Travel To Singapore – Taking Note of Major Public Holidays in Singapore
When traveling to Singapore it is wise to take note of the public holidays in Singapore, as during these public holidays there are often festive events being held. On top of the usual holidays in Singapore that are shared with most western nations, such as Christmas day, New Year’s day, Labour day and Good Friday, Singapore has many public holidays catered to the...
When traveling to Singapore it is wise to take note of the public holidays in Singapore, as during these public holidays there are often festive events being held. On top of the usual holidays in Singapore that are shared with most western nations, such as Christmas day, New Year’s day, Labour day and Good Friday, Singapore has many public holidays catered to the major ethnic groups that make up the country. Here are some of the major public holidays that are unique to Singapore to take note of.
Chinese New Year
This is considered the biggest time of the year for all the people with a Chinese background in Singapore. The Chinese New Year typically happens in late January or sometime in February, as this is dependent on the Chinese lunar calendar. During this time you may notice many of the local shops closed, but that being said there are numerous celebrations seen through the week such as dragon dances, and the very unique “lo hay” dinners or lunches (“lo hay” is where you have a specially prepared platter of raw vegetables, mixed with sweet and sour sauce, nuts, and raw salmon). Also during this time you must visit the Chinatown area as there would be special New Year’s lighting displays. In addition, the Chinatown area will be jam packed with people, all of whom are jostling for their celebratory supplies for Chinese New Year.
Vesak Day is the celebration of Buddha’s birthday. During this time you will see many of the Buddhist temples in Singapore hold special praying sessions, and other celebratory events. You can visit any of the major temples in Singapore for a great vegetarian lunch.
This is the main holiday for Singaporeans to celebrate their nation’s independence. It happens on August 9. There will be a huge parade near the Marina Bay area where you will see marches, performances, and an awesome military display. You will also see fighter jets ripping through the sky as a gesture to this special day. Also be sure to catch a glimpse of the combat helicopters flying near the Singapore city centre with a huge Singapore flag tailing behind!
Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji
Hari Raya is known in Malay as “celebration”. There are two separate public holidays that are special to Malays. The first of them is Hari Raya Puasa, in which it is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. During Ramadan all Muslims alike will need to practice fasting for an entire month. At the last day when Ramadan ends, there will be huge feasts prepared.
The second of the Hari Raya holidays is Hari Raya Haji, or the "pilgrimage festival". This day marks the end of a Muslim's pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. During this time as well, you will see huge festivities from Malays to celebrate this very special Muslim festival.
Deepavali is known as the festival of lights. If you visit Singapore’s Little India during this time, you will see special lighting displays that commemorate this special Hindu festival. Drop by at any Hindu temple there and you will see special candles lit to signify that good had triumphed over evil. This is one of the most important holidays for Indians in Singapore.
By taking note of any of the above holidays that are uniquely found in Singapore, you will be able to catch special festivities that are planned during these times. Therefore this will provide a better glimpse of the diversity that Singapore has to offer.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alec Chan is a travel writer, intrepid traveler, and food enthusiast, who is very passionate about traveling.
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