Singapore usually conjures images of excellent shopping malls, luxury hotels, and fine-dining restaurants. However, quite a few people may not be aware that every year, this tourist destination hosts spectacular festivals which add an extra zing to the place.
Read on to know about five such festivals.
Chinese New Year
Also known as the ‘Lunar New Year’, the Chinese New Year is celebrated for a period of 15 days during January and February. Families enjoy extensive meals together the night before the commemoration begins. Its specialty is the Yu Sheng or raw fish in an attractive layer of salad. This fish represents a prosperous life. Tourists must visit the highly-popular Chinatown. Colourful stalls sell products such as gold greeting cards and love-letter cookies. There is an aroma of incense and the Chinese make offerings to their Gods at small altars.
Thaipusam is a thanksgiving fiesta that celebrates asceticism and control over one’s senses. It is a day for Hindu devotees to commemorate the fulfilment of their vows. In the Garden City, many people walk a few kilometres from the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple to the Sri Thendayuthapani Temple. Devotees carry kavadi (burden offering) and supporters of the kavadi-bearer gather around him, singing prayers, clapping hands and shouting their encouragement along the way. This unique ceremony lasts for an entire day.
Singapore Food Festival
The Singapore Food Festival is organised by the Singapore Tourism Board. This annual fiesta is held from the end of June to the end of July. It consists of weekly core events, culinary workshops and nail-biting competitions. In 2015, the festival themed, ‘A Fresh Taste of Tradition’ showcased both traditional favourites and modern spins on Singaporean classics. This year, the on-going fiesta is themed ‘Savour the Past, Taste the Future’. Foodies should not miss the Singapore Food Festival!
The Lantern Festival is simply magnificent! It is held on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. On this particular night, children illuminate the brightly-coloured lanterns in the form of fishes, squirrels or butterflies. Countless lamps beautify the Jurong Gardens as well. A number of stalls in Chinatown dish out moon cakes and other tasty morsels. There is not one, but many legends associated with the Lantern Festival.
Singapore Arts Festival
Organised by the National Arts Council, the Singapore Arts Festival is an annual celebration that integrates theatre, dance, music and visual arts in a grand manner for the spectators. It is held in the month of May and June. Many museums and shopping malls turn into art galleries of sorts displaying some of the best pieces of art. Creativity is at its peak during this period.