Photo credit: SINGAPORE MALAYEE ASSOCIATION, FOLKS COLLECTIVE, DAMARU SINGAPORE

Traditional performances, workshops, bazaar to be held in celebration of Solar New Year at Haw Par Villa

Visitors can enjoy cultural performances from South and Southeast Asian communities for free at the event on Apr 29.

Maisy Phua

Self-proclaimed fashion icon, pomeranian mom and Paris Hilton fan.

Published: 17 April 2023, 11:52 AM

Traditional performances, workshops, a bazaar and an exhibition tracing the history of the Solar Calendar will be held to commemorate Solar New Year at Haw Par Villa on Apr 29.

Signifying the beginning of the summer season, the Solar New Year is a vital day for a host of communities across South Asia and Southeast Asia.

The first day of the solar year was tracked according to the transition of the Sun from the Pisces to the Aries constellation – presently Apr 13 or 14. This transition is called Mesha Sankranti. Mesha is Sanskrit for Ram, the symbol for the constellation of Aries, while Sankranti means To Step Forward.

The Solar New Year unites communities that use variants of a solar calendar that originated in the Indian Subcontinent at least 3,500 years ago.

Highlights of the event include performances by Burmese dance troupe, KuMuDra Myanmar Arts and Culture. The troupe will showcase two items which are traditionally performed during Thing Yan (Burmese New Year) – Yein Dance and Court Ladies Dance.

 

Haw-Par-Villa-Solar-New-Year-2023-South-Southeast-Asia-Performances-Workshops-Bazaar
Established in 2016, Kumudra has worked with key partners like People Association
(Singapore) and Esplanade, performing in events like Chingay and DA:NS Festival. PHOTO CREDIT: KUMUDRA MYANMAR ARTS AND CULTURE

 

The event will also showcase traditional Thai dances performed by the Thai Dance Society and a Muay Thai boxing demonstration by Revolt Gym.

Visitors can also look forward to watching Thiruvathirakkali, a traditional folk dance originating from Kerala, a southern state of India, presented by the Singapore Malayalee Association. There will also be a Bollywood dance showcase by students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

Damaru Singapore and Bhangra dance troupe, Shere Punjab Bhangra and Lightning Dholi, will also present a Parai (Indian Drum) performance and a Bhangra (traditional Punjab folk dance) performance.

 

Haw-Par-Villa-Solar-New-Year-2023-South-Southeast-Asia-Performances-Workshops-Bazaar
Established in 2001, Shere Punjab Bhangra (SPB) is a Bhangra Troupe is the first local bhangra group to have fielded females when the bhangra circuit in Singapore was still generally
All-male. PHOTO CREDIT: SHERE PUNJAB BHANGRA

 

Visitors to the park can pick up collectibles as well as food and snacks from a bazaar featuring Indian, Thai and Burmese items. 

Popular modern Thai restaurant, Folks Collective, will also be selling an array of Thai delights in collaboration with the Thai Association of Singapore.

Other booths to look out for include Jagua tattoo by Indian Inks and popular street food like pani poori and masala chai (spiced tea) by Party Poori by Chef Annil.

 

Haw-Par-Villa-Solar-New-Year-2023-South-Southeast-Asia-Performances-Workshops-Bazaar
Founded by Indian-Muslim Shereen Begum, Indian Inks SG offers both henna and Jagua henna tattoos that last between two to three weeks. PHOTO CREDIT: INDIAN INKS

 

Event participants can also look forward to workshops like a stamp carving workshop by self-taught artist Jean Toh, a Muay Thai class by Revolt Gym and a miniature clay fruit and vegetable making workshop by Nari.

The event will take place from 9am to 9pm at Haw Par Villa on Apr 29. Event programmes will take place mainly at the Culture Courtyard and the Visitor Centre.

All performances are open to the public and free of charge. Workshops are chargeable and the individual fees will be announced in due time on Haw Par Villa’s website.

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