Singapore, one of Asia’s most culturally diverse nations, recognises a number of holidays observed by inhabitants from various ethnic origins. When individuals of diverse colours and origins gather together to celebrate specific customs and festivals held on the city-state island, it’s a beautiful sight to behold.
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Another fascinating aspect of Singapore’s holiday celebrations is that the majority of them are extremely commercialised, as the city is teeming with successful local and global firms, so you can imagine how large some of these events may be.
List of Public Holidays for 2022
Aside from its numerous festivals and cultural events, Singapore also allows its residents to observe their various traditions and cultures.
In order to plan your getaway in the country, it is very helpful to check out the various public holidays that are observed in this country.
The following is a list of public holidays to be observed in Singapore in 2022:
January 1 (Saturday) – New Year’s Day
On New Year’s Eve, most people stay up late to watch the midnight ball drop. During this time, various areas in Singapore are filled with people who are looking forward to the New Year.
A variety of events are held in Central Square to create an atmosphere that is both exciting and memorable. There are music concerts, food competitions, and various other attractions.
As a part of the festivities surrounding the New Year, thousands of people buy large white spheres and write their hopes for a brighter future on them.
Each year, thousands of people from all around the world come to Singapore to wish for a better year. The Prime Minister even pens his own wishing sphere.
Food is always a part of Singapore’s festivities. On New Year’s Eve, many establishments hold extravagant brunches and afternoon tea.
In total, there are more than a dozen of events happening across the island to ring in the New Year. And as expected, there are also plenty of dining options in town to celebrate.
On the last day of December, many attractions will still be open. Whether you’re looking for something to do or want to catch up with friends, this is a great time to explore the city, especially at night.
If none of these appeals to you, consider staying at home and watching some great TV shows on Netflix, Disney+, HBO GO, and more. There are also tons of great places to eat and treat yourself.
February 1 (Tuesday) – Chinese New Year
On Chinese New Year, which is also known as the Spring Festival, many people in Singapore take part in various festivities. This annual event is celebrated with great fanfare and can last for a couple of days.
Chinese New Year is celebrated by various communities around the world. It has a history that goes back thousands of years.
It is believed that Emperor Huang Ti, after the death of his father, introduced the holiday in 2637 BC.
This time of year, Chinese New Year symbols include plum blossoms and the water narcissus. They are believed to be good luck.
The 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac are believed to have traits that a person born during that year would have.
Another tradition is to give money to children. This tradition involves sending money in red envelopes. It is believed that these gifts will bring good luck and happiness to the child.
As for the New Year, many people are busy preparing for festivities, such as buying gifts and cleaning their homes. It is believed that this activity will help them receive good fortune in the New Year.
On New Year’s Day, haircuts are forbidden in China due to the word “hair” which sounds like the word for luck.
Other traditions include painting homes and windows red, hanging paper cut-outs with Chinese wisdom sayings on them, and paying off debts before the New Year.
The family dinner is the center of Chinese New Year celebrations. It is a tradition that originated in Singapore and is commonly referred to as a family reunion.
A hot soup or broth is placed at the center of the meal, and various vegetables and meats are thrown into the pot to be cooked before everyone else. This dish is very popular during Chinese New Year.
During this time of year, various festivals and events are held in Singapore. Some of these include dragon dances, lion dances, and fireworks displays.
Aside from the usual festivities that happen on Chinese New Year’s Day, there are also events that are happening all around the city that are geared toward the later part of the year. These events are very popular among tourists.
The Chingay parade is the main event of the Chinese New Year season of Singapore. It usually occurs on the 8th day following the holiday. It is a large, carnival-like parade that features numerous floats.
The River Hongbao is a yearly event held on the 15th day of the Chinese New Year. It is held on the Marina Bay Floating Platform. There are many cultural activities and events happening in this area.
The Chinese Festival of Arts begins on the 5th of January. It runs for ten days, and it’s on the Waterfront Promenade.
On the fifth day of the first month, there will be a massive display of art and performing arts on the promenade.
February 2 (Wednesday) – Chinese New Year Holiday
The first observance of the Chinese New Year is believed to have dated back in ancient times. It is a festival that marks the beginning of the lunar cycle and is referred to as the Spring Festival in some regions.
