Sunday, 20 March 2016

Singapore St. Patrick's Day Street Festival 2016

It's not all surprising that St Patrick's Day is celebrated in the English-speaking immigrant nations of America, Australia and Canada (in alphabetical order for political correctness) where there're a sizable Irish communities, migrated there especially during the late 18th century. And the Aussies, Canadian and Yanks also celebrated Oktoberfest in a big way (just in case you dunno).

St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
Let's go green (大小帽)

It's little bit more surprising that St Patrick's Day is celebrated in Singapore (of course, even more surprising is that it's also celebrated in Japan and Russia. Yes, Russia! They must like Guinness a lot). In fact, the St Patrick's Society in Singapore is just a wee bit shy of a century old (91 this year).

Why there're a significant size of Irish community is another one of the many secrets of the Singapore history that's waiting to be explored (perhaps one day. Now I'm too busy swilling Guinness. Ok, I don't swill beers. I sip, I sup, I sample. It lasts 5 times longer and doesn't go to my head; just my thigh. Ok, ok, I lied. I've converted from alcoholism to teetotalism for more than 1 score and 7 years ago (I've also converted from Atheism to Agnosticism about 2.1 decades ago. But that's another story). My substitute drink is peppermint tea, which is also green. I wonder if shamrock shake is available).

While this St Paddy Parade have been running for 10 years, this is my 1st sightseeing. Some people think bagpipes blow, but I'm a sucker for it even though I dunno how to blow the sucker. It's a must see for me. End of discussion, Shawna!

The pipe band started their performance at Raffles Landing Site (marked by the white statue of Raffle) at 2:30pm. I was sitting at Cavenagh Bridge like a sitting duck for the parade to pass me by, and none the wiser. Soon I heard the distant sound of bagpipes over the (pretty flat) rolling hill by the river.

O Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling...

So I scurried to the Landing Site like a church mouse.

Pipe band, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
In many culture, music was played to their religious icon during religious celebration...
'Tis Raffles, not Saint Paddy...

Percussion group, pipe band, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
I like snare drums, I like bass drums,
If they've drum beats, I'm wired for sound.




Pipe band, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
Some are not so green...


At 3pm, the band marched across Cavenagh Bridge.

So ladies and laddies, I give you St Paddy's Parade...Hurrah!


Street March, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
These laddies leading the parade

Pipe band, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
Marching into Cavenagh Bridge...The pipe band is coming!

Cavenagh Bridge, Pipe band, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore




Cavenagh Bridge, Pipe band, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
The spectating lads and lassies



I didn't wear green on the day. The only green I've got is a pair of army khaki pants. The last time I wore it, standing on the lawn looking cool, a dog peed on me thinking I was a tree. What kinda tree? An Apple tree since I was holding an iPhone at the time. The logo was clearly showing.


Street Parade, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
The Gaelic Dragons - a local dragon boat racing team - was one of the many groups marching on the day


Street Parade, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
Very Caribbean...maan!




The parade moved along the river, started at Cavenagh Bridge and ended in UOB Plaza.

Street Parade, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore

Street Parade, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore

Street Parade, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
She's looking at you, lad!


Street Parade, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
Gathering at UOB Plaza

We didn't stay in UOB plaza. Instead, we went to Circular Rd for some Irish stage performances. You would also find some Irish pubs and grubs to wet your lips and fill your tummy and to complete the St. Patrick's Day's celebration.

Circular Road, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
The giant Guiness beer served as pailou (gateway) to Circular Road

Molly Malone's Irish Pub, Singapore
Me:  "Hey Shawna, is that Molly Malone by the door?"
Danny Boy:  "Sure. Sure..."
Me:  "Let's go say hello to her. Shall we?"
Shawna:  "To be sure. To be sure..."

Street Sign, Singapore
Me:  "Hey Shawna, are all the street signs in Singapore painted in Irish green?"
Paddy:  "To be sure. To be sure..."


Live performance, St Patrick's Day Street Festival, Singapore
Me:  "Hey Shawna, are they singing in Irish?"
Shawna:  "How am I supposed to know? I'm not Irish!"
Sinéad:  "To be sure. To be sure..."

Here's an Irish folk ballad "O Danny Boy", played a little Singaporean girl.




Me:  Would you be back next year, Shawna?
Danny Boy: To be sure. To be sure...
Drunken Passer-by (no nationality specified for political correctness):  To be sure. To be sure...
Sinéad:  To be sure. To be sure.
Shawna:  Whatever!
Me:  Alrighty then.



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