What You Need to Know about Singapore's Public Holidays and Festivals
Singapore is filled with all sorts of cultures, with Malay, Indian, and Chinese ethnic groups comprising its sociocultural fabric. The huge number of foreigners that have decided to visit Singapore over the last couple of years has landed this beautiful country a multi-cultural status. Each and every single one of the ethnic communities that can be found in Singapore maintain their unique way of life while living harmoniously with all the other ethnic groups at the same time.
In other words, Singaporeans know how to live peacefully with one another, regardless of what ethnic group they belong to. Due to the fact that Singapore is filled with a variety of cultures, as well as all sorts of people from many different ethnic groups, Singapore is filled with both religious and public holidays.
Singaporeans celebrate festivals that are specific to their respective religions, as well as their respective ethnic groups. On top of that, Singapore is also filled with a wide variety of holidays that are celebrated by the entire nation.
Some of the most popular religious festivals that are celebrated in Singapore include the New Year’s Day, Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Raya Puasa, Hari Raya Haji, Vesak Day, and Christmas Day. And some of the most important socio-cultural events in Singapore include National Day, Labour Day, and Good Friday.
Here are some of the most important things that you should know about each and every single one of these holidays!
Popular Religious Festivals that are Celebrated in Singapore
New Year's Day
New Year’s Day is one of the most popular holidays that Singapore has to offer. That being said, each year begins with festivities and every New Year is the perfect time for celebration in Singapore. In Singapore, there is a couple of different venues that hold New Year’s Eve Countdown parties for the public.
Chinese New Year
As far as the Chinese New Year goes, it is pretty safe to say that it is one of the most anticipated celebrations in all of Singapore. Preparations usually begin a couple of weeks ahead of the Chinese New Year, and the people who celebrate this event are known to have an extremely positive mood during this period. Families celebrate Chinese New Year by exchanging red envelopes with monetary gifts, visiting their temples, and making new year visits to the homes of their families and friends.
Chinatown is the hub of all Chinese New Year activities and some of the most popular lion and dragon dances are held at this area. Also, most shopping malls will decorate with traditional ornaments and offer some good discounts.
There is absolutely no doubt that Vesak Day is one of the most important annual events for people who belong to the Buddhist community in Singapore. Vesak Day commemorates both the birth and enlightenment, as well as the final nirvana of the Buddha. Buddhist temples are filled with colorful decorations, Buddhist flags, lights, shrines, flowers, fruits, and many other things on this day. When it comes to Vesak Day celebrations, they are closed hall events that are open to members of the public. Some of the most popular things that these celebrations include are public talks, vegetarian food fair, and hymn singing.
Hari Raya Puasa
Hari Raya Puasa is commonly known as Eid Ul Fitr. It is one of the most important events for members of the Malay community in Singapore. Hari Raya Puasa marks the end of Ramadan, which is the Islamic holy month of fasting. Families celebrate this holiday by visiting their families and friends, partaking in a thanksgiving feast, and wearing their finest clothes.
Hari Raya Haji
Hari Raya Haji is also known as the Feast of Sacrifice. It marks the end of the Haj pilgrimage to one of the holiest cities not just in Saudi Arabia, but the entire world – Mecca. The festivities that take place during this period are similar to those of Hari Raya Puasa, which means that people celebrate this holiday by visiting their relatives, wearing their finest clothes, and partaking in a thanksgiving feast.
There are some people out there who like to refer to Deepavali as the Festival of Lights. Deepavali is one of the most important events for anyone who is a part of the Hindu community in Singapore. People celebrate this holiday by visiting the homes of their loved ones, exchanging sweets, partaking in reunion feasts, lighting oil lamps at their homes, and visiting their temples.
Christmas is considered to be one of the most enchanting times of the year and the holiday spirit usually sets in a couple of weeks ahead of Christmas Day. During this period, most shopping malls offer special shopping deals and late-night shopping. Some even offer really good post-Christmas sales. People celebrate this holiday by visiting their relatives, attending the midnight mass, and enjoying a traditional Christmas dinner.
Other religious festivals that are celebrated in Singapore include the Lantern Festival, Thaipusam, Hungry Ghosts Festival, and more. In Singapore, there is something for everyone!
Some of the Most Important Socio-Cultural and Sports Events in Singapore
Singapore’s National Day falls on August 9th. The National Day Parade is a commemoration of Singapore’s Independence. Each and every year, about 25,000 people attend the National Day Parade. On this day, the atmosphere in Singapore is electrifying and most spectators decide to sport the National Flag’s colors of red and white.
Labour Day is also known as May Day. It is the day that commemorates the eight-hour day for workers. However, that doesn’t mean that shops close down on this day. In fact, there are many stores in Singapore that offer special Labour Day shopping deals.
Good Friday is one of the most important days for anyone who is a part of the Christian community. Good Friday commemorates both the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Similar to some other public holidays that are celebrated in Singapore, public institutions and offices are usually closed on Good Friday.
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