Festivals play an essential part in identifying a country’s culture. Singapore, as with its neighbour countries is rich with festivals that originate from different ethnic groups who have immigrated to the country.
Every month, there is a festival celebrated by the locals of Singapore, regardless of their religious and ethnic background. These festivals range from religious traditions to visual feast of culture. Though of multi-cultural background, the citizens of this little country gives so much respect and commemorate each group’s traditions.
In this article we will discuss three of the most celebrated festivals in Singapore.
Chinese New Year
Like most of the countries influenced by the Chinese culture, the celebration of the Chinese New Year is one of the widely anticipated festivals in the country. At this time of the year, the streets of Singapore are packed with red hanging lanterns, sounds of traditional music and various decorations significant to this particular celebration.
Also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, this festival features tons of lion and dragon dances almost everywhere in the country. For the kids, the highlight would probably be the little red packets, or the ‘hong bao’, distributed by elders during family and friends gathering or reunions, which as a traditional practice in Chinese culture.
The Chingay Parade is one of the highlights during the festivities of the Spring Festival. Grand parades of floats and spectacles of fire-eaters, magicians and dancers are held at the Formula One Pit building along the Marina waterfront.
The Chinese New Year is often celebrated at the last day of the Chinese calendar, stretched to until the 15th day of the first month making it the longest celebrated festival in Singapore.
First held in 1966 when Singapore declared their independence from Malaysia, the National Day is celebrated every 9th of August. During this time of the year, the streets of Singapore are full of nationalistic vibe, with the country’s flags gaily flapping on houses and establishments. It is also the best time for shopping, as most stores put their items on sale.
The highlight of this festival is the National Day Parade that is celebrated at the Marina Bay platform. Showcased during the parade are the stunts and cinematic storytelling of the country’s history. Some locals would suggest that the best view of the parade is not on the area, but via the Singapore Flyer as it gives you a full aerial view of city activities.
The locals also usually participate at the Kallang Roar, a wave-like movement enlivening the momentous occasion of the 1970 Malaysia Cup.
Moon Cake Festival
Commonly called the Lantern or Mid-Autumn Festival, this festival is often celebrated between the months of August and September. The Moon Cake Festival is a thanksgiving celebration of families, observing and capturing traditions.
Grab your camera and head on over at the Chinatown to witness the giant lantern displays on establishments within the area. The stores, at this time of the year, often sell small lanterns for display and various moon cakes which are usually given to family and friends to commemorate the event.
Feature Image Source: William Cho @ Flickr