In the Chinese calendar, animals are assigned to be honored by Buddha. According to one belief, he promised to gift all animals that would pay homage to him.
People are said to inherit characteristics from their animal’s birth year. The signs repeat each 12 years.
The Chinese calendar is based on the observations of astronomers regarding the Sun’s and Moon’s phases. It was first introduced by Emperor Huangdi sometime around 3000 BCE.
Legend has it that the emperor created the calendar in 2637 BCE. This year’s lunar calendar was first introduced in 1592.
The exact dates of these festivals vary depending on the year. They are also used by various Chinese communities worldwide.
April 15 (Friday) – Good Friday
In Singapore, Buddhism is the largest religion group, with around 18 percent of the population. Christianity comes in second place, with around 18 percent.
Palm Sunday is often kept as a special service in many churches in Singapore.
Palm leaves are harvested and then placed into the shape of a cross, which children then paraded around with during the service.
Palm leaves are harvested and folded into a cross to remember the entry of Christ into Jerusalem. This practice is performed during the service.
Palm leaves are usually waved at the start of each service to welcome the King of Israel. This is a central component of the celebration.
Good Friday is a day when many churches hold services. These are usually short and solemn.
On Easter Sunday, many churches in Singapore will baptise converts. This practice is carried out to symbolize the arrival of Christ and the Resurrection of Jesus.
May 1 (Sunday) – Labor Day
On the 1st of May, 1886, a group of workers in Chicago protested against what they perceived as a lack of pay. The event is referred to as the Chicago Incident or the International Workers’ Day.
Dozens of protesters and police officers were murdered after an unknown individual hurled a bomb into a public gathering of people on strike and demonstrating for an eight-hour weekday instead of the standard 10-to-12-hour workweek.
The police responded to the explosion with gunfire, killing and injuring numerous people. The event is now referred to as the Haymarket Massacre.
In 1891, May 1 became a day devoted to the working classes. It was established by the leaders of the international community to commemorate the day.
In Singapore, many shops stay open on Labour Day, which is a public holiday. Despite this, many establishments still have sales and discounts for the day.
On Labour Day, the Istana grounds and buildings are open to the public for various activities and events.
May 2 (Monday) – Labor Day Holiday
May Day in Singapore is a public holiday that is celebrated on May 1, which is regarded as a day of solidarity for workers. The first public holiday celebrating May Day was held in 1960.
Those who were defined as industrial clerks and workers under the Labour Ordinance 1955 were entitled to paid holidays.
May Day is a day when workers can remember what their collective strength has done for them. It was established by the Government of Singapore to celebrate the contributions of workers.
In the past, May Day rallies and resolutions were also held to demonstrate workers’ unity and their faith in solidarity.
In celebration of May Day, workers and their families are planning various events and activities to mark the occasion.
May 3 (Tuesday) – Hari Raya Puasa
Hari Raya Puasa is the first day of Syawal, which is the tenth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It varies each year.
Hari Raya is a Muslim festival that recalls the moment when the self-restraint was revealed during the fasting month of Ramadan. It is also a time for forgiveness.
On the last day of Ramadan, people light oil lamps in their homes and mosques. This is also known as Hari Raya Puasa.
The men often wear a loose shirt with trousers, while the women typically wear a short sarong.
On Hari Raya Puas, Muslims go to the mosque for prayers. In the evening, they recite the takbir.
For the afternoon, families and friends gather together to pray for forgiveness and blessing.
Duit raya, or green envelopes with gifts of money, are commonly given to children and the elderly to celebrate their food specialties.
The greeting ‘Selamat Hari Raya’ signifies a day of celebration. This means that the celebration of Hari Raya Puasa can last for up to a month.
May 15 (Sunday) – Vesak Day
Vesak Day is the 15th day of the lunar calendar. It falls on May 15, which is the day of the Chinese lunar calendar.
On Vesak Day, Buddhist temples decorate their walls with flowers and flags. Thousands of people flock to these temples to observe the faith and celebrate the Buddha.
This practice is carried out to demonstrate the believers’ acceptance of the existence of life as it is.
On Vesak Day, which is also known as Dana, Buddhists can perform good deeds that can include donating blood and making gifts to the needy.
On Vesak Day, Buddhists perform various acts of generosity, which is also known as Dana. These include donating blood and making gifts to the needy.
