Singapore is an attractive tourist destination, and it boasts of one of the multi-diverse cultures in the world. Considered a melting pot of different cultures from various parts of the world, the famous events, festivals, and public holidays will only further make a visit to Singapore even more special. It is a beautiful way to explore and enjoy the fabulous culture of Singapore. During public holidays, businesses and institutions are closed, and if there is a holiday on a Sunday, the corresponding Monday would be a holiday. We bring you some of the exciting events, local celebrations, and public holidays hosted in Singapore that you can be a part of during your holiday here.
Festivals celebrated in Singapore
The Singapore population is a very diverse population featuring people from different backgrounds and cultures from different parts of the globe. Given a beautiful blend of modern technology and ancient charm leads to the rise of this beautiful city-state named Singapore. Each festival irrespective of the religion it belongs to is celebrated with equal pomp, glamour, and glitz all over the country.
Chinese New Year
Probably the most significant festival celebrated in Singapore as a majority of their population is Chinese. Also known as the Chinese Lunar Year, each year is dedicated in the name of an animal that symbolizes luck, i.e., 2018 – Dog & 2019 – Pig, etc. All the streets are decorated with vibrant and colorful lights, and one can easily be part of the festivities with traditional lion dances. Mandarin oranges are exchanged among people as a sign of good luck during this festival. One of the principal celebrations of the Chinese New Year festivities in Singapore is the ushering of these oranges in River Hongbao. There are also lanterns that symbolize traditional Chinese mythology and twelve animals depicted from the Chinese Zodiac.
This is fondly known as May Day in Singapore since it is always celebrated on the 1st day of the May month. This is a gazetted holiday across Singapore, and it is a day to recognize the efforts and dedication the workers put in improving our lives towards the development of Singapore. All the shops, attractions, and retail outlets would be open on this day. Discounts and deals are running at various places. Expect a massive crowd at places where industrial unions would be celebrating this occasion.
The Chingay Parade is celebrated in February each year and represents the multicultural heritage of Singapore. The festivities feature the parade with grand floats, dragon dances, and walkers on stilts. The parade kicks off from the original Fl Pit Building and heads all the way to the heart of the Lion City, making it one of the unique street performances in the region. This parade is also on record the most extensive street performance in Asia.
The day celebrated for the entire life of Buddha. It is considered a day of joy, peace, and inner reflection. This festival is celebrated keenly not in Singapore, but also in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian countries where ever there is a significant Buddhist population. Before dawn, several Buddhist devotees offer prayers and hymns are sung at temples. Several offerings like candles, flowers, and other offerings are offered during the prayers. The day ends with a candle procession, and all Buddhists are expected to help or service any person in need.
Hari Raya Puasa
This is the local Malay name for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. The day starts with a round of prayers at Mosques, followed by family gatherings together at each other’s houses over a meal. After breaking their month-long fast, people celebrate this festival with great pomp and splendor. This festival symbolizes brotherhood and forgiveness, hence helping those in need becomes a norm.
Hari Raya Haji
This festival marks the Prophet Ibrahim’s trust and faith in God and is also known as the Festival of Sacrifice. The local Malay name for Eid al-Adha. On this day, Ibrahim agreed to sacrifice his son on the will of Allah. Sacrifices are offered in the form of goats, sheep, and lambs. This festival symbolizes the importance of the spiritual life over worldly life.
Singapore Independence Day
9th August was the day when Singapore got its freedom from the British regime in 1963. It joined the Malaysian federation after the Merger Referendum of Singapore in 1962. But, two years later, Singapore left the alliance and became an independent nation in 1965. The festivities of this day kicks off from the last week of July each year and continues till the end of August. Concerts, street plays, carnivals are a norm and are one of the essential parts of the festivities.
The festival of lights, Deepavali is celebrated with great pomp by the Hindu community in Singapore. People lit their homes and offices with oil lamps and decorate it with vibrant lights, signifying the victory of light over darkness. A Silver Chariot carrying the idol of goddess Sri Drowpathi Amman is pulled by the devotees from Sri Mariamman Temple till Little India twice before Deepavali. This period is a real bonanza for all retail outlets as there are substantial discounts and promotions offered during shopping.
Singapore transforms into a winter wonderland during Christmas time. The entire city is lit and decorated. There are carnival games and rides and other festivities that come along as part of this festival. There is a season of giving where the Christians give up something they like for one month. The party starts after the midnight Christmas mass on 24th December eve. This festival also comes with loads of deals and massive discounts on shopping.
Well, there are plenty of other festivals that are celebrated in Singapore with great splendor. It is difficult to list all of them in just one article, such is the multi-diverse culture of Singapore. Come and enjoy a wonderful time in this beautiful city-state.