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More than 100 turned up an hour early to secure seats for Hougang Getai

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The events hold cultural and spiritual significance for the local Chinese community in Singapore as it is for people to respect their ancestors and honour the spirits during the seventh month

SINGAPORE: The seventh month of the lunar calendar is more than halfway over, but the draw of Getai performances continues unabated, with one set in Hougang attracting hundreds of spectators.

Although the Getai only started at around 7:40 p.m., more than a hundred members of the public arrived at 19 Hougang Ave 3 as early as 6 o’clock, more than an hour before the performance started, to secure their seats.

The Hougang Getai drew close to 400 spectators, according to Channel 8 news. Since the seats were already filled, many spectators had to stand and watch the performance as the common corridors nearby rapidly filled with onlookers. Some members of the public even found their own chairs and pulled them to the nearby areas and gazebos to watch the performance.

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Getai, which literally translates to “song stage” in Chinese, is a form of live stage performance that includes various elements such as singing, dancing, and theatrical acts. Getai performances are held outdoors on temporary stages, usually set up in open spaces, housing estates, or other public areas.

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These performances, which often feature lively music, vibrant costumes, energetic comedic skits, traditional Chinese opera performances, and modern pop music performances, are a significant part of the Hungry Ghost festival held in the seventh month of the lunar calendar, as they are believed to attract and entertain wandering spirits.

Crowds flock to Getai shows to enjoy the performances and make offerings to the spirits, including food, drinks, and items believed to please the spirits. The events hold cultural and spiritual significance for the local Chinese community in Singapore as it is for people to respect their ancestors and honour the spirits during the seventh month.

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