Christmas in Singapore: Lights, Food, Music, and Festive Sharing

Updated on December 10, 2018
CYong74 profile image

Yong earned a bachelor's degree in communication studies in 1999. His interests include history, traveling, mythology, and video gaming.

A look at how Christmas is celebrated in tropical Singapore.
A look at how Christmas is celebrated in tropical Singapore.

Christmas in Singapore is best summarized by four words. Lights, food, music, and sharing. Each year-end, Christians and Non-Christians alike come together in this multi-racial society to celebrate the final holiday of the year. It is a time of great joy and enchanting merriment. The island state is also full of festive Christmas events to enjoy.

Orchard Road Christmas Light-up

For over thirty years, the harbinger of Christmas in Singapore has been the annual festive street light-up in the Orchard Road shopping belt. Setup usually begins in late October, and by the evening of the official lighting ceremony, even the interiors of all hotels and malls in the area would be full of glittering decorations. With the Orchard Road festive light-up nowadays including more districts than ever, it is not only a major tourism event but also keenly anticipated by Singaporeans celebrating the year-end. It is definitely a Singapore tradition and festive Christmas event to look forward to, for those visiting Singapore in December.

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The Disney-themed gateway for Orchard Road Christmas Light-up 2018. 2018 is the first time the light-up is co-branded.Up to 2017, there was an annual competition for the best decorated mall. The Centrepoint is famous for its many elaborate designs during this competition.The Ion Orchard Express during Christmas 2017, where shoppers can hop on for a festive ride. One that's complete with animations of European countryside scenery.Tanglin Mall, at the start of the Orchard Road shopping stretch, is famous locally for its elaborate facade displays and man-made snow-falls.Naturally, Christmas decorations are on sale everywhere.Some malls also get very experimental with their Christmas decorations. The Orchard Gateway mall is renowned for this.Orchard Road Christmas Light-up 2015
The Disney-themed gateway for Orchard Road Christmas Light-up 2018. 2018 is the first time the light-up is co-branded.
The Disney-themed gateway for Orchard Road Christmas Light-up 2018. 2018 is the first time the light-up is co-branded.
Up to 2017, there was an annual competition for the best decorated mall. The Centrepoint is famous for its many elaborate designs during this competition.
Up to 2017, there was an annual competition for the best decorated mall. The Centrepoint is famous for its many elaborate designs during this competition.
The Ion Orchard Express during Christmas 2017, where shoppers can hop on for a festive ride. One that's complete with animations of European countryside scenery.
The Ion Orchard Express during Christmas 2017, where shoppers can hop on for a festive ride. One that's complete with animations of European countryside scenery.
Tanglin Mall, at the start of the Orchard Road shopping stretch, is famous locally for its elaborate facade displays and man-made snow-falls.
Tanglin Mall, at the start of the Orchard Road shopping stretch, is famous locally for its elaborate facade displays and man-made snow-falls.
Naturally, Christmas decorations are on sale everywhere.
Naturally, Christmas decorations are on sale everywhere.
Some malls also get very experimental with their Christmas decorations. The Orchard Gateway mall is renowned for this.
Some malls also get very experimental with their Christmas decorations. The Orchard Gateway mall is renowned for this.
Orchard Road Christmas Light-up 2015
Orchard Road Christmas Light-up 2015

Other Christmas Light-ups in Singapore

In recent years, various Singaporean tourist attractions also started their own festive light-ups to celebrate Christmas in Singapore. The wonderland displays at Gardens by the Bay is an example, and every year-end, the expansive garden dazzles children and adults alike with its mesmerizing Italian luminarie light sculptures displays.

In 2016, the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO site, joined the trend and hosted the Trees of the World light-up. For the first time ever, the sprawling tropical park was opened late into the evening. Visitors and photography enthusiasts were able to enjoy fairy lights decked trees while strolling in the cool crisp air of evening.

