CELEBRATIONS & FESTIVALS

Singapore loves revelry, and pulls out all stops to mark special occasions in a big way.

The merriment is not limited to religious or national observances - they extend to themed events spanning the arts (Singapore International Festival of Arts), culture (Singapore Heritage Festival), fashion (Singapore Fashion Week), food (Singapore Food Festival), shopping (The Great Singapore Sale), night racing (F1 Singapore Grand Prix, the world’s only full night race), and more!

Chinese New Year

The most highly-anticipated celebration for the Chinese community in Singapore. The festivities begin on the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar, and continue till mid-month. Celebrations are held all around Singapore with spectacular events taking place in Chinatown, Chinese Gardens, Singapore River, Marina Waterfront and within residential estates.

Vesak Day

The most significant day in the Buddhist calendar is Vesak Day as it commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. On this day, devotees bring offerings to the temple, and lay candles and joss sticks at the feet of their spiritual leader. Some common practices include releasing caged birds, animals, and donating blood - as Buddhists believe that merit from good deeds on this day will be multiplied manifold. The “three-step, one-bow” ritual typically takes place at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Temple.

Hari Raya Aidilfitri

Before the start of Ramadan - the fasting month for Muslims, festive bazaars would spring up in Malay ethnic enclaves of Kampong Glam and Geylang Serai. The festivities continue on days leading up to Hari Raya Aidilfitri, which marks the end of Ramadan. It is celebrated on a grand scale with glittering street light-ups, traditional celebrations and street stalls that stay open late into the night, selling a range of goods from traditional delicacies, apparels, textiles to handicrafts and homeware.

National Day

Patriotic fervour builds in the lead-up to Singapore's National Day on August 9. The highlight of the merriment is undoubtedly the annual National Day Parade, where spectators can witness a magnificent performance in "live" technicolour - the majestic flypast of the State Flag, breathtaking stunts by the F15 fighter pilots, Red Lions parachutists, along with crowd-pleasing music and magnificent dance extravaganza, culminating in a dazzling fireworks display.

Deepavali

Deepavali celebrates the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness. This is the most important festival observed by the Hindus. It is sometimes called the Festival of Light, feted by the donning of new clothes, sharing of traditional snacks, and often, henna art on the skin. This authentic festival has Little India packed with jostling people soaking in the celebratory mood. The street decorations, in their colourful arches and strings of sparkling lights, often bring road traffic to a crawl.

Christmas

Christmas in the tropics is a month-long celebration of the senses. The annual Christmas light-up, traditionally confined only to Orchard Road, has grown to include Tanglin Road and Scotts Road, often extending its way to Marina Bay. Malls and buildings in these areas dress up their facades with twinkling lights, colourful baubles, huge Christmas trees and beautiful snowflakes cut-outs, making up for the lack of snow.