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Festivals and Holidays I iswariya October 16, 2012 259
Happiness during the one-month fast
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What an amazing sight. Geylang and Joo Chiat are converted into a massive night time market that goes on for the whole of Ramadan. What intrigues me is the composition of the stalls. Obviously, there are stalls selling clothes and textiles and fabrics and so on, but by and large, in a fasting month, most sell food!

Despite any slight cynicism I might show in some of my reviews, it remains a truism that Singapore is a wonderful place to be in when it comes to the celebration of festivals. From colourful street parades to religious processions and street light-ups, Singapore comes alive.
Any one of the celebrations associated with the main ethnic groups, plus Christmas, provide the tourist (and the local) with the anticipation that there is always something to look forward to throughout the year.

During Ramadan the predominantly Malay district of Geylang Serai is transformed into a world of colourful stalls, sounds, lights and colour. The bazaars spring up all over the place. Crowds throng the streets and markets to buy everything from fabrics to food.

Hari Raya Puasa is the festival which marks the end of Ramadan, which lasts one month and during which Muslims must fast. More importantly, families come together, seek for forgiveness for anything that may have offended, and look forward to the future.

I admire the Malays. How can they walk buy, even buy all that food, and not even take a quick bite whilst waiting for Buka Puasa? That of course, misses the point. This is a religious festival at heart. The colour and excesses perhaps are just an expression of the significance it has n the lives of believers.

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