The public holiday calendar of Singapore 2023 is finally here! Singapore has carved out a unique place for itself in the world for being a nation that celebrates diversity and multiculturalism. The Singapore public holidays represent a great reflection of this with public holidays for each ethnic group – Indian, Malay, Chinese, and Eurasian. There are 11 public holidays to watch out for! The best part is that most of them fall on weekends. After spending many weeks in the office, there is nothing more satisfying than a long weekend with family and friends. Interested vacationers can plan their holidays during the long weekends ahead. Let us go through the list of Singapore public holidays 2023.
1) New Year’s Day, 1st January 2023
Singapore observes 1st January as a public holiday to mark the start of the New Year. People in Singapore spend their evenings at parties, enjoy watching the fireworks, and visit one the numerous theme parks. Workplaces are shut down, while some malls could have a half-day open policy. The most popular celebration is the spectacular fireworks display at Marina Bay. New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate with family and friends to welcome the fresh start of a prosperous New Year.
2) Chinese New Year, 22nd January and 23rd January 2023
Chinese New Year is celebrated with each year being named after one of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. A few aspects of the Chinese New Year include large feasts, family gatherings, and red-colored decorations. Among the popular foods prepared during this day are dumplings, spring rolls, noodles, vegetables, meat, and fish. Many Singaporeans believe in the symbolic meaning of foods during the Chinese New Year. Red is a popular color on this day with golden color accents, which is why many people in Singapore wear red color clothes on this festive day. Lion Dance, believed to bring good luck and fortune, is a popular tradition followed on this day.
3) Good Friday, 7th April 2023
Good Friday, celebrated by Christians, honors the execution of Jesus Christ. It falls on Friday before the Sunday of Easter and is considered as the second-largest Christian festival. Good Friday remembers the death of Christ through crucifixion. Jesus went through a trial for blasphemy as he declared himself the King of Jews and the Son of God. A lot of Christian families in Singapore offer special meals on Good Friday. People gather with their friends and families and enjoy the dishes such as spiced bread, jellybeans, Easter chocolates, Easter candies, hot cross buns, and roast lamb.
4) Hari Raya Puasa, 22nd April 2023
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Muslims celebrate Eid al Fitr, also known as Hari Raya Puasa, which commemorates the conclusion of the fasting month known as Ramadan. It is a religious day, during which Muslims attend the mosques early morning for prayers, followed by a lavish feast with friends and family. As a part of the celebration, these mosques are usually decorated with lights too. Some may also clean their homes and decorate them with lanterns, lights, oil lamps, and much more. The dishes prepared for Hari Raya Puasa traditionally include rendang, ketupat, satay, kue lapis, dodol, lemang, bubur lambuk, kuih, and lontong.
5) Labour Day, 1st May 2023
Labour Day, also known as International Worker’s Day, is a public holiday in Singapore, and schools, universities, and government as well as private offices remain closed on this day. Many Singaporeans spend their time shopping on this day, as shops offer Labour Day discounts on their items or products. People are seen enjoying picnics on the Presidential grounds. Events like May Day and Family Fiesta are arranged for people to enjoy and have fun. Some individuals may choose to gather with their loved ones, friends, and coworkers to commemorate this day. If you are in the city on this day, you can visit parks and beaches in Singapore during your family vacation, as this is the way most Singaporeans spend time on Labor Day.
6) Vesak Day, 3rd June 2023
Vesak Day or Buddha Day is one of the most important days in the Buddhist Calendar. It commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and attainment of nirvana by Gautam Buddha. It is a day when all devotees of Lord Buddha reflect on his teachings, cleanse away bad karma, and spread goodwill. Buddhists in Singapore congregate at the temples at the crack of dawn for a ceremony on Vesak Day. On this day, they hoist the Buddhist Flag and sing hymns praising Lord Buddha, the Sangha (his disciples), and the Dharma (his teachings).
7) Hari Raya Haji, 29th June 2023
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Hari Raya Haji, also known as Eid Al Adha or Feast of the Sacrifice, is observed by Muslims in Singapore. It is observed on a fixed date in the Islamic lunar calendar, which falls on the tenth day of the Dhu al Hajjah. Hari Raya Haji indicates the end of ‘Haj’ (the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca). Muslims in Singapore put on their traditional clothing on this day and visit the mosques nearby to offer prayers and listen to solemn sermons. This is followed by Korban (an act of worship where livestock such as cows, sheep, goats, and camels are slaughtered and sacrificed). The day is spent relaxing at home or visiting loved ones.
8) National Day, 9th August 2023
Singapore celebrates its independence from Malaysia on National Day. A National Day Parade generally kicks off the festivities, which are then concluded with stunning pyrotechnics. With live performances, flags lining the buildings, patriotic music playing, people donning white and red, and festive sales, the National Day tries to evoke the spirit of Singapore. The Prime Minister’s National Day statement, which outlines national objectives and programs, acts as a light of hope and trust. The bewitching Singapore Fireworks Celebrations at Marina Bay are a treat to watch. Make sure you reach early to save a good spot. On the other hand, if you want to take a break, you can head north and indulge in some holiday things to do in North Singapore.
9) Deepavali, 12th November 2023
Deepavali is the most important festival of the Hindu community living in Singapore. Experience the festival of lights and the vibrant Indian culture in Singapore during this time. It falls on the 15th day of Kartika, the holiest month in the Hindu Calendar, which symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness – good over evil. People light up their houses and surroundings with diyas and beautiful rangoli decorations and prepare mouth-watering Indian delicacies. Visit Little India, the epicenter of Deepavali celebrations, to enjoy the festive spirit and admire the beautiful decorations.
10) Christmas Day, 25th December 2023
December 25th is celebrated in Singapore to remember the birth of Jesus. It is that time of year when sparkling lights, Christmas trees, and Christmas related decorations are everywhere. The country’s streets and parks are decorated with lights and the fanciest Christmas decorations. A stroll on Orchard Road is a must to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere. Wrapping gifts and decorating Christmas trees for loved ones is also done by many. Dishes such as roasted turkey, roast pork, steak, ham sugee cake, sausages, and various vegetables are served as a part of the Christmas celebratory meal.
Apart from the public holiday in Singapore mentioned above, if there is a general or a presidential election, Polling Day will also be an official public holiday. It is the government’s way of encouraging people to exercise their rights and duties to the country. According to MOM (Ministry of Manpower), employees who are required to work on a public holiday in Singapore are entitled to an extra day’s salary. If you want to partake in the festivities during these public holidays, all you have to do is get your Singapore visa and plan a fabulous holiday in this amazing South East Asian City. Celebrating Christmas is one of the best things to do in Singapore in December.