KL Yong earned a bachelor's degree in communication studies in 1999. His interests include history, traveling, and mythology.
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. Without fail, it is a time of great joy and enchanting merriment. There is also a plethora of festive events to enjoy, and beautiful festive illuminations and light-ups everywhere.
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 of the Orchard Road shopping belt.
Setup usually begins in late October, and by the evening of the official lighting ceremony, 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 celebration event but also keenly anticipated by Singaporeans celebrating the year-end.
In many ways, the light-up is a cherished Singaporean tradition too, and 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, 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 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. 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. Needless to say, the same shops also sell a wide variety of festive decorations to accompany meals with. 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 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.
The Salvation Army Christmas Street Performance in December 2018
Festive 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 naturally 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.
2017 Christmas Fireworks at Universal Studios Singapore
May Yuletide Blessings Be Upon You This Season. Merry Christmas!
© 2016 Yong Kuan Leong
Yong Kuan Leong (author) from Singapore 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!