Flags flutter from buildings, crowds gather for the parade and then fireworks explode over the city as all of Singapore congregates to celebrate their country.
What: National Day celebrates Singapore’s independence from Malaysia in 1965. It is a day of immense national pride because the small country was not expected to succeed without an abundance of natural resources, and yet it has conquered the odds to become a major world player in commerce and finance. Singapore celebrates National Day with a large parade, the Prime Minister’s address to the nation and fireworks at night.
When: National Day is celebrated annually on August 9.
Customs: The National Day parade is an important part of the celebration and usually features military marches, dances and music, culminating in fireworks over the city. It’s worth mentioning that all spectators can receive a fun pack, a large bag packed with snacks, drinks, light sticks and celebratory clothing items. As part of National Day, the Prime Minister of Singapore makes an address to the nation on a Sunday after the official celebrations have concluded. He explains the country’s current issues and future priorities.
Highlights: The fireworks are a must-see on National Day. These are usually held over Marina Waterfront and the best places to view them are on the shoreline of Marina Bay, the very cool Marina Barrage or the 165m high observation wheel known as the Singapore Flyer for 360 degree views of the city.
Travel: Singapore’s National Day is a great time to explore the city. While the streets become very busy, the government usually makes public transport free, including all SMRT buses and trains. Most shops and restaurants are open and it is a time when you can find fantastic discounts on food and other items.
Be aware that many Singaporeans use the public holidays around National Day to travel overseas so airport departures can become congested. Leave plenty of time if you choose to exit Singapore around the National Day celebrations!