Singapore, a rich country known for its glamor and sheen of wealth and is quite popular for its majestic colonial buildings, huge shopping malls, luxury dines, and historical monuments. Singapore looks like a pictorial wonderland and is the popular tourist destination where east meets west and holds a great cultural significance. One can witness a beautiful cultural symbiosis of European and Asian cultures. The country looks so beautiful and appealing social harmony, the fusion of beautiful cultures, and diversity in culture. Being a vast country, Singapore has four different official languages. Its peaceful environment and unity among the citizens are the key attractions of the country’s high tourism rate. The country is visited by a huge number of travelers every year, especially during the festive season.
Below listed are some of the most famous festivals in Singapore which are celebrated with great enthusiasm and great zeal.
The festival originated from southern India and taken to Singapore is one of the most important festivals in Singapore which is celebrated auspiciously for 4 continuous days. The celebration symbolizes the commencement of the auspicious Thai month. The festival is organized to thank the sun god for harvesting and for the riches in life. During this festival, the entire country is beautifully lit with colorful lights and also street shows are organized. Also, there is a tradition to wear new clothes and to exchange gifts on this day.
What Not to Miss– The festive season starts from 14th of January every year and then continues up to 17th of January. Do plan to visit the Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple in the country and witness the cultural shows and also the cooking competition of Pongal.
2- Chinese New Year
One of the most acclaimed Chinese festivals celebrated in Singapore, Chinese New Year Festival is the time when the entire Chinatown comes together and participates in the celebration. The celebration goes on for continuous for 14 days which may fall on any day from 21st of January to 20th February. Likewise, the Holi festival in India, Chinese also clean their home properly so that they can throw out all the bad energies and negativities from their home. Another tradition is to meet with the relatives and family wrapped in red and gold colors and also to exchange the gifts, especially to the kids. The gifts are wrapped in red color envelopes. At night there are stage shows where one can witness the dragon and lion dance performances which is a major part of the celebration.
What Not to Miss– hit the road towards the Chinatown where the street lights are lit up beautifully and also the fire eaters and the lion dancers perform their act to entertain the audience.
Celebrated by the Chinese Community, Thaipusam is a festival organized and celebrated on the full moon day. The day is devoted to the star named Pusam which reaches at its highest position during the Thai month. In Singapore, there is a tradition to cover the distance between Sri Thendayuthapani festival (final destination) and Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple (from where the devotees start walking). The celebration of the festival continues for 2 days i.e. the day of the festival and the next day. There is a belief among devotees which states that it is the proper time to urge for their vows. On this auspicious day, many devotees carry the wooden arch which is supported on the piercings done in their body. It is believed that god gets pleased by the devotees who carry Cavadees and grant them their wish.
What Not to Miss– Participation in the Kavadi procession ceremony and visiting the two famous temples which are listed above.
4- Lantern Festival (Mid- Autumn Festival)
Also called as the mid-autumn festival, Lantern festival is one of the most important festivals in Singapore. The festival represents the final day celebration of the 14 days long Chinese New Year Festive season. On this auspicious day, the sky looks so colorful and beautifully lit up as Children of the home come out of their home and burns the paper lantern and leave them up in the sky. You see a wide variety of paper lantern ranging from simple ones to the traditional one differing in shape and size and even to make it more exciting some lantern is decorated with questions and puzzles which a kid solves.
What Not to Miss– Do not miss out exploring the beauty of Chinatown which is adorned beautifully with the colorful lit up Lantern. Participate in the Moonfest Chinese Art Festival where numerous artists show their talents in art. Also, taste the delicious moon cakes which are believed to be the main dish of the day.
5- Vesak Day
A grand celebration organized by the Buddhism community in Singapore, Vesak Day marks the death and the enlightenment of Lord Buddha. On this auspicious day, Buddhism devotes their day in meditating and offering prayers to their god. You can also witness some Buddhists engaged in performing charity work. Also called as the day of self-reflection, the celebration is held on the full moon in the Vesak month. The occasion is celebrated in the first two weeks of May and is famous for its unique culture and traditions.
