27 December 2009

Bright Lights, Big City-State

The holiday season centers on pleasing the eye and touching the heart. It’s about continuing with tradition, keeping in touch with family and friends, and preventing mosquitoes from breeding. In Singapore, dengue fever is always in season! Most live Christmas trees sold come with a powder to mix in the treestand water to keep mosquitoes from breeding. Posted signs in garden centers where trees are sold warn: If They Breed You Will Bleed. Ho! Ho! Hum...

Christmas fever is hot in the city-state. Each year a corporation decorates Orchard Road, the main shopping drag. The sponsor adorns, garlands, and lights the sidewalks, trees and everything in between. The shopping malls and buildings along the stretch decorate and light their facades from top to bottom. As if it were not bright enough, there is the “Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up.” For one day only, on December 25th, a portion of the road closes and fills with even more brightly lit displays.

We woke on Christmas morning to a solid, steady rain. It lasted all day, but ended at dusk in time for us to “Light-Up.” The road was so bright that night the birds were chirping. Thousands of people were shuffling, pushing, spitting, and posing in the streets and on the sidewalks. Singapore’s Christmas mass.

1 comment:

  1. I'm wondering if you've read the article on Singapore in the latest National Geographic. It made me so morbidly fascinated with the country that I had to go looking for first-hand info., and that led me to your blog! I'd like to know if you agree with the description the article gives.