Singapore is jam packed with city wide celebrations and festivities throughout the year and whenever you plan to visit, you can be guaranteed plenty of thrills and spills, entertainment and culture by the bucket load.
A busy social calendar has major events every month comprising art, sport, contemporary entertainment, culture and exhibitions.
Singapore is renowned for its melting pot mix of cultures and religious festivities are diverse and numerous and enthusiastically embraced by all sections of the community.
This is one of the most vibrant and ritualistic festivals in the Hindu calendar. Devotees carry milk pots and wooden effigies on a long, hot three-mile walk to the elaborate Sri Thandayuthapani Temple, complete with a cacophony of loud music and drum beating.
Chinese New Year
This is the big one in Singapore. It incorporates a comprehensive timetable of events starting with the ceremonial ‘Light Up’ of colourful lanterns in Chinatown, Marina Bay and Orchard Road.
It includes the Huayi Festival of Chinese Arts, The Chingay Parade which celebrates traditional Chinese dance and the River Hong Bao Festival, a weeklong series of contemporary opera, dance and music.
Singapore International Film Festival
This film festival is one of the most prominent in Asia and showcases independent film, documentaries and animation from all over the region. There are workshops by professional film makers, lectures and special party events and screenings. In addition to the coveted Silver Screen Award, there are competitions for the best new Singapore film and for non Asian directors. It often attracts the occasional A-list Hollywood director.
Singapore Airlines International Cup
With over SGD$4 million in prize money this is one of Asia’s richest horse meetings and attracts top class riders from all over the world. It is a star studded festival of equestrianism with plenty of upper class socialising among wealthy expats and the Singapore elite.
World Book Fair
The SuntecCity Exhibition Centre attracts a mass of booksellers, publishers and readers to this annual celebration of the written word. There are readings by celebrated authors, book launches, creative writing workshops and film screenings.
The Marina Bay district turns itself into one mammoth beer tent as hundreds of brews from around the world are quaffed in a carnival atmosphere with German oompah bands and fairground rides.
Singapore Dragon Boat Festival
Come and view the spectacle of Dragon boat racing at Bedok Reservoir. This age old contest attracts professional crews of 24 men racing in beautifully adorned boats complete with noisy drummers, music, firecrackers and traditional Chinese dance.
Hari Raya Puasa
The end of the fasting month of Ramadan is marked with joyous celebrations, noise and music as the Muslim faithful take to the streets of the Malay disticts of Kampong Glam and Gelang Serai. Expect colourful parades of fervent drum beating, fireworks and of course a feast of Malay food!
A vibrant festival dedicated to young up and coming local artists in art, photography and music. It unearths new local talent with nightly concerts, battle of the bands competitions, exhibitions, workshops and a youth conference that every young wannabe can get involved in, Website: www.noisesingapore.com.
Singapore Arts Festival
This is the foremost celebration of arts in Southeast Asia and attracts international exponents in dance, music, photography and visual art as well as world-renown sculptors and painters.
It predominantly showcases traditional forms of arts but there are also some experimental performances and new media artists. It lasts for a whole month and can be seen at dozens of venues island-wide including public performance spaces.
National Day Parade
Singaporeans of all creeds celebrate Independence with a ticker tape parade through the centre of town with stunt shows by the Singapore Armed Forces, a 2,000 strong school choir ensemble and a massive firework and laser display.
Chinatown lights up again in October as families gather to enjoy moon cakes and make offering at temples. There is plenty of accompanying noise too as firecrackers, traditional martial arts and parading dragon dances fill the air.
Singapore Formula One Grand Prix
The world’s only F1 night race is the hottest ticket in town and features a long weekend of high octane thrills with plenty of glamour and action on and off the track. Attracting a rash of A list celebs and sports stars, there are exclusive parties, fashion shows and street entertainment galore. Book accommodation well in advance for this time of the year. Race day on the Sunday…more information and tickets.
The Hindu Festival of Lights is best experienced in Little India which takes on a fairytale aspect with exuberant street lighting, festive bazaars and ear splitting Bollywood music. Watch parades and eccentric acts of devotion by the faithful and shop for special Deepavali souvenirs and handicrafts.
Christmas in the tropics
You won’t get a white Christmas but it will be just as festive all the same with a grand switch on of twinkling illuminations in Orchard Road and lots of themed festive fun. Malls across the island offer great festive shopping promotions, Santa’s grottos and enchanting kids’ amusements and giveaways.
New Years Eve @ Siloso Beach
Say farewell to 2013 in hedonistic fine style at Siloso Beach on Sentosa Island. This is a 12 hour marathon of pumping party tunes by the ocean, cool refreshing cocktails and a full roster of big name DJs. Attracting a fair number of old school partygoers as well as younger revellers, there are plenty of shady chill out areas and an inviting foam pool to dive into.