Singapore may be geographically small, but there’s certainly no lack of things to see or do. Indeed, aside from all the tourist attraction spots like Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay Sands, there are other things that draw people from all over the world to this little red dot.
Local festivals and global events are held in Singapore every year, and these events draw in crowds from all around the region, or even the world. From cultural festivals and holidays to music and art events featuring artists from all over the globe, here are some of the events you’ll be able to see and experience for yourself when you visit Singapore.
Cultural and Religious Events
Singapore is known all over the world for being a multi-racial society, with many races living together in harmony. This mish-mash of cultures gives Singapore a unique cultural identity — a melting pot of various cultural celebrations that happen all year round, that reflect the diversity in this country. Here are some of the more significant cultural and religious events that happen each year.
River Hongbao And Chingay Parade
The majority of the population in Singapore is made up of Chinese people, so it’s hardly a surprise that the Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, is a huge deal here. The entire district of Chinatown is decked out in red — an auspicious colour that is believed to bring good fortune to everyone. There are a few events that happen during this period, but the most prominent ones are the River Hongbao Carnival and the Chingay Parade. Since 1987, the River Hongbao Carnival has been held at the Marina Bay floating platform, and it features towering lanterns depicting figures from Chinese myths and legends that leave spectators in awe. Carnival games, amusement thrill rides, and even street performances are also present, where there is something for everyone to experience and enjoy. If you’d rather sit down and relax, try the Chingay Parade, which is the biggest and grandest parade in Singapore. Colourful mobile floats, with dancers and performers, strut down the runway in town as they dazzle the crowd with show-stopping tricks and dances.
Geylang Serai Ramadhan Bazaar
Malays are the second largest ethnic group in Singapore, and they are also considered to be the indigenous people of the country. Typically, Malays are Muslims, which means they practice the Islamic faith. Ramadhan is a period during the year when Muslims around the world observe a month of fasting and self-reflection as a way to prepare for Hari Raya Puasa. It is a solemn event, but here in Singapore, it also means it’s time for the annual Ramadhan Bazaar. In the Geylang Serai neighbourhood, the streets come alive as vendors set up stalls all along the roads and footpaths. You can get authentic traditional Malay clothes and furniture, but the main draw of the Bazaar every year is the food. Hundreds of stalls sell innovative and colourful foods that aren’t just delicious, but also Instagram-worthy. Not to mention, most of these pop-up stalls are only available during the Ramadhan Bazaar itself, so if you don’t want to miss out, you’ll want to experience it for yourself.
Not a fan of culture or just want to party it up and have a good time? Not to worry, there’s plenty for you to do too! Here are some of the popular entertainment events that happen in Singapore every year.
Music makes the world go round, and in Singapore, there’s no lack of it to go around. Sure, there are international musicians, singers, and bands that visit the little red dot every year, but if you truly want to experience the magic of music, you need to get yourself to a music festival. There really is something for everyone, with festivals and events for the music of almost all popular genres. If you’re into indie music and slow jams, there’s the Garden Beats Festival and Laneway SG. For jazz fans, you can look forward to the Singapore International Jazz Festival. Want to rock out and headbang the night away? Check out Baybeats, where local Singaporean bands hit the stage to strut their stuff. And if you’re a hardcore raver who just wants to dance the night away to thumping beats, there’s always Ultra Music Festival Singapore and ZoukOut on Sentosa Island.
The Singapore Grand Prix
The first of its kind, the Singapore Grand Prix (GP) is the first-ever Formula 1 (F1) night race in the world, and each year it just gets bigger and better. Every September since 2008, the Marina Bay Street Circuit is lit up with spectacular neon lights, and racing teams and fans travel from across the world to catch the race. F1 drivers like Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, and Lewis Hamilton have become household names in Singapore, as everyone wants to be a part of the action. If the racing isn’t your thing, there are international music acts that accompany the whole festival atmosphere, which means you can party the night away.