What Not to Miss– Visiting the renowned Buddhist Temples like Sakya Muni Buddha Temple in Gaya, Lin-Shan Shuang Lin Temple, and Temple of Tooth Relic in Kandy. Participating in the unique cultures of the festival like bathing of Infant Buddha.
6- Dragon Boat Festival
Also called as Duanwu or Zhongxiao Festival, Dragon boat Festival is a cultural Chinese festival which was originated a long era back. One can enjoy the Dragon boat races in which Chinese from all over the world participate including Singapore. Zhongzi is the main feast of the day and regular wines are the beverage which the Chinese consume on this day. This boat race competition is held at the Bedok Reservoir. The festival is held on the fifth day in the fifth month according to the Chinese calendar. According to the English calendar, the festival is celebrated in the month of June for the first weeks.
What to Experience– Experiencing the boat race at the Bedok Reservoir and also at DBS Marina Regatta. There are fun games to keep you enjoyed and occupied before the race.
7- Hari Raya Puasa
Marking the end of the fasting month Ramadan, Hari Raya Puasa is a festival celebrated by the Muslim community. There is a tradition to start the day by visiting the mosques in the morning and then to visit the graveyards of the ancestors who have passed away. Muslims on this day wear new clothes and then for the whole day visit their friend or family house and similarly welcome their guests at the home. Later in the evening, there is a custom to read Takbir by the Muslims at the mosque. With lighting up the oil lamps, the festival represents purification and the renewal of an individual personality.
What to Experience– Savor the extravagant delicious cuisines in the Geylang Serai Bazar. Also, witness the crowd of Muslims breaking their fast near the Sultan mosque.
8- National Day
One of the favorite and the most important festivals in Singapore, National Day is celebrated with great pomp where parades are held and then, later on, gets followed by the dance performance with the choreographic dancers. Every resident of Singapore takes pride in maintaining their pride towards culture, harmony and also the country. During the evening time, firework activities are organized in the country. If you are also planning to visit Singapore then do plan your visit near to this festival so that you can participate in the grand celebration of the National Day in Singapore.
What Not to Miss– Parade and the national rally and also the firework activities organized at Marina Bay.
India originated festival Deepavali which is also called as Diwali marks the victory of good over bad. According to Hindu mythologies, this is the day when Lord Rama returned to his home after completing 14 years of Vanvas. On this auspicious day, India, Singapore, and some other countries adorn its environment with the beautifully lit up lights and candles. The festival is celebrated by the Hindu community in Singapore on the 15th day of the Kartik month. Similar to the Indian tradition of celebrating this festival of light, people of Hindu community in Singapore start cleaning their home some days prior to the celebration as they believe that with the cleaning of the house, they throw away all the negative energies from their home and bring positive vibes at their home.
What Not to Miss- Puja rituals at the famous Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple and also experience the spree Diwali shopping at the shopping mall located in Mustafa Center and also the Festival Village.
10- Hungry Ghost Festival
Celebrated in the 7th month of the year according to the Chinese Calendar, Hungry Ghost Festival is celebrated by the Buddhist and the Taoism community in Singapore. According to Buddhist and Taoism beliefs, this is the day when the ancestors of their family come down to earth from heaven. There is a custom to visit the graveyards of the ancestors on this auspicious day. Even the families organize all the arrangements of the materialistic needs of their ancestors on this day even after their death. They believe that if they ignore the ghosts then they are inviting mischief to their family by themselves only. So, to keep themselves away from any Mishappening they organize a grand feast ceremony and in that, they serve out the delicious foods in the plates and bowls in an open area with the belief that the ancestors will come and eat that food.
What Not to Miss– Explore the lifestyle of the residents in Chinatown and also take a bath in the city. Also, visit the famous temples in the city and take the blessings of the gods and goddesses.