associations of Singapore have decided to recreate the horror of the Singapore Food Festival over at Clark Quay. Not content with just the bridge, the organizers have decided to turn the entire pedestrian path along the river into that evacuation scene from War of the Worlds.

All the significant Chinese events this year have been reduced to Taiwan travel promos.

Super-value Taiwan Don't Miss.

Food stalls promoting Taiwanese food, such as this Smelly Tofu stall were set up along the river and all choke point to ensure maximum frustration. There was no running from the smell of rotten socks as we inched our way through the sea of people.

The entire Clark Quay was turned into a giant rush hour train. Gropers, celebrate! Visitors with children will want to take caution as they will be likely hurt or lost in the crowds. Note, we returned again this Monday evening and it was still equally crowded. The only time you can beat the crowd is during the day but you will be unable to experience the full glory of the displays.

The bridge.

Stand sold random battery gadgets and lights but no traditional lanterns.

The light ups were actually pretty nice but it was difficult to appreciate the sights in the frenzied crowds. Gone are the days where the Mid-Autumn festival was a sentimental occasion for children and couples.

Taking photos for Facebook is now a national pastime.

Floats in the river.

Now to get through the sea people taking photos with the displays.

Like this one.

Like at River Hong Bao 2010, there were 12 animal lanterns corresponding to the Chinese Zodiac. It was impossible to get clean shots of all 12 though as people kept running into frame.

For once I empathized with the Singaporean DSLR uncles. Some of them set up their tripods there and waited for eternity just to get a single clean shot. Yet, person after person would still squeeze between the 1 meter gap to obstruct. It was a futile effort. One of them shook their head sadly after being cut off for the umpteen time. I shrugged. Despite all the government’s continual efforts through positive reinforcement, grace and courtesy remains an alien concept. What we need is a bigger and improved Haw Par Villa.

One of the floats.

Another float. Journey to the West.

Another stand selling random stuff but no actual lanterns.

The guy in red updated the two players moves on the giant board.

People were beginning to realize the futility. At least until the next event/computer fair.

There you have it, Singapore’s Mid-Autumn Festival, a tranquil event honoring the captivating autumn moon.

Planning your holiday? We recommend visiting Agoda for a full list of hotels with early bird specials.


Supermerlion's Webmaster and Editor-in-Chief. Singaporean Nikkeijin with over 12 years of experience in the media industry. Producer at a Japanese entertainment company. Former Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Multimedia Programmer, Manager and Consultant. Shoots with a Canon 5Dmk2 and Sony RX100-2.