Beyond Geylang Serai: Other Ramadan bazaars for festive shopping and eats
Expect celebrity appearances and performances by popular local and Malaysian artists at these fringe Ramadan bazaars.
If the thought of braving the crowd and the unrelenting humidity at the Geylang Serai Bazaar, which kicked off on May 3, doesn't appeal to you, you’re in luck. This year, there are plenty of other bazaars to choose from.
Here are six of the most anticipated Ramadan bazaars you need to know and visit. Now, all you have to do is to mark your calendars and plan your route.
1. CELEBFEST RAMADAN 2019 AT SUNTEC CONVENTION CENTRE
OPENS: MAY 17
Trust us, there is no bigger gathering of celebrities, both homegrown and from across the Causeway, in one event than at CelebFest.
Themed Rentak Raya, which means Beats of Raya, those heading to this popular event will be treated to musical performances by local and Malaysian artistes, including Nurul Aini, Siti Nordiana, Andi Bernadee, Sufian Suhaimi, Fieya Julia as well as Luqman Faiz.
This year’s weekend pop-up, which is in its fourth year and taking place from May 17 to 19, will also be the biggest edition yet – spanning three exhibition halls (Halls 401 to 403) instead of the usual two – with over 70 celebrities gracing the three-day event.
With an upsized CelebFest Ramadan, it will offer a much wider range of vendors to shop from. Popular homegrown fashion labels such as InLovebyTNS, Katt Ibrahim, Maison Q, and Grey by OrtenHill will be there.
Popular food options include Street Submarine, which is known for its beef rendang sub, satay fries and Ice Kepal Milo, satay fries; Boo:Eh, for the creamy, non-alcoholic butter beer; and Naughty Boyz for its freshly made grilled mac and cheese.
2. LALOOLALANG AT MALAY HERITAGE CENTRE
OPENS: MAY 16
If you’re looking for a more curated selection of food and retail offerings, head on over to the Laloolalang weekend pop-up from May 16 to 19.
Themed Pop Yeh Yeh, which pays homage to the regional music genre of the 1960s, the four-day bazaar will be playing music from that era to give you nostalgic kampong vibes as you explore more than 100 booths.
As with previous years, popular street and traditional food vendors will be setting up stalls to serve you delectable goodies. They include Yummy Takoyaki, The Katoshka, SatayBoy, GomGomSG as well as The Original Pisang Keju.
Special performances to look out for include the soothing vocals of Singapore’s own Huda Ramzan as well as rock-and-roll band The Pinholes. Pop Yeh Yeh’s icon Dato Jeffrydin will also make a special appearance and is slated to perform, too.
3. BAZAR RAYA UTARA 2019 AT WOODLANDS OPEN FIELD
OPENS: MAY 4
The open field next to Woodlands MRT is now a festive area for Hari Raya shopping, good food and, on various weekends leading up to Hari Raya, celebrity performances as well as meet-and-greet sessions.
This year’s edition will feature a good mix of traditional Malay food as well as contemporary (read: hipster) food offering (flaming bubble tea or 24K gold chicken, anyone?). There’s even a corner where you can enjoy your food in an al fresco dining area that’s equipped with oil-barrel tables and decorated with bistro fairy lights.
If you missed popular Malaysian singer Hael Husaini as well as Singapore’s Sufi Rashid at yesterday's (May 4) opening ceremony, there are other chances for celebrity spotting.
Over the following weekends, you can catch Malaysian singers Wany Hasrita and Khai Bahar, veteran Nasyid group Al Jawaher, as well as Malaysian actors Izzue Islam, Aiman Hakim and Zahirah Macwilson. Malaysia’s Rock icon Amy Search will grace the closing ceremony on Jun 1.
4. OUR TAMPINES HUB HARI RAYA BAZAAR 2019
OPENS: MAY 3; OFFICIAL LAUNCH ON MAY 18
Featuring over 80 food-and-beverage stalls as well as retail ones, this year’s instalment will cover both the Central Plaza and Festive Walk.
While the bazaar is a month-long one, its official launch event will take place on May 18, with a special appearance by Malaysian actress and singer Erra Fazira.
Hosted by Singapore’s own Adi Rahman and Farhanah M Noor, the ceremony, which is open to public, will also see Malaysian celebrity couple Siti Sarah and Shuib Sepahtu gracing the event and performing.
5. MEGA RAYA EXPO 2019 AT THE SINGAPORE EXPO
OPENS: MAY 23
Taking place from May 23 to 26, the four-day event will see more than 100 vendors hawking both traditional, and contemporary food and beverages as well as Hari Raya apparel.
This year’s edition will also have the crowd-drawing CeleBrands booths, with popular Malaysian and Singaporean celebrities promoting their own brands of products, including Datin Alyah, Azza Elite, Rozita Che Wan, Marsa Milan and Jasmine Ashraf.
6. THE GRAND SOUQ AT SINGAPORE EXPO
OPENS: MAY 31
Formerly known as The Grand Bazaar, this popular four-day retail event in Hall 6B will take place over the last weekend of Ramadan (May 31 to June 2). It offers close to 300 stalls for your last-minute Hari Raya shopping.
Visitors can also look forward to performances from popular groups Hijjaz and Caliph Buskers as well as Malaysia’s Mawi, among other acts.