Singapore Guide > Singapore Festivals
Every year, the island city of Singapore organizes many cultural events and festivals in which a large number of people actively participate.
Chinese New Year
Since a large population residing in Singapore is Chinese, a big majority of Chinese celebrate the Chinese New Year, held at the beginning of the year. In Singapore, people get two-day public holidays on this occasion and each family involves in cleaning and decorating the homes to welcome the New Year. People visit to Chinatown to immerse in the spirit of the occasion as that place is colorfully decorated with New Year goodies and lights.
Chingay Parade of Dreams
After the ban of traditional firecrackers in 1972, the first procession of Chingay Parade was held in Singapore in 1973 to express communal unity. Once a total Chinese event with stilt walkers, mini opera, big-headed dolls and dragon dancers, the Chingay Parade has now become the grandest street parade in Asia. It showcases the rich and vibrant culture of Singapore.
Hungry Ghost Festival
This one-month long, Hungry Ghost Festival is held during the 7th lunar month and annually celebrated by the stakeholders in Chinatown. During this one month, souls are believed to be released from Purgatory to roam around the earth. To welcome the spirits, ritualistic food is prepared. Taoists monks chant religiously and burn incense throughout the month. A getai, dinner and auction of goods too are the parts of the celebration. Bidding to the auction goods is believed to bring prosperity, so some people do that also.
Also known as the Moon Cake festival, Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated to honour the patriot Shu Yuan Zhang. A procession is taken out on this day in which lanterns of all shapes and sizes are carried and people exchange moon-shaped pastries as gifts. The Chinese Garden in Singapore is the main venue to celebrate the occasion.
Like many Hindu communities in Malaysia, Southern India and Sri Lanka, Hindus in Singapore also celebrate Thaipusam. It commemorates the devotion of Idunban who was a devotee of Lord Subramaniam. A devotee carrying a kavadi in the name of fulfilling the vows is believed to have his wishes granted by the Almighty. Remain a strict vegetarian and observe austerities for a month to be a part of this festival.
Singapore Art Festival
The National Arts Council annually organizes the Singapore Art Festival which includes dance, music, theatre arts and many other visual arts. Beside the local artists and performers, more than 70% events are put up by the international artists during this one-month long festival.
Singapore Food Festival
Singaporeans are known for their taste for food. Every year in the month of July the city holds the Food Festival which highlights upon various food carnivals, workshops and food-oriented promotional programmes.