The highlight of the Vesak Day celebration is a candlelit procession led by monks from the Phor Kark.
Devotees carry out steps on their knees as they pray for world peace. They do so by raising their hands and bows at every third step.
On this day, love, peace and harmony are observed, as taught by Buddha.
May 16 (Monday) – Vesak Day Holiday
On Vesak Day, which is celebrated on the first day of the lunar month, festivities are held at temples in Singapore.
When the Buddhist flag is raised, and hymns are sung in honor of the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, this is when the chanting of these songs begins.
Offerings of flowers, candles, and the holy joss sticks are also made to the temples. The burning of these objects serves as a reminder that life is fleeting and that all things eventually pass away.
On this day, devotees are urged to perform good deeds for worthy causes. They believe that doing good deeds will multiply their good deed many times over.
Only vegetarian food is served at Buddhist temples. They also distribute gifts to the needy and attend mass blood donations.
July 10 (Sunday) – Hari Raya Haji (Feast of the Sacrifice) [Tentative Date]
Hari Raya Haji is a festival of sacrifice that falls on the 10th day of Dhul Hijja’s Islamic month.
It lasts for up to four days. During this period, Muslims commemorate the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca.
In mosques, prayer is said and sermons are read out, which then leads to the sacrifices of goats and cows.
The meat from cattle is packaged and delivered to Muslim families in poor neighborhoods.
Later in the day, Muslims celebrate with their families and friends. There are also bazaars and festivities in various places around the city like Kampong Glam and Geylang Serai.
Hari Raya Haji is a festival celebrating the Eid al-Bakhid and Kurban Bayram. It is observed during the 12th day of Dhul Hijja and involves the reciting of the holy oath.
July 11 (Monday) – Hari Raya Haji Holiday [Tentative Date]
Hari Raya Haji is a day that Muslims commemorate the haj pilgrimage. According to the 5th pillar of Islam, all Muslims must perform the pilgrimage at least once in their lives.
The haj pilgrimage is a major event in the Islamic calendar. It can be done in three stages: the first is the journey of the prophet Muhammad to Mecca, the second is the pilgrimage to Medina, and the third is the reunion of the family of believers.
This festival also commemorates the moment when Ibrahim and his son Ismail built the Kaaba. It is believed that God instructed them to build it.
According to the story, Ibrahim was commanded by Allah to sacrifice his son Ismail. However, after he was stopped by Allah, he was allowed to do so by sacrificing a sheep.
Ibrahim’s actions are celebrated during Hari Raya Haji. This ritual involves the sacrificing of livestock.
Unlike during Ramadan, fasting for Hari Raya Hari is not obligatory. Muslims do not have to fast on the day of the festival. They just perform the same rituals once they reach the mosque for prayer.
The korban is a significant ritual that is performed by Hari Raya Haji Muslims. It is considered a sunnah muakkad and can be done individually or in groups.
The animal is then taken to a nearby field where it is prepared to be sacrificed. The prayer is said before the ritual begins. The animal is then killed and its meat is prepared for distribution.
The korban refers to a sacrifice of a certain animal, such as cows or sheep. The person who sacrifices it usually keeps one third of the meat and sends the rest to their friends and neighbours.
In Singapore, the ritual of the korban is performed at various places of worship. The procedure can be performed by a person or group of butchers.
Aside from its religious significance, the korban also aims to raise funds for various Muslim organisations and schools.
August 9 (Tuesday) – National Day
On the day of independence, many events are held to celebrate the occasion. One of these includes the National Day Parade, which usually takes place at Marina Bay.
There are also various entertainments that are geared towards making the event more enjoyable for the spectators. Some of these include sky diving, music displays, and various other fun presentations.
Funpacks are available for kids to commemorate the National Day. They can be filled with food, drinks, and discount vouchers from participating companies.
The parade features various groups and individuals from various government agencies and various labor groups. Students also march in various uniformed groups.
The Singapore Air Force displays its air offensive and defensive capabilities by flying past the parade. This event is known as the flypast.
A spectacular show follows the parade’s theme. It consists of three main acts and the Grand Finale.
A post-parade party is held in the evening to recognize and congratulate the participants of the parade.
