A Thirty-Three Day Celebration of Lights and Community

One Kampong Gelam Presents Raikan Cahaya Ramadan

The annual Kampong Gelam Ramadan Bazaar returns with its biggest line-up of booths to-date, and a 10-day charity drive 

The historic precinct of Kampong Gelam is set to bring back its annual Ramadan bazaar and entertainment programmes with Raikan Cahaya Ramadan. Positioned as a rousing lead-up to Hari Raya Puasa, this year’s festivities welcome the biggest curation of booths (over 100) to-date, with dazzling light installations, performances and a charity drive for a truly “glam” culmination of heritage experiences and community spirit across 15 March to 16 April 2023. 

The Beginnings of Kampong Gelam Bazaar 

Known as the Muslim-Malay quarter of Singapore, the native Malay roots of Kampong Gelam trace back to the colonial 1820s when the area was first allocated for Malay, Arab and Bugis communities under the reign of Malay sultans.

Despite the influx of immigrant communities which saw the ‘kampong’ or “compound” in Malay grow into a multi-ethnic community, the area maintained its significance as a centre for Malay-Muslim activities due to its storied history and trove of cultural attractions. 

With the impressive Masjid Sultan – Singapore’s most prominent mosque that was gazetted as a national monument in 1975 – as focal point, the first Kampong Gelam Bazaar started back in the 1960s where visitors congregated for prayers, post-fast feasts and shopped for Eid-related goods with a backdrop of ethnic performances. 

Cahaya Ramadan Series 

While the Kampong Gelam Bazaar has been a Ramadan mainstay throughout the decades, its past editions since 2021 saw the return of festivities at a grander scale that hark back to the bustling 60s, with elements that cement its present-day identity as a vibrant enclave that intersects modernity and tradition. 

Building on the successes of previous iterations and GLAMboyant – the 10-day Kampong Gelam F1 precinct activation – this year’s celebration is poised to be the biggest activation yet in One Kampong Gelam’s ongoing goal of reinvigorating interest to ultimately drive footfall for the betterment of businesses. 

Translating to “celebrating the light of Ramadan”, Raikan Cahaya Ramadan combines the quintessential Ramadan bazaar with wondrous light displays and an exciting roster of performances that close with a 10-day charity drive – all for a fitting conclusion to a holy month of self-reflection, sacrifice and community.

“While Ramadan is a period of introspection, it is also a month of communal celebrations and empathy – both of which form the key pillars of Raikan Cahaya Ramadan,” says Mohammad Zaki Ma’arof, Chairman of One Kampong Gelam. “We hope visitors will enjoy the many facets and experiences of Kampong Gelam at our biggest activation yet, but also leave with an understanding that the Kampong spirit is a value and attitude that one can bring into their everyday lives”. 

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