Ced earned a bachelor's degree in communication studies in 1999. His interests include history, traveling, and mythology.
Christmas in Singapore
Christmas in Singapore can be summarized in four words. Lights, food, music, and sharing.
Every year-end, Christians and non-Christians alike come together in this multi-racial country to celebrate the final religious holiday of the year. Without fail, it is a time of great joy and enchanting merriment, with plentiful dazzling decorations everywhere.
There is also a plethora of festive events to enjoy. With beautiful illuminations and light-ups throughout the downtown area, a slice of winter wonderland in the tropics is available at every other corner.
1. Annual Orchard Road Christmas Light-up
Since the late 1980s, the harbinger of Christmas in Singapore has been the annual festive street light-up of the Orchard Road shopping belt.
Setup typically begins in October, and by the evening of the official lighting ceremony in mid-November, the entire road and 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, the illumination is not only a major event on the Singaporean festive calendar but also keenly anticipated by all celebrating the year-end.
In many ways, it could be considered a cherished Singaporean tradition too. In the case of tourists, this is the key festive yuletide event to look forward to for those visiting the city-state in December.
2. Other Christmas Light-ups and Festive Decorations in Singapore
In recent years, several Singaporean attractions have also started their own festive light-ups to celebrate Christmas. The wonderland displays at Gardens by the Bay is an example, and every year-end, the expansive park dazzles children and adults alike with its mesmerizing Italian luminaire light sculpture displays.
Since 2017, many shopping malls have also opted for “co-branded” Christmas decorations. Conceptualized around popular cartoon characters or merchandise brands, these decorations might not appeal to shoppers fond of more traditional motifs. However, they are always very popular with children and young families.
3. Christmas Food in Singapore
Christmas in Singapore is big business for the hospitality and F&B industries. Locally, it is considered a “must” for hotels to offer year-end festive set meals too. Such meals are popular not only with individuals but also companies organizing year-end dinners.
And for those who prefer more homely meals, leading supermarkets retail a dazzling array of traditional dishes for dining at home, while many restaurants offer takeaway sets. Similarly, department stores also sell a wide variety of Christmas ornaments to accompany meals. It’s that easy to have a winter wonderland within one’s home in the tropics!
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4. Christmas Music and Sharing!
What is Christmas without music?
The month of December sees numerous street performances and shows across Singapore, many of which are organized by churches or charity organizations. One such charity organization is The Salvation Army of Singapore, and each year, the sight of their volunteers ringing for donations into red kettles announces the yuletide season as much as the various light-ups.
Needless to say, The Salvation Army’s chimes are also a reminder that the Birth of Christ must never be for celebration and indulgence only. It is also a time to care for the needy.
5. The Most Important Festival for Singaporean Christians
Christmas is the most important celebration of the year for Christians. The same goes for Singaporean Christians, no matter their ethnicity.
Throughout December, Singaporean churches, large and small, will host celebratory or evangelical events. Come midnight on Christmas Eve, churches will be full of worshippers attending mass too.
And on the week nearest to Christmas, church organizations will set up displays at the Orchard Road stretch as well as host numerous performances, all for the purpose of sharing the story of Christ’s birth. What’s remarkable is that these booths and shows are always popular with visitors of all faiths and races.
For that week at least, under the December sky, Christ’s message of peace for mankind, peace within mankind, is prevalent throughout the country.
May Yuletide Blessings Be Upon You This Season. Merry Christmas!
© 2016 Ced Yong
Ced Yong (author) from Asia on December 21, 2016:
Thanks Kyriaki. Also wishing your family and yourself a splendid Christmas.
Kyriaki Chatzi on December 21, 2016:
It seems lovely! I'd love to experience all this once in my life! Have fun between the lights and everything!