Exploring the Beauty and Traditional Festivals of Singapore

The deeply diverse cultural background of Singapore delivers an eclectic mix of festivities. Here are only a few of these. The more you investigate about this colorful country, the more you’ll be rewarded with new and exciting experiences to have.

There are a lot of festivals that take place year round in Singapore. It’s blend of Chinese, Malay, Indian, Australian, Dutch, Portuguese and even Japanese has made this culture an example of a melting pot of traditions. It is, therefore no wonder that our first stop in this traditional festivities tour is: Chinese New Year!

 

Xi Fa Cai

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Gong Xi Fa Cai is celebrated in according to the lunar calendar. It is also called the Spring Festival and begins in the first day of the lunar calendar and ends 15 days later. Traditionally this is a time of renewal and people wear new clothes. They also clean their houses to sweep away bad luck and bring in only positive energy. Children receive money in red envelops called hong bao and families get together to enjoy big meals.

From any of the cheap hotels in Singapore or from the streets, especially in the china town, you will be able to see street performances and shop from a variety of street vendors. The main attractions of these festivities are the dragon and lion dancers. The main event held on this 15 days is the Chingay parade which has an atmosphere very similar to carnival with floats, magicians and street dancers. In recent years it has become so big that it has got to be transferred to the pit used for F1 racing.

 

 Vesak Day

Vesak Day

Next in the list of things to do in Singapore is Vesak Day, which celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha.  It is celebrated in the month of May but the day changes according to the Chinese lunar calendar. During this festival the statues of the Buddha are illuminated and a candle lit procession is held on the streets of the city. A lot of people would light incense sticks and pray for enlightenment. Buddhist believe that it is important to do good deeds on Vesak Day, so some students hold big blood drives to help others.

The Hungry Ghost festival

The Hungry Ghost festival

Another Chinese influenced festival is called The Hungry Ghost festival. For Chinese that believe in the Taoist traditions August is the month where the “Gates of Hell” are open and all kinds of spirits are free to roam the earth. Therefore in this month they appease these spirits by having cultural festivals and religious ceremonies at temples. You’ll see a lot of people burning paper money on the street during this month.

 

Deepavali

Deepavali

The last festival we are going to describe is the festival of Deepavali. This is a festival observed by the Hindu living in Singapore. So, everywhere Hindu live in the country there is a festivity going on for this festival. Deepavali is held to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness. Therefore Hindus decorate their homes with flower arrangements and paintings. The streets become alive with color and smell as incense and other aromatic substances are brought out. During this festival that traditionally last for 5 days, families exchange gifts. The families also traditionally engage in prayer to the Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity.

This is only a small collection of festivities that make Singapore tourism be very contemplating. There are others which include traditional Christian celebrations like good Friday, Christmas and western new year. There are so many things to see, come and take a look for yourself.

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