Part of the fun of living in a multicultural, multiethnic and multireligious society is to be able to experience and see a way of live different from yours. Singapore is one of those societies. Come check out the major festivals that happen throughout the year.
Anyway, unless a specific day is placed in the front, the actual days vary with the year.
- Tamil Hindu harvest festival in celebration of a successful harvest. Pongal stands for overflowing, this four day festival usually happens before Thaipusam and over the four days will see devotees pay gratitude to the gods and animals for their help in the harvest.
- Tamil Hindu festival in celebration of the Lord Murugan vanquishing the demon Soorapadman. Start at the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangon Road and end at the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple in Tank Road with the kavadi’s as devotees thank the lord Murugan for his protection and saving.
- Lunar New Year
- An ethnic Chinese celebration based on the Lunar Calender celebrating the coming of Spring and the departure of Winter. The festical is important for celebrating love and family as well as better fortune for the new year (the latter has been more emphasised in recent years). In Singapore, go to Chinatown to take in the sights and sounds (and here) others complete their shopping in the heartlands. Prepare for most places to be closed during the Lunar New Year (so take the chance to visit the Musuems and Nature Parks around the island instead). There are 15 days to this celebration and each day has a different meaning. Try the many tidbits with auspicious names behind them. The 9th Day of the lunar new year is the Birthday of the Jade Emperor a big celebration at the Giok Hong Tien temple at Havelock Road.
- Good Friday
- A Christian day of observance, commemorating the cruxifiction of Jesus. This is the friday before Easter.
- Easter Sunday
- A Christian day of celebration, commemorating the ressurection of Jesus. This is preceded by 40 days of Lent
- May Day
- Labour day is marked by protests all over the world. In Singapore, it is usually marked with parties, although that may be changing. Check out Hong Lim Park on May Day (warning foreigners are not allowed to be part of a protest).
- Vesak Day
- Buddhist observance of the birth day of the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama.
- Ramadan and Aidilfitri
- Muslim month-long observance of abstinence and fasting culminating in the celebration of Eid (known here as Aid-il fitr). The crowds tend to turn up at Geylang Serai for the night bazaars.
- Hungry Ghost Festival
- Taoist/Buddhist month-long festival commemorating deceased ancestors and other deceased spirits.
- 9 Aug, National Day
- The day Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965.
- Mid Autumn Festival
- Chinese and Vietnamese harvest festival, now a day focused of family togetherness.
- Hari Raya Haji
- One of the five pillars of islam. Pilgrims from all over the world make a journey to Mecca to perform the Haj.
- 31 Oct, Halloween
- A modern day rendition of All Hallow’s Evening, considered in Singapore to be the Western version of the Ghost festival.
- Hindu festival of lights, celebrating the triumphant return of Rama from exile and the slaying of the demon Narakasura. In Singapore, Little India gains even greater energy at this time.
- 16-24 Dec, Simbang Gabi sa Singapore
- Filipino Catholic devotional practice consisting of nine days of masses in honour of the Virgin Mary in anticipation of Christmas. Visit any of the 31 Catholic churches on the island to feast in the festivities.
- 25 Dec, Christmas
- Christian festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. Make a stop down to Orchard Road to check out the Christmas lights. There are twelve days of Christmas, which ends on 5 Jan every year.