Revisit an iconic railway, meet a fourth-generation Orang Laut or be an airport firefighter for the day when Singapore’s annual heritage festival goes all out next month.
Singapore HeritageFest is back for its 19th edition throughout May starting with more than 120 in-person and online experiences exploring lesser-known stories of the city-state’s travel history and natural heritage.
The festival will pay homage to the nation by partnering with more than 80 brands such as the Changi Airport Group, Orang Laut SG, Nagore Dargah Indian Muslim Heritage Centre, Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, Mandai Wildlife Group and the Singapore Aviation Academy.
Fittingly, the festival coincides with anniversary celebrations of big local names like the 75th anniversary of Singapore Airlines, the Merlion’s 50th birthday, and the 10th anniversary of Gardens by the Bay.
The festival has lined up heritage and cultural trails, hands-on workshops, video documentaries, tours and exhibitions that explain the evolution of travel within the country and easter eggs of the flora and fauna native to the region.
One notable exhibit is a life-sized recreation of the Keretapi Tanah Melayu train, which once operated from the now-defunct Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.
Take a closer look into the lives of a big fan and collector of Singapore Airlines who has accumulated more than 100 of the carrier’s memorabilia such as in-flight menus and a harmonica, a taxidermy artist who helms Singapore’s one and only commercial taxidermy studio, and a green thumb whose home garden is blooming.
Documentaries will look at the owners of Abba’s Department Store, a long-running tailor since 1979 who has catered to countless tourists; and the Bee Amazed Garden, a farm imparting knowledge about the importance of honey bees.
Meet a fourth-generation Orang Laut, or “Person of the Sea” in Malay, who is equipped with lesser-known stories from the community that lived on the island before the British claimed Singapore. Or tour Fort Canning Park’s Spice Garden, the Lower Khatib Bongsu, and get up close to black soldier flies at insect farm Insectta.
Delve into workshops where you can learn about the healing benefits of the butterfly pea plant, or learn about the history of three important cash crops – coffee, pineapple and coconut – deep-rooted in Singapore’s natural heritage.
If that’s not enough, trek through the newly launched Sentosa Heritage Trail, or be an air controller or an airport firefighter for the day at the Singapore Aviation Academy.
Events begin May 7 and subsequent weekends of the month. All programs are open for registration today.