Every year around mid to late September when the moon is full, people in Singapore would celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival or Mooncake Festival by eating mooncakes and carrying around brightly lit lanterns (the latter being especially popular with children). This festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar, hence the oddity of celebrating an “Autumn” festival in September. However, lest you think the Chinese are weird, did you know that the Germans celebrate Oktoberfest in September as well? What can I say, September is a popular month! 😀
Anyway, last Friday (6th Oct) our CG decided to do something outdoors for a change and, just nice, CG day happened to coincide with the Mid Autumn Lantern Carnival held at Chinese Gardens. Traditional Chinese superstitions aside, it was a good time for our CG to do life together and have fun looking at the bright displays (a huge hurrah from all the photographers and bloggers in IslandHope!).
Accessibility wise, did you know that Chinese Gardens has two entrances called the East Entrance and West Entrance? The East Entrance is about a 100-200m walk away from Chinese Gardens MRT whereas the West Entrance is suitable for those driving due to an adjoining huge carpark. However, in order to get to the West Entrance, one has to first drive along a very long and narrow road; and on busy nights like this, traffic can be very slow moving. In fact, almost half of our taxi fare was due to the jam on that road! In retrospect, it would’ve been much smarter to alight at the MRT station instead.
Ashley’s first visit to Chinese Garden. She doesn’t look too happy at being out in the haze.
We were very fortunate to bump into Tiger when we arrived as he was pretty much near the head of the queue. On the other hand, Guppy, Andrew, Merv and Pris, who were queueing at the East Entrance, had to wait in line for more than 20 minutes! Thank God we didn’t have to queue as Ashley would’ve gotten very restless! (As you can see, I’m trying to console myself for paying so much in taxi fare). 😛
We’re in! That’s the famous White Rainbow Bridge in the background.
According to Tiger, today was supposed to be the last day of the “Wonders of the World” lantern display but due to its popularity, the event was extended until Sunday. Still, the large crowd that turned up contributed significantly to the festive atmosphere, giving the place a lively buzz.
Looks like a lot of people decided to brave the haze too!
Insects and Mushrooms
The first lantern structures to greet us upon crossing the bridge was this long row of insect and plant lanterns set up along the edge of the lake. These ones were quite a hit with families as many parents and kids (including us!) could be seen jostling for room to pose with them.
Ashley oblivious to the giant green caterpillar munching on a leaf.
Tiger managing to keep Ashley still long enough for me to take this beautiful well-lit shot.
For the occasion, we also bought Ashley a mini battery operated lantern from Tiong Bahru Plaza. It had pictures of cows on it, which we thought was quite appropriate for her. 😛
Ashley examining her mini-lantern.
It’s a pity that such nice scenery and cool weather had to be marred by the haze and its acrid smell. In fact, while talking to Peishan the next day, she described how haze particles were actually visible in some of her photos!
I could sit on the grass and just stare at this scenery the whole night.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
Here is a rare picture with me in it!
The only thing “leaning” in this picture is the photographer!
The Taj Mahal
Got this idea from Merv: a young couple caught slipping away from the crowd to pause and admire the beautiful palace before them. How romantic!
A fairy tale moment.
Another view of the Taj Mahal behind the leaves of a tree.
Three belly dancers in front of the Taj Mahal display.
Did you know that I used to love panda bears especially that Tarepanda cartoon character? These guys are just as cute! The pandas I mean… 😛
Bloggers from IslandHope and Chris’ CG posing with a couple of high-voltage pandas.
The next display was very nice – water lily lanterns floating in the middle of the lake.
If anybody wants the large originals of the following photos to use as desktop wallpaper, just let me know! 😀
The Eiffel Tower
Here’s another great exhibit, if only because it must have taken a lot of effort to light so many crossbeams! The height wasn’t too shabby either, evident by the trouble I had fitting it and my CG folks into the same photo.
Ashley, Mylene and Zhiyi.
MC, Andrew, Pris and Tiger.
Spinning Dragon Globe
Here’s an IslandHope group pic in front of a strange moving display with many dragons. I have no idea what it symbolizes but I can imagine that it’ll make a pretty groovy disco ball if hung upside-down.
Due to the fact that we had to rush off, there were many other “wonders” that we didn’t get to see like the Sphinx, Blue Mosque and Great Wall. Nonetheless, I’m already looking forward to next year’s lantern festival and whether the organizers can improve on an already great theme. Plus, Ashley will also be old enough to carry around a lantern instead of putting it in her mouth! 😀