Festivals of Singapore
Living amongst the multi-racial diverse background in Singapore, one will get a feel of the different cultures and the various types of upbringing that co-exist and gel firmly in the city state. People from all walks of life, with different social status and varied financial stability all celebrate festivals that are mostly religious, cultural or plainly commemorative in nature here in Singapore.
Lunar New Year festival
Several festivals in Singapore are that of religious in nature where the days are marked as public holidays. There are a few of these, namely the Lunar New Year festival, the Hari Raya Puasa festival, the Deepavali festival and Christmas. The Lunar New Year festival is mainly celebrated by the Chinese community in the country. A culminating event signifying the start of a lunar calendar is traditionally celebrated with huge fanfare in Singapore. The color red is used substantially in all manners of decoration and visits to family and relatives are practiced over the two-day public holiday. Red envelopes containing money are passed out and given to children by adults and married couples symbolizing good luck and suppressing evil spirits.
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Hari Raya Puasa festival
The Hari Raya Puasa festival is generally celebrated within the Malay community, signifying the end of the Muslim fasting month and the start of a celebration that lasts thirty days. Like their Chinese counterparts, over the course of the public holiday, time is taken out to visit close relatives. The color green is the traditional color used for decorations and similar to the lunar new year, green envelopes are given to children symbolizing good faith.
Deepavali or the festival of lights is observed by the Indian community in the garden state, where tourists and locals flock to Little India and marvel at the decorations and the light-up done along an over 2 kilometer stretch of road. Over the course of the public holiday, Indian families light up rows of lamps in and outside their houses signifying the uplifting of spiritual darkness. Deepavali also symbolizes the celebration of good over evil in the Hindu faith.
Singapore Arts Festival 2009 - Arts on the Move
Singapore Food Festival
Besides religion based festivals, the tropical island also celebrates other various festivals stretched throughout the year. The Singapore Food Festival is an organized event by the Singapore Tourism Board in an attempt to boost tourist numbers to the island. Culinary workshops, food competition and various other food-themed events held throughout a whole month are sure to delight the gastronomic hearts, minds and stomachs of foodies everywhere.
Singapore Arts Festival
Appealing to the arts enthusiast, the Singapore Arts Festival is a month long event involving various artists and entertainers worldwide ready to go on the center stage and light up Singapore’s art scene with a touch of passion and class. The Arts Festival is held all across the island to allow maximum immersion and get more youths and families to join in during the festivities.
Singapore Garden Festival
A treat for the whole family would be the Singapore Garden Festival. Although a bi-annual event, the festival turns the garden state into a horticulture haven. The festival has plenty of attractions that will delight even the non-gardeners of the family. With floral exhibits, garden designers and landscape enthusiasts performing demonstrations and having talks, the floral masterpieces specially put up by the organizers will definitely get you to return the next time the Garden Festival comes around.
Last but definitely not least, Singapore’s trademark street parade that likens itself to the Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the Chingay Parade is a household name for families in Singapore. Broadcasted live annually on television, over a million families tune into, participate in the festivities along Orchard Road or participate in the parade itself awe at the huge, colorful floats that jam the streets in the evening. Lately, the street procession has added dance performances, puppets and even traditional lion dancing acts to liven the already joyous occasion. The Chingay procession is a definite must-see for tourists traveling to Singapore.
As you can see, festivals are abundant in this tropical city. All of them put on a spectacle for the whole family and none of them should be missed.