What to expect at Geylang Serai bazaar and Hari Raya light-up this Ramadan
From having ethnic clothing and accessories for sale to familiar and new food to try, the scaled-down bazaar still has a lot to offer.
After a two-year wait, Ramadan bazaars are back, albeit on a smaller scale than what many of us, muslims and pasar malam lovers alike, remember.
First made known by Minister of State for National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim in a Facebook post on Mar 15, physical bazaars situated in Kampong Glam and Geylang Serai will take place during the festive period this year.
“I hope that these two events will add festive cheer to this year’s celebrations,” he wrote.
One of the events, coined as Geylang Serai Hari Raya Bazaar or the Bazaar Ramadan at Geylang Serai in the years prior to the pandemic, has been renamed to Geylang Serai Hari Raya Shopping Experience this year.
Running till May 2, the bazaar is intended to have four zones stretching from the Wisma Geylang Serai building to the open carpark next to Tanjong Katong Complex.
Zones 1 and 2 of the bazaar have been accessible since the opening day, while zones 3 and 4 will be introduced from Apr 14 onwards.
At the time of Youthopia’s visit around 10pm on Apr 13, Zones 1 and 2, which contain food, retail and shopping, were bustling with activity.
To enter either zones, safe management measures have been implemented, with entry and exit points watched over by Certis Cisco officers.
In contrast, Zone 2 had heightened crowd control measures, like a large tentage designed for patrons to queue before being let into the zone in controlled numbers.
According to the entry point checkers Youthopia spoke to that day, the number of patrons let into the enclosed zone is determined by how many exit the area, so as to maintain a consistent crowd level in the zone.
Once entering the zone, most patrons flock to the food section, which houses familiar names like The Original Vadai and Ramly as well as first-time vendors Rancho Meat and Ole Ole!.
Among the plethora of food offerings, large crowds gathered at more innovative creations like the prata waffles from Praffles by Fooditude and Dutch poffertjes from Alley.
Though it is the central location of most popular food brands at the bazaar, Zone 2 is not fitted with a seating area and the 3m-wide walkways are too swamped with patrons to give a suitable space for eating.
Patrons looking to come down to the bazaar mainly or solely for the food are advised to come down hours earlier before closing, as all food vendors are instructed to stop selling at 10.30pm.
Aside from filling one’s tummy, the bazaar is also a one-stop shop for ethnic clothes and accessories.
Aside from visiting the bazaar, a 1.4km long Hari Raya light-up adjacent to Zone 2 is also ongoing, but with a later end date of May 8.
Compared to the bazaar that saw a two-year hiatus, the Hari Raya light-up has remained as a consistent feature during every Ramadan season.
Themed Gotong Royong – Unity and Resilience this year, the festive display commemorates the community spirit of neighbourliness, kindness and mutual helpfulness.
With the extended bazaar beginning from Apr 14 onwards, the light-up provides an appropriately themed and visually stunning backdrop to any patron’s visit from start to end of the bazaar.
Zones 1 and 2 of the Geylang Serai Hari Raya Shopping Experience are located in the vicinity of Wisma Geylang Serai. Zones 3 and 4 will be situated a few minutes walk away, at the open field next to Tanjong Katong Complex. The Hari Raya light-up, happening alongside the bazaar, is displayed over Changi Road, Geylang Road and Sims Avenue.
The entire bazaar will open from 1pm to 11pm and run till May 2. As for the light-up, lights will switch on daily from 7pm to midnight and longer till 2am on Fridays and Saturdays. However on May 2, the eve of Hari Raya Puasa, the lights will be left on till 6 am the following day.