Public Holiday in Singapore
With a mix of Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, Taoist and Hindu residents Singapore celebrates the religious holidays of several faiths as well as having national holidays which are associated with the country. Not all of the religious holidays are official public holidays in Singapore as that would be too much stain on the economy, so 10 of the most important religious and national days are official public holidays in Singapore. In addition to this if the public holiday is on a Sunday then the day after that is declared public holiday.
New Years Day – 1st January
As in most nations throughout the world the 1st day of the new Gregorian calendar year is a public holiday, the previous night, the 31st of December is usually celebrated with parties and public celebrations in places like Marina Bay and Clark Quay Riverside and the following day is usually spent relaxing.
Chinese New Year – 23-24 January (date varies slightly each year)
Chinatown and other main streets in the city are decorated with Chinese lanterns and red banners for the coming spring festival throughout January and February. The celebration usually lasts for about 2 weeks from the first day of the new Chinese year. People wear new clothes, have large meals and traditional music and dance can be seen in the streets.
Good Friday – 6 April (date varies slightly each year, generally the Friday before the first Sunday in April)
In Christian churches throughout the county special services are held for example you can attend services in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Victoria Street. Worshipers make a procession holding white candles accompanying a figure of Christ on the cross.
Labor Day – 1 May
Like in many other countries May the 1st is the day celebrating worker’s rights and the achievements of labor unions and worker’s social achievements. Employees enjoy a day off work and relaxing with their friends and family.
Vesak Day – 5 May (date varies each year, it is the 15th day of the 4th month of the Chinese calendar)
Celebrating the birth of Buddha, his wisdom and his entry into Nirvana are celebrated. On this day monks chant sutras, worshipers visit the temples and make offerings, donations are given to the poor, birds are freed from cages and there is a candlelit procession through the streets.
National Day – 9 August
In 1965 Singapore gained independence from Malaysia and this is celebrated proudly in the capital. There are flags along the streets, firework displays, the Kallang Roar celebrated at the stadium and an aerial display above Marina Bay as well as an annual National Day Parade.
Hari Raya Puasa – 19 August (date varies according to the Islamic calendar)
At the end of Ramadan Muslims celebrate with a large feast, people open their hearts and minds and often Muslims in Singapore do this by inviting non-Muslims to the feast.
Hari Raya Haji – 26 August (date varies according to Islamic calendar, 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja)
The Festival of Sacrifice remembers Abraham’s faith in God when asked to sacrifice his son (who was then replaced by a sheep). The day also marks pilgrims return from Mecca. Worshipers gather in mosques and pray and listen to scripture readings. Traditionally a sheep or other animal is slaughtered and cooked then distributed to the members of the community.
Deepavali – 13 November (date according to the Hindu calendar)
Row of Lights or Festival of Lights celebrates the triumph of good over evil specifically Lord Krishna’s victory over King Narakasura. People wear new clothes, eat sweets, hands are painted with henna in beautiful patterns and in Little India in Singapore the streets are brightly decorated.
Christmas Day – 25 December
As Christians the world over in Singapore Christmas trees are decorated and lit up with bright lights, gifts are exchanged and in churches there are joyful celebrations and religious services. Christmas celebrates the day that Jesus Christ was born.
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