The majority of
Singaporeans celebrate the major festivals associated with their
culture and respective religions.
Chinese New Year
In January or February, is welcomed in with dragon dances, parades
and much good cheer. Chinatown is lit up and there are fireworks
and night markets.
Food stalls are set up in the evening in the Arab Street
district, near the Sultan Mosque.
Hari Raya Puasa
In January or February, is marked by three days of joyful
celebrations. Vesak Day in April or May celebrates Buddha's birth,
enlightenment and death.
It is marked by various events, including the release of caged
birds to symbolize the setting free of captive souls.
Dragon Boat Festival
Held in May or June, commemorates the death of a Chinese saint who
drowned himself as a protest against government corruption. It is
celebrated with boat races across Marina Bay.
The Festival of the Hungry Ghosts
Is usually celebrated in September. This is when the souls of the
dead are released for feasting and entertainment on earth.
Chinese operas are performed for them and food is offered; the
ghosts eat the spirit of the food but thoughtfully leave the
substance for the mortal celebrants.
The festival of Thaipusam
Is one of the most dramatic Hindu festivals and is now banned in
India. Devotees honour Lord Subramaniam with acts of amazing
body-piercing masochism - definitely not for the squeamish.
In Singapore, devotees march in procession from the Sri Srinivasa
Perumal Temple on Serangoon Rd to the Chettiar Hindu Temple on
Tank Rd. The festival is based on the lunar calendar but will be
held in October for the next couple of years.
Festivals such as Deepavali, Singapore Food Festival in April, The
Great Singapore Sale from late May to early July, Singapore Arts
Festival in June, Singapore River Buskers' Festival all are
celebrated with fanciful street parades as well as enthralling
lion and dragon dances and cultural shows.
Starting from November until February each year, Singapore plunges
into a non-stop action with Celebrations Singapore.