October 24 (Monday) – Deepavali
This Hindu holiday is celebrated by displaying vibrant lights displays in public areas and homes. It is believed that by conquering the darkness, one can become a light.
In some countries, Deepavali goes on for several days. In Singapore, it is only celebrated for a single day.
Others believe that it is a celebration of the return of Rama after 14 years in exile.
Others see it as connected to the Hindu goddess of light, Mahalakshmi. Most of us see it as a victory over the evil Narakasura.
On Deepavali, Hindus dress up in colourful clothes and go to a local temple to perform their religious rituals.
This time of year, homes are decorated with green mango leaves, and they are lit up with clay oil lamps. The kitchen counters are also decorated with colorful dishes and flowers.
During Deepavali festivities, food that is made from scratch can be found in Singapore. This includes dishes made from rice flour, Basmati rice, and buckwheat.
The markets will have a huge variety of stallholders offering various goods. Most of these will be selling various trinkets and flowers.
There will also be many hand artists more than happy to paint flowers and other designs using locally made henna dyes..
The two arches that link the Serangoon Road to the Little India district are the number one symbol of Deepavali in Singapore.
Since many of the participants are of Indian descent, and many of them are Hindu, Deepavali is a big event in Singapore.
The other is the Sri Ramadhan Temple, also known as the Temple of the Lord Rama. Both temples are located along Serangoon Road.
The first is the Sri Rama Temple, which has a magnificent tower and numerous statues of Hindu gods. The second is the Sri Mahamman Temple, which has a fire walking festival also.
The Deepavali Bazaar features a variety of colourful clothes and food stalls, all of which are made from authentic Indian-Singaporean materials. This event is also a must-visit during Deepavali.
Deepavali Festival Village is a must-visit place for anyone wanting to shop for souvenirs related to the Deepavali season. Located on Hastings Road, this is an excellent place to shop for all of your needs.
December 25 (Sunday) – Christmas Day
In Singapore, Christmas is celebrated in a big way, as only a portion of the population is Christian. There are also a few nonbelievers, such as Muslims and Buddhists.
Most of the people in Singapore are not Christians and do not celebrate Christmas in a secular way.
In Singapore, it is possible to celebrate Christmas in a very religious manner.
Most people do. There are churches all around the city. You can go to church on Christmas Eve and there are churches near every corner of the city.
At the end of the service, you can indulge in a traditional Christmas dinner with friends and family.
This time of year, many western restaurants in Singapore serve traditional Christmas food. This means that you can enjoy these meals at home instead of going to a restaurant.
Most of the time, this season’s shopping ritual is conducted in a more secular manner. While most of the time, this is a ritual that most residents do not engage in.
In order to accommodate more customers, some of the major shopping areas in Singapore will stay open for extended hours. This will help avoid congestion in the streets.
Throughout the city, there are various festivals and events celebrating the season. This includes street performances, parade floats, and concerts.
In Singapore, the Christmas trees are usually decorated with candy, ribbons, and teddy bears. However, the differences between Christmas in the West and in Singapore are not as great as one might expect.
If you’re visiting or residing in Singapore over the holidays, here are some activities you should try:
This holiday season, visit the Bethlehem display and the church where Christ was born. There are also various festivities celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Come and try making Singapore’s Christmas white with an ice skating session at Tanglin Mall, which will be covered in white foam. This event is for adults only.
At Gardens by the Bay, you will smell the sweet aroma of flowers as you walk inside the Flower Dome. There are also light towers that look like massive trees growing around them.
On Christmas Day, visit all of Singapore’s museum attractions for free. Discover the country’s history and culture through these special occasions.
December 26 (Monday) – Christmas Day Holiday
For some inspiration, you can check out these activities which you can enjoy by yourself, but more excitingly with friends or loved ones.
* If a holiday falls on a Sunday, the next weekday is designated as a public holiday.
Aside from major events such as the Singapore Expo, it also has various cultural festivals and events that cater to different types of people.
However, the impact of the corona pandemic on the tourism and retail sectors was severe in terms of economic productivity, as in the case in most parts of the world.
If things were different though, where would you go on a holiday in Singapore?
Hopefully, things will turn for the better especially in 2022 for everyone so that people can go back to their normal way of life and enjoy what life – and Singapore has to offer!
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