With a rich diversity of cultures, Singapore’s calendar of festivals and events is just one more reason to visit this vibrant city. From the world-famous Chinese New Year celebrations to the iconic Singapore Grand Prix, there is no shortage of fun experiences to be had in this Southeast Asian destination.
New Year’s Day
1st of January
New Year’s Day is a public holiday in Singapore. There are no particular New Year's Day traditions, but many people choose to enjoy a leisurely day with friends or family as they recover from the previous night’s festivities.
Singapore Art Week
Sometime between Eary - Mid January
Singapore Art Week brings together the best of both local and international artists. It features a wide range of activities, such as exhibitions, performances, workshops, and talks, all showcasing the best of the art world. It is a great platform for artists, curators, collectors, and art lovers to network and discover new art, and experience the vibrant culture of Singapore's art community.
Usually on the 14th or 15th of January - based on the Tamil calendar
Pongal, also known as Makar Sankranti, is a traditional Indian festival that marks the start of the harvest season. People offer prayers to the Sun God and decorate their homes with flowers and lights. Little India is especially vibrant during this time, with decorations, traditional music, and people wearing traditional attire as they partake in the festivities.
Sometime between Late January - Early February - based on the Tamil Calendar
Thaipusam is an annual Hindu festival where devotees make their way to temples across the island to pay their respects to the Hindu god of war by carrying kavadis (elaborately decorated structures) and offering prayers. The festival is celebrated with great fanfare as devotees take part in a variety of rituals, such as piercing their bodies with hooks and skewers, as a way of expressing their faith and devotion to their god. It is certainly an interesting experience that’s not to be missed!
Chinese New Year
Sometime between Mid-January to Mid-February - based on the Chinese Lunar calendar
Chinese New Year is one of the biggest celebrations of the year in Singapore. During this time, people enjoy days of festivities and exchange of red packets and well-wishes. Streets and homes are decked with lights and decorations, and there are a host of activities such as lion and dragon dances, traditional music performances, and stalls selling traditional snacks like pineapple tarts.
Chinatown Street Light-up
One of the most iconic events during Chinese New Year in Singapore is the Chinatown Street Light-up. The streets are transformed into a dazzling display of red and gold decorations, as thousands of lanterns and lights are hung up along the streets.
River Hongbao is another popular event held in Singapore during the Chinese New Year. There are an array of activities, such as live performances and carnival games. Visitors can also explore the many stalls selling traditional snacks and souvenirs, or take part in some of the fun interactive activities.
Chingay is an annual street parade during the Lunar New Year. It is the largest street parade in Singapore and is known for its vibrant costumes and variety of multicultural performances. It is a great way to experience the diverse culture and vivacious energy of Singapore.
Usually sometime in March
The Boutiques Fair is a popular, twice-yearly shopping event that showcases small, local vendors with a focus on design-led merchandise. It’s not only a great place to find some unique and beautifully crafted items but there are also various other activities such as seminars, food tastings, and workshops.
First Sunday on or after March 21st
Good Friday is a public holiday in Singapore, and many churches observe the day with special services. Similar services also happen on Easter Sunday. Additionally, there are a wide variety of activities for all ages, from egg hunts and egg decorating to special holiday meals and family-friendly entertainment.
Ching Ming Festival
Early April - based on the lunisolar calendar
The Ching Ming, or Qingming, Festival is a Chinese tradition and a time for people to honor their ancestors and remember their loved ones who have passed away. As part of the traditions, people visit the graves of their ancestors and pay their respects by offering food and burning incense and joss paper.
Hari Raya Puasa
Usually sometime in April, sometimes in early May - based on the Hijrah calendar
Hari Raya Puasa, or Hari Raya Aidilfitri, is one of the most important festivals in the Muslim calendar. On this day, Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan, a month-long period of fasting and prayer. There are many traditional activities associated with this festival, such as visiting family and friends, having a big feast, and wearing traditional clothing. During this time, the streets of Geylang Serai come alive with festival decorations, food vendors, and various other activities.
1st of May
Labour Day is a public holiday in Singapore that marks the achievements of the labor movement. Many people take the opportunity to enjoy a day off, and people will usually gather with friends and family for a day of rest and relaxation.
The day of the full moon in May
Vesak Day is an important day for Buddhists, as it is a day to honor the birth, enlightenment, and passing of Buddha. On this day, Buddhists visit temples to offer prayers and pay respects, and devotees may participate in a range of activities such as meditation and chanting. In Singapore, the various Buddhist temples hold special celebrations and prayers to mark the day.
Dragon Boat Festival
Usually in June - based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar
From boat races to an accompaniment of other activities, the Dragon Boat Festival is one of the more lively experiences in Singapore. The races are the highlight of the day, with teams of rowers paddling in unison to the beat of the drums, and the boats themselves decorated with vibrant colors. The atmosphere is full of energy, and it is a great opportunity to experience some traditional culture and partake in the festive atmosphere. For the full experience, be sure to try a glutinous rice dumpling while you’re there!
Yummy Food Expo Singapore
The Yummy Food Expo Singapore brings together the best of the food and beverage industry. From traditional local dishes to the latest food trends and innovative products, the expo is a great platform for food lovers to discover new food and beverage products and taste the best of what Singapore has to offer. There are also a variety of activities such as cooking demonstrations, workshops, and seminars, and many stalls offering delicious food and drinks. It’s definitely an event not to be missed!
