Christmas in Singapore: Lights, Food, Music, and Festive Sharing
Christmas in Singapore is best summarized by 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. It is a time of great joy and enchanting merriment. There is also a plethora of festive events everywhere to enjoy.
1. Annual 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 a festive Christmas event to look forward to, for those visiting Singapore in December.
2. Other Christmas Light-ups, and Themed Festive Decorations in Singapore
In recent years, various Singaporean tourist attractions 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 garden dazzles children and adults alike with its mesmerizing Italian luminarie light sculptures displays.
Since 2017, many shopping malls opted for “co-branded” Christmas decorations too. Conceptualized around popular cartoon characters or merchandise brands, these decorations might not appeal to shoppers fond of more traditional yuletide motifs. However, they are certainly 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 also 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!
4. 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 each year, the sight of their volunteers ringing for donations into Christmas kettles announces the yuletide season as much as the various light-ups. The chimes are, of course, also a reminder that Christmas must never be for celebration and indulgence only. 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
5. The Most Important Festival for Singaporean Christians
Christmas is the most important celebration of the year for Christians. For those in Singapore, it 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 that week at least, Christ’s message of peace for mankind, peace within mankind, is prevalent throughout the area.
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