Singapore is a city-state unlike any other. It’s a city that can serve up toothsome street foods, as well as vending machines for luxury cars. More than that, the global financial center has a thriving multicultural population and an attractive tropical climate. Even more, Singapore is an affluent area that draws influence from Malaysia, China, and India, and it radiants with an intimate vibrancy that make it one the world’s most popular travel destinations.
A large part of the city-state’s allure is the entertainment and diverse culture. The museums, theaters, restaurants, events and holidays stand out as they honor the history, population, and the heritage. Read on to learn the names of the most exciting cultural activities:
i Light Marina Bay – The foremost sustainable light art festival in Asia, i Light Marina, is held in the Marina Bay district of Singapore. The festival showcases 20 art installations, which illuminate the waterfront, as well as curated zones and an incredible line-up of activities.
Hari Raya Light-Up – Hari Raya Light-Up features large Malay heritage icons and other larger-than-life light displays. Held at the Geylang Serai, and the centerpiece incorporates a kampung, “as if welcoming visitors to a traditional Malay home of yesteryear.” More than 900,000 LED lights span Sims Avenue and Changi Road. They also decorate overhead bridges, erect a temporary exhibition, and create a structure that mimics the weave of a ketupat, and educates the public about the history of Hari Raya and of the Geylang Serai area.
Thaipusam Festival –The Thaipusam Festival is a religious festival that attracts thousands of Hindu devotees, and it’s observed on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (January/February). The festival is known for its colorful procession and compelling rituals. The event is a national holiday in many countries like Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, and Fiji.
Chingay Parade — The Chingay Parade is “a raucous display of Singapore’s multicultural heritage” and an annual street parade that’s celebrated in Singapore and Malaysia. The festival celebrates the birthdays of Chinese deities as part of Chinese New Year festivities, which is meant to ward off evil spirits. Originating in China, the single event is a dazzles with spectacular floats, stilt walkers, and dancing dragons. The celebration offers an exploration of multicultural and multi-religious heritage.
River Hongbao — River Hongbao, an annual Lunar Chinese New Year, is an impressive display that draws in Chinese traditions and culture. The crowds can enjoy carnival games, an abundance of exotic delicacies, and lively street performances. The pyrotechnics are also incredible.
Christmas Wonderland — Christmas Wonderland, Singapore’s biggest Yuletide Fair, is an ethereal event held at the Gardens by the Bay. Some of the fair’s highlight includes a festive market, the ice palace, the Hi-5 Funtastic House in The Meadow.
Dragon Boat Festival — Also known as The Tuen Ng or Duanwu Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival is a colorful celebration that tells the story of an incorruptible minister of state during the Warring States era of China, Qu Yuan. According to legend, due to political intrigue and despair, he threw himself into a river, ending his life. A fish devoured his body, while onlooker attempted to stop the fish from beating their oars against the water and tossing cooked rice wrappers into the water. Today, festival goers enjoy glutinous rice dumplings and lively atmosphere.
Hari Raya Haji — The local holiday is also known as the Festival of Sacrifice. Muslim worshippers congregate in mosques wearing their finest clothing. Worshippers contribute livestock for slaughter for the important ritual, and prayers are also recited ahead of meals that are shared with friends and family.
Pongal — The four-day Tamil harvest festival honors the Sun God Surya. There is also a mass cooking competition, a light show, ethnic performances, and cultural souvenirs for enjoyment.
For more information about festivals and events taking place in Singapore, visit VisitSingapore.com to learn more!