Christmas in Singapore: Lights, Food, Music and Sharing
Christmas in Singapore is best summarised 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.
For over thirty years now, the harbinger of Christmas in Singapore has been the annual festive light-up in the Orchard Road shopping belt. Setup usually begins in late October, and by the evening of the official lighting ceremony, interiors of all hotels and malls in the area would also be full of glittering decorations. With the Orchard Road light-up now including more districts than ever, it is not only a major tourism event but also keenly anticipated by Singaporeans looking forward to the year-end. It is definitely an attraction to look forward to, for those visiting the city-state in December.
In recent years, other sightseeing destinations also started their own celebratory light-ups. The wonderland displays at Gardens by the Bay is now an annual affair, dazzling both children and adults alike with Italian luminarie light sculptures. In 2016, the Singapore Botanic Gardens, an UNESCO site, joined the trend and hosted the Trees of the World light-up. For the first time ever, the sprawling park was opened late into the evening. Visitors and photographers could enjoy fairy lights decked trees in the cool crisp air of night.
Christmas in Singapore is big business for the hospitality and F&B industries, and it is considered a “must” for hotels to offer year-end festive set-meals. These are popular not only with individuals, but also companies organising year-end dinners. For those who prefer more intimate gatherings, 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 go along with the meals. It’s that easy to have a winter wonderland within one’s home in the tropics!
Music and Sharing!
What is Christmas without music? The month of December sees numerous street performances across Singapore, many of which organised by churches or charity organisations. One such charity organisation is The Salvation Army of Singapore. The sight of their volunteers ringing for donations into their Christmas kettles announces the festive season as much as the various light-ups. It is also a reminder that Christmas must never be just for celebration and indulgence. It is also a time to remember the needy.
The Salvation Army Street Performance in December 2016
Christmas is the most important celebration of the year for Christians. For those in Singapore, this is also the 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.
Celebrate Christmas in Singapore Video Presentation
Tamil Carolling during Celebrate Christmas in Singapore 2016
Flute Performance at Ngee Ann City Civil Plaza
May yuletide blessings be upon you this season. Merry Christmas!
Christmas Fireworks at Universal Studios Singapore
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© 2016 Kuan Leong Yong