Top 10 Festivals in Singapore

  

Lantern Festival

From dragon boat racing, spectacular military displays and mesmerizing bazaars, there is always a celebration taking place somewhere in Singapore.

Chinese New Year
You can't miss the two-week-long party that takes over Chinatown in Jan or Feb. With its exuberant mix of vibrant colors, sounds and tastes as well as age-old traditions, Singapore's Chinese New Year is one of the biggest events that take place on the island. During this celebration, temples open their doors, stalls sell raw fish salad and decorations glow under lanterns of the night bazaar. The floats and performances at the Chingay parade in Marina Bay are a feast for the eye.
Over weeks of celebration, cheerful Singaporeans get together to exchange mandarin oranges for good luck and feast on traditional dishes. Whether you visit seasonal markets, join the colorful processions or admire the riotous lion dances, there are endless opportunities to soak in the festive mood throughout the island.
Thaipusan Hindu festival of faith
As Singapore is a truly multicultural society, festivals also reflect this reality and this is reflected in Thaipusan, which takes place in February. Each year Singapore's traffic comes to a halt to make way for this large and colorful procession that brings Hindu devotees together to seek blessings, fulfill vows and offer thanks.
The festival honors Lord Subramaniam (also known as Lord Murugan), who is worshipped for being the destroyer of evil, and for representing virtue, youth and power. The chariot procession (with the Lord Murugan statue) sets out from Sri Thendayuthapani Temple at Tank Road to Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple at Keong Siak Road.
Over two days of procession - give or take - devotees carry milk and wooden ornate frames - kavadis - from temple to temple, some pierce their tongues with skewers and carry a kavadi decorated with flowers and peacock feathers over their shoulders. The faithful who carry the kavadis walk 4.5 kilometers, along with relatives and friends who chant hymns and prayers to support and encourage them. The procession is a demonstration of faith and “kavadi” means “sacrifice at every step” in Tamil.
You don't have to take part in the procession to enjoy the festival. This colorful and interesting procession is an attraction in itself. You can watch the spectacle anywhere between Sri Srinivasa Peruma temple at Serangoon Road and Sri Thendayuthapani Temple at Tank Road.
Hari Raya street bazaars
Every August and September during Hari Raya, street stalls offering mouthwatering Muslim food line the streets around the Sultan Mosque and Arab Street. If you fancy something sweet instead, head to the Malay neighborhood Gelang Serai, which sells rainbow-colored biscuits.
The Lantern Festival (photo)
Novelty and animal lanterns light up the autumn nights in the pagoda and bridges of Chinese Garden in Jurong. The festival, which takes place in Chinatown, features lion dances and moon cake pastries.
Traditionally a time to give thanks to the gods, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also the time of the year that the moon is at its brightest, which explains why lunar legends have always been attached to this celebration. One of the most outstanding legends is the one that tells the story of Chang Er, a merciless king's wife who saved her people from his tyrannical by pouring the elixir of immortality he had intended to drink. According to the legend, after that heroic act, she ascended to the moon, ever since the Chinese have worshipped her as a Moon Goddess.
When the sun goes down, the night comes alive as festival-goers sit in gardens lit by the soft glow of paper lanterns, sip tea, nibble on moon cakes, and even compose poetry in Tang Dynasty fashion.
Singapore Arts Festival
International dance performances, plays, music and art installations are some of the spectacles in store for those who attend Singapore Arts Festival. Not only local artists but mostly international acts take over the festival to display a great variety of contemporary and avant garde. In fact, approximately 70 percent of the events are put up by international artists. One of the most significant events in the regional arts scene, during the Singapore Arts Festival shopping centers, playing fields and museums transform into theater and gallery venues.
Since its opening in 1977, the festival aims at celebrating local arts from the diverse communities in Singapore. Over the last three decades, the festival has played a key role in transformation of the city's cultural landscape.

 

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