Festive deco in Yio Chu Kang private housing estate started in 2021 to chase Covid blues away

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For residents of a Yio Chu Kang private housing estate, the tradition of putting up decorations for Christmas and Chinese New Year in a Yio Chu Kang private housing estate started back in 2021.

Decorations were originally put up to lighten the mood during Covid-19

Speaking to Mothership, a resident of the estate who stays on Luxus Hill Drive, Derrick* (not his real name), said that the tradition started in 2021 for Chinese New Year (CNY) and was initially limited to just his street.

According to Derrick, the aim of putting up the decorations was to create a festive mood during the Covid-19 period, when people were “confined to their homes”.

Derrick added that towards the end of 2021, “we were thinking about trying again for CNY 2022. And then we thought, okay, why not let’s also do it for Christmas.”

The decorations for both Christmas in 2021 and Chinese New Year in 2022 were therefore planned as a single event, when it came to sourcing for a contractor and getting a quotation.

Derrick elaborated:

“This is a pure ground-up initiative. For LTA’s (Land Transport Authority) approval, we had to go and get a letter of support from the Member of Parliament (MP).”

An endorsement by a Professional Engineer (PE) was also necessary, he said.

Source: Photo courtesy of Derrick. Decorations for Christmas in 2021

Source: Photo courtesy of Derrick. Decorations for Christmas in 2021

Source: Photo courtesy of Derrick. Decorations for Christmas in 2021

As for why his street was able to coordinate such projects, Derrick explained that this was due to the presence of a WhatsApp group which has “100 per cent household participation” with a representative from every household.

He added, “We even have Indian families…participating both Christmas and CNY and (are)…part of the Organising Committee.”

Other streets became interested once they saw the decorations

The sight of the 2021 CNY decorations on his street was how other streets eventually took interest.

The next street to follow suit were several residents of Luxus Hill Avenue, which eventually decided to put up decorations for CNY in 2022.

Source: Photo courtesy of Derrick. Decorations for CNY in 2022

Source: Photo courtesy of Derrick. Decorations for CNY in 2022

Derrick also highlighted how residents of another street, Luxus Hill View, initially did not want to participate but changed their minds and asked to join following the sight of the decorations for Christmas in 2022.

However, they were unable to do so, as the request came late and the contractor quoted a price similar to the amount paid by the other streets, despite Luxus Hill View being considerably shorter and having fewer residents.

Close to 400 households participated for 2022’s Christmas & 2023’s CNY decorations

As for the decorations for Christmas in 2022 and the upcoming CNY for 2023, Derrick said that close to 400 households from the four streets of Luxus Hill Drive, Seletar Green Walk, Luxus Hill Avenue and Seletar Green View participated.

Each household pay between S$150 to S$220, depending on the street that they are located in and their level of participation.

Here, Derrick pointed out that the electricity for the decorations is also provided by the households.

If a household provides more electricity, they pay less for the decorations, he clarified.

Derrick also clarified that the figure of S$50,000 is essentially the cost for both the Christmas and Chinese New Year decorations.

As for whether the tradition will continue for Christmas this year, Derrick said, “We will see what we want to do again this year.”

Top collage photos courtesy of Derrick