Holidays and significant dates celebrated in Singapore reflect its multinational character, diversity of religious concessions. The dates of many holidays change from year to year as they are based on the lunar calendar. Non-working days in Singapore are:
New Year – January 1st
Chinese New Year – January/February
Hari Raya Puasa – April/May
Good Friday – Easter Week – March/April
Labor Day – May 1st
Wesak (Buddha Day) – May 6th
Hari Raya Haji – June 1st
National Day – August 9
Divapali (Indian Festival of Lights) – October/November
Christmas Day – December 25
Holidays in Singapore are celebrated by the whole world, although each nation has its own religion.
Hari Raya Puasa – the end of the month of Ramadan, the tenth in the so-called lunar Hijri, the Muslim calendar – is one of the most important holidays in Singapore. This is the day of the end of the Muslim fast, when during the month from dawn to dusk, Muslims should not eat, drink, or indulge in entertainment. See Countryvv for labor market in Singapore.
Chinese New Year is also a very revered and popular holiday. A few weeks before its onset, the Chinese dress in gold and red. People buy tangerine, lemon and orange trees and present each other with their fruits, as well as gifts in special packaging “hon bao”. Drums are beating in the streets and squares filled with dancing Singaporeans. It is especially interesting to watch the colorful Chingai parade with folk dances and boat races.
Hindu holidays such as Ponggal and Thaipusam are widely celebrated by Indians in January/February. Residents of the “Little India” district cook rice porridge in pots – a symbol of fertility and the flourishing of life. This porridge they sacrifice to the gods at the Sri Perumal Temple on Serangoon Road. During the Thaipusam celebrations, a majestic procession of worshipers led by a man crowned with a kavadis marches no less than three kilometers from the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple to the Chettiar Temple on Tank Road. Back in February, as well as in September, Indians honor the monkey king Hanuman in the so-called monkey temple on Seng Poh Road.
On Good Friday, real performances about the crucifixion of Christ are played in churches, and solemn processions with lit candles and singing of hymns are organized in the Portuguese church of St. Joseph on Victoria Road and in the church on Thomson Road. On the spring festival of Qing Ming, the Chinese visit the graves of their ancestors. In May, Vesak Day is widely celebrated – the birthday of the Buddha, his insight and departure into nirvana. People meditate together, pray and release birds from cages.
The birthday of the Third Prince – the “divine child” is celebrated in Chinese temples in May. Mediums in a trance inflict wounds on themselves with swords, dedicating blood to the gods, smearing pieces of paper with it, which they distribute with blessing to believers.
In the Chinese pantheon, the Dragon is not at all the feisty Russian Serpent Gorynych. On the contrary, it brings health and wealth to the house, bestows strength and wisdom. The Dragon Festival usually takes place in May. Try to get to Marina Bay these days to watch exciting and colorful boat races.
August 9 – Republic Day – one of the most sacred days for Singaporeans, although it has nothing to do with religion. In Padang or at the National Stadium, a parade takes place on this day, and fireworks are arranged in the evening.
In August, according to Chinese beliefs, the gates of Hell open and ghosts visit the living.
Hungry Ghost Month is coming. To propitiate them, they burn fragrant sticks and money everywhere. Spirits also love to eat, so bowls of food are left for them on the windowsills and near the threshold.
At the end of Hungry Ghost Month, the Moon Cookie Festival begins. The backyard garden is lit by hundreds of intricate paper lanterns, and treats include a special pastry filled with lotus flowers, red beans, nuts, and candied duck egg yolks.
October is marked by the Indian holiday of Navarathiri. Classical folk dances are performed on the streets and in temples, music sounds, theatrical performances are held in honor of the goddesses Kali, Lakshmi and Saraswati.
On the holiday of Timiti, believers undergo a rite of purification by fire in memory of the goddess Draupadi, the character of the Indian epic poem Ramayana, who passed through the flames to prove her virginity. This heartbreaking act takes place at the Mariamman Temple on South Bridge Road.
According to popular beliefs, during the days of the Nine Divine Emperors (October/November), the influence of divine forces on believers is activated. Diseases are cured from this, and well-being and happiness come to the house. The holiday is celebrated with performances of traditional Chinese opera and noisy crowded processions with sculptural images of the gods carried in painted palanquins.
In November-December, Hindu houses are lit up with softly shimmering lamp lights in honor of the onset of Deepavali, perhaps the most important Hindu holiday in Singapore. According to legend, the forces of light at this time defeat the forces of darkness. As, however, on the main Christian holiday – Christmas (December 25), when the central street of Orchard Road sparkles with solemn illumination. Crowds of people sing Christmas carols in the streets.