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Singapore's world famous Gardens by the Way hosts an elaborate Christmas celebration each year. The centerpiece of this celebration is always an immense Italian luminarie."Snow" event at Gardens by the Bay. Artificial snow shows are very popular during tropical Christmas in Singapore.A poinsettia-themed flower display within the Flower Dome of Gardens by the Bay in 2017.Universal Studios Singapore is, of course, lavishly decked with festive motifs throughout December.Singapore Changi Airport is nowadays also very popular locally for its elaborate Christmas set pieces. This is the 2017 Sanrio Wonderland setup.A dazzling light tunnel at City Square Mall, located within the Little India district.A mini carnival for kids at AMK Hub, a residential shopping mall.
Singapore's world famous Gardens by the Way hosts an elaborate Christmas celebration each year. The centerpiece of this celebration is always an immense Italian luminarie.
Singapore's world famous Gardens by the Way hosts an elaborate Christmas celebration each year. The centerpiece of this celebration is always an immense Italian luminarie.
"Snow" event at Gardens by the Bay. Artificial snow shows are very popular during tropical Christmas in Singapore.
"Snow" event at Gardens by the Bay. Artificial snow shows are very popular during tropical Christmas in Singapore.
A poinsettia-themed flower display within the Flower Dome of Gardens by the Bay in 2017.
A poinsettia-themed flower display within the Flower Dome of Gardens by the Bay in 2017.
Universal Studios Singapore is, of course, lavishly decked with festive motifs throughout December.
Universal Studios Singapore is, of course, lavishly decked with festive motifs throughout December. | Source
Singapore Changi Airport is nowadays also very popular locally for its elaborate Christmas set pieces. This is the 2017 Sanrio Wonderland setup.
Singapore Changi Airport is nowadays also very popular locally for its elaborate Christmas set pieces. This is the 2017 Sanrio Wonderland setup.
A dazzling light tunnel at City Square Mall, located within the Little India district.
A dazzling light tunnel at City Square Mall, located within the Little India district.
A mini carnival for kids at AMK Hub, a residential shopping mall.
A mini carnival for kids at AMK Hub, a residential shopping mall.

Christmas Food in Singapore

Christmas in Singapore is big business for the hospitality and F&B industries, and locally, it is considered a “must” for hotels to offer year-end festive set-meals. Such meals are popular not only with individuals but also companies organizing year-end dinners. For those who prefer more homely meals, leading supermarkets retail a dazzling array of traditional dishes for dining at home. Needless to say, the same shops also sell a wide variety of festive decorations to accompany meals. It’s that easy to have a winter wonderland within one’s home in the tropics!

Christmas Buffets are somewhat of a tradition, and obsession, with Singaporeans. Numerous articles written about them yearly.
Christmas Buffets are somewhat of a tradition, and obsession, with Singaporeans. Numerous articles written about them yearly. | Source
A wide variety of choices for all private gourmet feasts.
A wide variety of choices for all private gourmet feasts.

Christmas Music and Sharing!

What is Christmas without music? The month of December sees numerous street performances and Christmas events across Singapore, many of which are organised by churches or charity organizations. One such charity organization is The Salvation Army of Singapore, and the sight of their volunteers ringing for donations into Christmas kettles announces the yuletide season in Singapore as much as the various light-ups. The chimes are, of course, also a reminder that Christmas must never just be for celebration and indulgence. It is also a time to care for the needy.

The Salvation Army Christmas Street Performance in December 2018

Flute Performance at Ngee Ann City Civil Plaza

The Most Important Festival for Singaporean Christians

Christmas is the most important celebration of the year for Christians. For those in Singapore, this is also an opportunity for the faithful to share Christ’s message of salvation. On the week nearest to Christmas, churches set up displays at the Orchard Road stretch and host numerous performances. What’s remarkable is that these booths and shows are popular with visitors of all faiths and races. For at least that week, Christ’s message of peace for mankind, peace within mankind, is prevalent throughout the area.

Birth of Christ display.
Birth of Christ display.

Tamil Carolling during Celebrate Christmas in Singapore 2016

May Yuletide Blessings Be Upon You This Season. Merry Christmas!

2017 Christmas Fireworks at Universal Studios Singapore

Questions & Answers

    © 2016 Kuan Leong Yong

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      • CYong74 profile imageAUTHOR

        Kuan Leong Yong 

        2 years ago from Singapore

        Thanks Kyriaki. Also wishing your family and yourself a splendid Christmas.

      • Kyriaki Chatzi profile image

        Kyriaki Chatzi 

        2 years ago

        It seems lovely! I'd love to experience all this once in my life! Have fun between the lights and everything!

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