There is always something going on in Singapore, from dazzling cultural celebrations and food festivals to thrilling street races and sporting highlights. Festivals in Singapore will appeal to expats of all ages and interests.
Here's a selection of the most popular happenings on Singapore's events calendar.
Annual events in Singapore
Chinese New Year (January/February)
Celebrations in Singapore usually start long before the actual festival. Locals buy gifts and decorate their homes in advance. Festivities include parades and lion dances as the streets of Singapore’s Chinatown come alive with the sound of traditional music.
Singapore International Festival of Arts (May)
One for the culture buffs, this massive art festival comes around every May and hosts a range of art installations, theatre productions, film screenings, ensembles, music performances, street performers, dances and more. Attendees could even try their hand at a painting competition.
Hari Raya (May)
Another highly popular institution, this festival is the local version of Eid which is celebrated after the month-long fasting of Ramadan. Singapore’s Muslims dress to the nines and start the day at prayer and spend the rest of it revelling in the city’s colourful streets, enjoying the city’s festive mood and indulging in all sorts of mouthwatering delicacies. The decorated bazaar at the Sultan Mosque is a highlight.
Great Singapore Sale (June to August)
Every year, for eight weeks, expats can indulge their shopping habits with great deals on just about everything, everywhere – from fashion to watches, jewellery, electronics and more, all over Singapore.
Dragon Boat Festival (June/July)
Dragon boat racing is celebrated across Southeast Asia. Expats living in Singapore can join in on the festive buzz as teams race their highly decorated traditional boats, with leaders beating their drums and waving their flags, while spectators cheer on their favourites.
Singapore Food Festival (July)
Another one for the foodies, the Singapore Food Festival is organised by the Singapore Tourism Board and is certainly not to be missed. Attendees are treated to all kinds of delicious local and international cuisines, food competitions, workshops and themed celebrations.
Singapore Night Festival (August)
Each year, various parts of Singapore are lit up in a dazzling display defined by the year's theme. An array of events are included, such as late-night museum openings and street performances by local and international artists.
World Gourmet Summit (August)
Hailed by some as Singapore's best food event, this annual celebration of the culinary arts draws renowned chefs from all over the world. Apart from attending masterclasses held by these experts, attendees can also partake in a charity dinner with cuisine by a participating master chef.
Singapore Grand Prix (September)
Each year, this legendary Formula One grand prix motor race takes place on the circuit around Marina Bay. Held at night to avoid Singapore's typically hot, humid weather, the circuit utilises powerful lighting systems to replicate daylight conditions and the most stringent safety protocols are adhered to ensure driver and spectator safety.
Mid-Autumn Festival (October)
Also known as the Lantern festival, Mid-Autumn festival is enjoyed by locals and expats alike. It celebrates the legend of Chang Er – the lady who floated to the moon after swallowing the elixir of eternal life and now resides there. Attractions include traditional dances, performing arts groups, food stalls and, of course, intricately decorated lanterns of all shapes, sizes and colours.
►For information on getting around on the island, see Transport and Driving in Singapore
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