Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Magical Ocean @ Chinese Garden

Yes, the Mid-Autumn Festival’s over and everyone’s waiting for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holiday, but a good event should always be posted and not go to waste. So, here’s my review on the Mid-Autumn Festival at Chinese Garden (Jurong) in Singapore.

I’ve never been to any of the festivals held at Chinese Garden eventhough it’s near my residence. There’s always an excuse not to go; the entrance fee, lack of company, uninteresting theme, etc. Things started to change when I got my new camera and since I started this blog. As uninteresting as it may sound, photography and blogging (for me) are really some of the most interesting hobbies in recent times.

This year’s theme was "The Magical Ocean". As I entered the main entrance, I was greeted by dolphin lanterns decorating both sides of the bridge that connects the entrance to the main entrance to the garden, which by the way was majestically decorated with sea creatures (or seafood, since this is a food blog) while a Chinese Neptune lantern was rotating at the center of the entrance, waiting to strike a pose for the visitors.

The next setup was the sheltered koi pond illuminated with colourful traditional Chinese lanterns. Classically romantic.

After touring the pond, I left for the outdoor where the real action really kicked in. As I crossed another bridge, the "8 Fairies Crossing The Sea" lanterns greeted me with such vividly coloured lightings. The "lotuses" accompanying the "Fairies" complimented the whole scene very well. As the lanterns were placed on the lake and the surrounding was dark, the "Fairies" looked as if they were really floating in the air! Definitely one of the best sights of the night.

After crossing the bridge, I was led to many other ocean-themed displays, including the Atlantis and Finding Nemo. As with the "Fairies", the creative use of poles on the lanterns plus the dark surrounding made the lanterns come to "life". Schools of "fishes" were "swimming" while "seahorses" were "dancing" side-by-side.

There were also wishing trees where visitors could purchase an auspicious pendant, make a wish and throw the pendant towards the trees (as high as possible). If the pendant hangs on one of the trees, the wish will come true. If not, the steps have to be repeated until it hangs on any the trees. A good activity if you plan to bring along you other half. Sweet.

The festival boasted many other interesting displays but were mostly based on cartoon characters, catered for the family group. A tad too mild for my liking as I am a Big Mac guy rather than a Happy Meal person. There were fireworks and cultural shows too, but I missed all of it as I arrived late due to work. Nevertheless, $12 (per adult, including a lantern) was well spent. Slightly expensive if your family is large but the atmosphere and the quality time spent with your family make it all worthwhile.

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