Singapore Food Festival
Usually Mid - Late July
Singapore Food Festival celebrates Singapore's vibrant and diverse culinary heritage. Held every year since 1994, this festival provides a unique opportunity to experience the delicious variety of local cuisine that has been shaped by a multitude of cultures over the centuries. From hawker stalls to fine-dining restaurants, this festival offers everyone a chance to indulge in the local flavors.
9th of August
National Day celebrates Singapore's independence from Malaysia in 1965. The day is marked with a flurry of activities, such as the National Day Parade, fireworks, and other events. The military displays in Marina Bay are often quite a spectacle with fighter jets soaring in the sky overhead and the Singapore Armed Forces Parachute Team, the Red Lions, landing on The Float after parachuting down. People usually wear red and white to show their patriotism on this day.
Hungry Ghost Festival
Usually mid-August - based on the Chinese Lunar calendar
The Hungry Ghost Festival is like the Chinese equivalent of Halloween. It is believed that during this month, the gates of hell are opened to allow hungry ghosts to roam the earth in search of food and entertainment. To appease these spirits, people often offer food and burn joss paper and incense.
Hari Raya Haji
Varies greatly, often in August or September - based on the Muslim calendar
Hari Raya Haji, or the Festival of Sacrifice, is a significant event significance, and one that is held in high regard amongst the Muslim community. The day commemorates the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his beloved son. During this day sheep, lambs, goats, and cows are sacrificed and their meat is then distributed between the worshipers and those in need. On top of that, it also marks the end of the annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, with families coming together to celebrate and share meals.
Usually late September
The Mid-Autumn Festival is a traditional Chinese holiday that celebrates the season of harvest. During this festival, families and friends come together to enjoy a variety of traditional activities, such as eating mooncakes, which are a type of pastry that is made with a lotus seed paste filling and sometimes filled with other sweet ingredients, such as nuts and fruit.
Singapore Grand Prix
Sometime between mid-September - early October
The Singapore Grand Prix is one of the most highly-anticipated events on the Formula 1 World Championship calendar and draws crowds from across the globe. With its unique night-time setting, the Singapore Grand Prix offers an unforgettable racing experience. The street circuit is lined with lights, and the grandstands illuminated by the night sky create an atmosphere like no other. Not only does the event provide an adrenaline rush from the racing action, but it also brings in some of the biggest names in international music to perform at the event, adding to the electrifying atmosphere. It truly is an all-around thrilling and unforgettable event.
The Great Singapore Sale
Likely Mid-September to Mid-October
The Great Singapore Sale is an annual shopping extravaganza that takes place across the island. It is one of the biggest shopping events in Singapore, and shoppers can enjoy discounts of up to 80% off on a wide range of products. It’s a great time to find some fantastic deals on clothing, electronics, and other items.
Usually in late October or early November - based on the Hindu calendar
Deepavali, or Diwali, is a Hindu festival of lights that marks the triumph of good over evil. It’s a great time to be in Singapore while the country is illuminated with the glittering lights of the festival. Houses and streets are adorned with lights, decorations, and the symbol of Deepavali, oil lanterns, casting a golden glow throughout the country. Not surprisingly, Little India is especially vibrant during this time of the year, with many cultural performances, live music, and the opportunity for a beautiful henna tattoo.
A week before Deepavali for the fire walking
The Theemithi Festival is an event that takes place over two months, culminating in the mesmerizing tradition of fire walking. Participants of this festival take part in an extraordinary ritual, where they demonstrate their devotion by walking on top of burning hot coals. It is a popular event among the devoted and the curious alike.
Christmas On A Great Street Singapore
Usually starts mid-November
The Christmas On A Great Street Singapore event is an incredible way to experience the joy and magic of the holiday season in Singapore. Every year, the event takes place along the famous Orchard Road, with decorations, lights, and special activities and performances. It's an incredible sight to see, with brightly lit Christmas trees, sparkling lights, and cheerful decorations lining the streets.
Christmas Wonderland in Singapore
Usually starts in early December
Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay has become one of the city's most popular events over the years. With its stunning light displays and festive music, it is the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit in Singapore. When the sun sets, the whole area is illuminated and the Super Trees twinkle in unison to Christmas carols. There are also lots of other activities to partake in, making it a fun way to celebrate the festive season.
The Singapore Marathon is an event that attracts many runners from all over the world, from professional athletes to amateur enthusiasts. The marathon course runs through the heart of the city, with landmarks, parks, and other attractions providing a memorable backdrop for the event.
25th of December
Christmas is a popular holiday in Singapore and is celebrated in many different ways. Many people will attend church services and exchange gifts with family and friends. There is a range of activities leading up to the day, particularly in the Downtown area, such as Christmas markets, caroling, light-up events, and various other festive activities.
New Year’s Eve
31st of December
New Year's Eve is an exciting time of the year in Singapore. Fireworks and light-up events are usually held at iconic locations such as Marina Bay and Orchard Road, creating a spectacular display of light and color that can be seen far and wide. This futuristic city is even known to have drone displays with hundreds of drones all in formation, putting on a spectacular show. There are many parties and events organized around the city, giving everyone plenty of options to make their New Year's celebration a memorable one. From nightclubs to themed parties, the choices are endless to ring in the New Year no matter your style!
Have we missed any events you think are worth mentioning? If so, let us know!