The Singapore Heritage Festival (SHF) returns for the 16th time from 15 March to 7 April 2019. This year’s edition is a special Singapore Bicentennial edition that will uncover hidden stories, re-look at Singapore’s 700-year history through fresh eyes, and explore the pivotal moments, communities and people that have contributed to the nation we are today.
Find Your Place in History, a series of light projections around the city centre, will explore the lesser-known stories from our history, in situ. SHF 2019 also expands its reach with its first-ever island-wide exhibition, Ride and Discover, that reimagines bus stop panels as exhibition spaces, to examine the heritage of locations we might easily miss on our daily commutes.
From Kampong Glam and the all-new Armenian Street Park to Bedok, Telok Blangah and Kranji, festival-goers are invited to rediscover shared memories and experience places and stories anew, through a specially curated line-up of programmes, exhibitions and activities.
An island-wide experience
Did you know that one of the earliest recorded mentions of Bedok is in cartographer Manuel Godinho de Eredia’s 1604 map, making it one of the earliest places in Singapore to appear on a map?
Over almost 100 bus stops across four bus routes, the Ride and Discover island-wide exhibition educates commuters with these interesting bits of information about the history and heritage of the places connected to each bus stop’s location.
Festival-goers can also embark on an immersive bus theatrical show, Buses and Roads: A Bus Theatre Experience, which will start from the National Museum of Singapore to the Malay Heritage Centre and then back. Across the city centre, seven Find Your Place in History light projections tell lesser-known stories of forgotten places, communities and individuals who have made a difference in Singapore’s rich history.
Singapore Heritage Festival 2019 Highlights
Kampong Glam and Armenian Street Park (15 – 17 March)
SHF 2019 kicks off at Kampong Gelam and the new Armenian Street Park, with specially commissioned urban art installations by local artists dotting these historic precincts.
Festival-goers can immerse in the cultural performances at Rentak Budaya – a full-day cultural festival at the Malay Heritage Centre, and experience authentic Peranakan hospitality at the Peranakan Museum’s Armenian Street Party, its final event before it is closed for redevelopment on 1 April 2019.
Bedok (22 – 24 March)
Food culture takes centre stage this weekend with Makan Dreaming, a theatrical performance in the heart of the Bedok Hawker Centre inspired by the stories and lives of our hawkers, guided food tours, and a privately curated Peranakan dining experience by local food writer and founder of Fat Fuku, Annette Tan.
Festival-goers can also find out more about Singapore’s nomination of Hawker Culture to UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and pledge their support for the bid. Sharing the festival stage at Bedok is Balik Kampung, by Nam Hwa Opera and Nam Hwa Teochew Music Ensemble, who will showcase the charms of Teochew opera.
Telok Blangah (29 – 31 March)
Dive into Singapore’s maritime history at Telok Blangah, including a first guided tour of the Danish Seamen’s Church in Singapore, that will shed light on how the Danish community took root in Singapore, their contributions to our maritime heritage, and the history of its building, known as The Golden Bell Mansion.
Festival-goers can meet the cast of characters at Temenggong House at A Black-and-White Voyage – a fictional dramatisation of life in the historic building in the 1920s, which examines the history of Singapore as a trading port and its influence on the Telok Blangah area, through the lives of the house’s servants.
Kranji (6 – 7 April)
Learn more about Singapore’s agricultural produce and our farm heritage by interacting with Singapore’s own farmers at Kranji. The farming community has put together FOODPASS – a stamp-based, hop-on-hop-off programme that festival-goers can use to explore the farms in and around the Kranji countryside and get to know them better through hands-on activities and tasting sessions.
Online registration for SHF 2019 programmes commences from 5 March 2019, 12 PM. For the full listing of events on Singapore Heritage Festival 2019, please visit here.