There is no doubt that Singapore has a calendar crammed with colourful ethnic festivals, vibrant international events, art and sports highlights and more. Singapore festivals offers great opportunities to observe local cultures at their most captivating and expressive moments.
Thaipusam falls in the Tamil month of Thai and is celebrated with a procession. On this special day, Hindu devotees seek forgiveness, fulfill vow or offer thanks to the deity Lord Murugan, a representative of virtue, youth and power to Hindus. The procession starts at the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangoon Road and ends in the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple in Tank Road. Some make their journey carrying a simple kavadi of a garlanded arch across their shoulders, while others bore an elaborate tower of peacock feathers, with spikes skewered on their bodies.
January to February
Lunar New Year
The annual Chinese Lunar New Year is a big event for any Chinese in the world and more so to the more than 70% Chinese population of Singapore. Besides commanding the longest public holiday (2 days as opposed to 1 for most) it also herald one of the noisiest and most elaborate celebration on the island. During this period, the streets of Chinatown come alive with many tiny fairy lights circling round the theme of dragons – the incoming zodiac sign. The traditional Bazaar is set up and the streets of Chinatown spill over with mouth-watering goodies and colorful seasonal flowers
Singapore River Hong Bao
This annual Lunar New Year extravaganza features a variety show with top regional and local artists performing. Complete with fireworks, merchant kiosks and hawker stalls.
(City Hall to Suntec city) Singapore's grandest street festival blends traditional favorites like stilt-walkers, lion dancers, and decorative floats with cultural performances from foreign countries.
March to April
Held over a two-week period, this annual affair showcase hot-off-the-runway collections by the fashion world's biggest names. City malls also line up a series of fashion-related promotions in this event designed to place Singapore on the international fashion circuit.
Singapore food Festival
This is an excellent occasion to savor delectable local, internationals and New Asia - Singapore cuisine whipped up in hawker centers and gourmet restaurants. The special events such as the Gourmet Safari are also major attractions.
Celebrated at all Buddhist temples, monks commemorate the Lord Buddha's entry into Nirvana by chanting holy sutras and releasing captive birds. Temple etiquette requires visitors to be dressed appropriately.
May to July
Great Singapore Sale
At a coordinated island this is a wide extravaganza. The Great Singapore Sale has many stores offering spectacular markdowns and special discounts.
Singapore Arts Festival
Don't miss this eclectic mix of dance, drama and music from around the world. Also keep an eye out for the fringe events held at venues all around Singapore.
Singapore Dragon Boat Festival
Colorful dragon boats from the region compete in this highly charged event. It is a great time to catch up with some cultural performances as well as taste tempting, mouth-watering food delights, such as the traditional rice dumpling. The Dragon Boat Festival honors an ancient Chinese poet and statesman, Qu Yuan. The races, a highlight of the festival, see participation from numerous international and local teams.
Arts in the park
Several times a month, musical and theatre performances are held in Singapore's beautifully landscaped parks. Enjoy music ranging from Chinese Orchestra to Percussion to Choir and exhilarating theatre performances.
Singapore Food Festival
Singapore sizzles with a platter of local and international cuisine during the month long feast.
National Day Celebrations
Join the country as she celebrates her 35 the National Day with pomp and pageantry. The annual National Day Parade on 9 august promises a fun-filled occasion complete with cultural dances and fireworks galore.
August to September
Festivals of the Hungry
The Taoists believe that the gates of hell are thrown open through the seventh month of the lunar year during which spirits are allowed to wander the earth. To appease them and keep them from causing mischief, offerings are burnt, and sumptuous banquets and Chinese operas are held.
WOMAD - World of Music, Arts and Dance
Experience an evening of exotic dance and music from all over the world at WOMAD Singapore '99. Stroll into the historic site of Fort Canning Park and you'll be mesmerized by a colorful display of vibrant yet soulful performances by top-notch international artistes.
A grand lantern display is the highlight of this traditional mid-autumn celebration. Particularly striking at night, the Chinese Garden becomes a fairyland of lights and colors. Entertainment is varied, including cultural shows, lion and dragon dances. Local food and night bazaars will be available for those who wish to bring home a piece of this memorable event.
Moon cake Festival
The Mild-autumn Festival, celebrated when the moon is at its fullest, is a time for Chinese of all ages to display their most colorful lanterns. Folklore tells of how the Chinese sent secret messages placed in moon cakes to help overthrows the tyrannical Yuan Dynasty in the 14th century. Since then, moon cakes have become a special delicacy for this season and are widely available in Chinatown.
October to November
Little India in Serangoon Road will be decorated with lights, garlands and colorful arches during Deepavali - the Hindu Festival of Lights which celebrates the triumph of good over evil.
Thimithi is an annual fire-walking ceremony held in honor of the Goddess Draupadi.
Singapore River Buskers'
Some of the best street performers from all over the world are back for the third year of this entertainment extravaganza. Let jugglers and mime artistes thrill you with their antics and street comedians tickle your funny bone.
November to January
Christmas light - up
The famous Orchard Road is transformed into a fairyland of lights to usher in Christmas and the New Year with one of the longest light-ups in the world.
December to January
Hari Raya Light
The Muslims observe daylight fasting during the month of Ramadan. The end of Ramadan is celebrated in grand fashion, as it is an important time to renew family ties. A 'pasar malam' (night market) springs up in Geylang Serai selling Malay delicacies, household goods, clothing and other festive items.
Qing Ming Festival
This is an "All Souls Day" when food and incense are offered to ancestors at temples and cemeteries by the Chinese.
Singapore River Fiesta
The Singapore River comes alive during this Fiesta. The event will feature a calendar of exciting activities all held at the nation's historic waterway.
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