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This initiative marks the first in a series of Heritage Activation Nodes that will be introduced in various neighbourhoods from this year. IMAGES: NATIONAL HERITAGE BOARD

Adventures At Home: Katong-Joo Chiat Gets More Colourful With New Heritage Activation Node

The National Heritage Board (NHB) is launching a new Heritage Activation Node (HAN) initiative to shine the spotlight on various neighbourhoods' spaces and activities, as well as the people who live, work and play in these neighbourhoods.

The first HAN will be launched in the Katong-Joo Chiat neighbourhood, with a launch festival taking place this weekend (20 to 21 April).

What to know about Katong-Joo Chiat

The Katong-Joo Chiat precinct has a long history. Its pre-land reclamation beachfront was home to seaside residences of plantation owners, as well as mansions and hotels for the wealthy to enjoy weekend getaways. The district's name is derived from landowner and philanthropist Chew Joo Chiat, who owned several parcels of land in the area.

Nowadays, the precinct is well-known for its multitude of colourful shophouses, as well as its heritage restaurants and eateries. It also houses architectural icons such as Katong Shopping Centre. Built in 1973, it was the first fully air-conditioned mall in Singapore.

Over 800 buildings in the area have been conserved by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, including the aforementioned shophouses.

What to expect at the HAN @ Katong-Joo Chiat launch festival

To celebrate the Katong-Joo Chiat neighbourhood's heritage, the two-day launch festival offers a curated line-up of programmes and activities by over 20 festival partners.

While all the slots for the workshops and tours have been snapped up, there are still plenty of activities to catch and participate in. Here are some highlights:


Lelong! Lelong! Pasar malam in Singapore Exhibition

This tasty exhibition delves into the history of pasar malams and traces how they've evolved over time. It also showcases the diverse variety of goods commonly found at pasar malams over the last century through displays of objects and the memories of patrons, vendors and operators over the years.

In addition, you're invited to imagine the future of pasar malams and what you would like to see at the night markets of tomorrow.

20 April to 5 May 2024
Haig Road Market and Food Centre
Free admission


Kebaya Try-On Photobooth

Step into a world of timeless elegance at this photobooth. You'll get to choose from an array of kebaya, allowing you to embrace the grace and allure of this traditional garment. Strike a pose and get ready to make unforgettable memories.

11 am to 6 pm, 20 to 21 April 2024
Joo Chiat Community Club Reading Room & i12 Katong Atrium
Free admission


My Heritage: Malay Cultural Performance

This Malay cultural performance is an interactive programme that showcases the lifestyle of the Malays in kampongs back in the day through the beautiful and graceful dance of zapin (a popular musical dance form in traditional Malay performing arts).

12 pm, 20 and 21 April 2024
i12 Katong Atrium
Free admission


Teochew and Cantonese Opera Troupe Performances

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of Teochew and Cantonese opera with performances by the Joo Chiat Community Arts and Culture Club. You'll be wowed by traditional storytelling, vibrant costumes and exquisite music as talented community performers bring age-old tales to life on stage.

2 pm, 20 and 21 April 2024
i12 Katong Atrium
Free admission


HiddenSG @ Katong-Joo Chiat Race: Festival Race Edition

Think you know the Katong-Joo Chiat neighbourhood? Test your knowledge by exploring the precinct and stand a chance to win prizes.

This interactive, competitive game boasts unique heritage experience where you'll embark on a journey through Katong-Joo Chiat, starting from Haig Road Market and Food Centre, uncovering hidden clues and completing challenges to uncover the neighbourhood's rich heritage.

The first five teams to cross the finish line will win cash prizes of up to $800. Each team can consist of up to 5 people, and you'll need a phone with internet access and WhatsApp for the race.

1 pm, 20 April 2024
Starting point at Haig Road Market and Food Centre
Admission fee: $10 per group, regardless of team size (up to 5 players per team)
Register here


Pasar Malam @ Haig Road Market and Food Centre

Head down to Haig Road Market and Food Centre for a delightful feast at the unique heritage-themed pasar malam. Immerse yourself in the lively heritage ambience, featuring nostalgic game stalls that will take you on a trip down memory lane.

20 April to 5 May 2024
Haig Road Market and Food Centre
Free admission

Makers' Market @ i12 Katong

Makers' Market will be hosting a special pop-up at i12 Katong during this launch festival. You can look forward to perusing locally designed pieces by homegrown brands celebrating culture and creativity, from accessories to knick knacks, pouches, crocheted goods, and much more.

10 am to 8 pm, 20 to 21 April 2024
i12 Katong Atrium
Free admission

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