I’ve been in Singapore for several holidays, including Halloween, Deepavali, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Here is a summary of how these holidays are celebrated here:
- Halloween: Traditionally, Halloween is not a holiday that has been celebrated in Singapore. However, more recently, Halloween has become a bigger holiday here. I was here to witness trick or treating in one of the neighborhoods, and it was crazy! Thousands of people come to this neighborhood to trick or treat, and in the past there have even been buses from Malaysia that have came to this neighborhood just for the candy! So, some select neighborhoods do trick or treating, and some of the more American areas celebrate it more, but overall there is not a big emphasis on Halloween.
- Deepavali: This is an Indian festival that is one of the biggest holidays here. There is a large Indian population in Singapore, and there is even an area of Singapore, Little India, that has many Indian restaurants and shops. This festival is based on tradition, and is celebrated by many. We even got the day off of school for this holiday.
- Thanksgiving: This was the least celebrated out of the holidays I have been here for. Since I am teaching at an American school, we did get the Thursday and Friday off for the holiday, but as a whole Singapore doesn’t recognize this holiday. Most of the students and teachers take the long weekend to travel or spend time with friends.
- Christmas: Christmas here began almost as soon as I arrived here! By late October, many stores were decorated and Christmas music could be heard just about anywhere. Orchard Street, one of the main shopping hubs, is covered in lights and dotted with Christmas trees. In general, Singapore seems to celebrate similarly to the US. One of the perks of being in Singapore until the 18th has been enjoying Christmas activities while in here, with knowing that I get to go home to spend Christmas day. Of course, not everyone in Singapore celebrates Christmas, and at school celebrating all holidays is emphasized, there is a big emphasis on Christmas in the city. The only thing missing is the snow!