The word “Holiday” originated from the word “Haligdaeg” which means “holy day” in Old English. On such days most of the institutions, offices and shops remain closed.
It is a day of leisure on which people can stay home and spend quality time with the loved ones. It also gives an opportunity to people to go on vacations and make memories. Such days are also the days of festivities which are filled with fun and frolic.
Needless to say, people all over the world look forward to such days and spend some time away from work and hectic routine. However if an employee works on this day, he is paid an extra amount or given a day off in lieu of the holiday. Days of holiday vary all over the world depending on the traditions and laws passed by the government in a particular place.
Singapore, also known as the Lion City, is the only island city-state in the world located in Southeast Asia. Their culture is a mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian and British to some extent. Due to such varied range of culture and traditions, the list of holidays involves mix of days that are of particular significance and are celebrated in different communities.
Bank holidays are the days in which all the banks remain closed and the employees can stay back home without being answerable to anyone.
Here’s a list of Singapore’s bank holidays in 2017:
|Holidays in Singapore||Date||Description|
|New Year’s Day||1st Jan 2017||In the Georgian Calendar, New Year’s Day marks the beginning of a whole new year. Just like in other places, New Year in Singapore is celebrated in a grand way. On the New Year’s Eve people usually stay up till the clock strikes 12 in order to wish each other. Especially on this day, huge crowd is seen celebrating the beginning of a year in Siloso Beach, Marina Bay and Clarke’s Quay. The festivities include beautiful firework shows, music concerts, feasting, competitions and many more activities. Many celebrities are also seen taking parts in shows organized for public and heating up the atmosphere. Central Square is heavily decorated and acrobats and jugglers are seen performing on this special occasion. One of the traditions includes penning down one’s hopes and wishes on a white sphere called ‘wishing sphere’ and them onto the Singapore river. Even the Prime Minister is seen to take part in this event.|
|Chinese New Year||28th January 2017||“This is also called the ‘Spring Festival’ or the ‘Lunar New year’. The date keeps on varying since it depends on the lunar calendar. Arrangements start weeks before the arrival of this day and the whole of Singapore is in a festive mood during this time of the year. Festivities include traditional lion dances, exotic processions and grand feasting. It is a tradition to gift each other mandarin oranges as it believed to bring good luck. Children dress up in new clothes and receive money in scarlet envelopes from their relatives. Houses are cleaned and decorated.|
|Good Friday||14th April 2017||” It is a Christian Holiday which marks the crucifixion of their lord, Jesus Christ. It is observed on the Friday which comes immediately before the Easter Sunday. It is a day of mourning as it remembers the death of Jesus Christ. People attend special church services on this day and the scene depicting the crucifixion is also enacted at many places.|
|Labor Day||1st May 2017||“Labor day is a public holiday which is also called the May Day. It is celebrated in the 1st of May every year. Worker’s rights are celebrated on this day and it was marked as a public holiday in1960. It is celebrated in honor of all the workers for their day to day efforts. Earlier, workers would campaign for higher wages and better working conditions but now it’s more about enjoying the day with friends and family.|
|Vesak Day||10th May 2017||“Vesak Day is a public holiday and is a day of great significance in Buddhism. In the Lunar Calendar (Chinese), it falls on the fifteenth day of the fourth month. This day marks the three major stages in Gautama Buddha’s life. Those stages are birth, enlightenment also known as “nirvana” and death which is also called “parinirvana”. On this day the temples are adorned with flowers and Buddhist flags. The people sing hymns and offers candles, flowers and incense stick at Buddha’s feet. They also believe that carrying out good deeds on this day will multiply their merits. Blood donation camps are organized by the youths and other acts of kindness are also carried out. Candle-lit processions are also a part of celebration.|
|Hari Raya Puyasa||“25th & 26th June 2017||“This is a Muslim holiday and is celebrated at the end of the month of Ramadan which is a month of starving. As the date is dependent on the Lunar Calendar (Islamic), it varies year to year. It is a time to forgive and forget. Moreover it is also symbolic of purification. On this day homes are cleaned and decorated. Families wear traditional dresses usually of the same color to signify unity. The Muslims visit mosques to pray and also visit the graves of their deceased relatives and friends. Celebrations include afternoon feasts and children are gifted money in green colored envelopes.|
|National Day||9th August 2017||“This public holiday is celebrated in Singapore every year on 9thof August. It marks the independence of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965. The celebrations include the National Day Parade that takes place at the National Stadium. On this day the Prime Minister of Singapore addresses the citizens. Grand firework shows are also arranged for the people along with various other activities.|
|Hari Raya Haji||1st September 2017||“It is another public holiday in Singapore. It is observed all over the world by the Muslims. This day marks Ibrahim’s sacrifice of his son, Ishmael, after Allah asked him to do so. However Allah gave a ram to Ibrahim for sacrificing it in place of his son. It is observed 70 days after the month of Ramadan and it is also the end of annual pilgrimage to Mecca. People go to the mosques to offer prayer and cows and goats are sacrificed whose meats are then distributed among the poor Muslim families.|
|Deepavali||18th October 2017||Deepavali also known as “diwali” or “the festival of lights” is a Hindu festival. This day celebrates the light over darkness and the good over the evil. The date varies as it depends on the Hindu calendar. It is believed that on this day Lord Krishna defeated the Narakasura in a battle. Homes are cleaned and decorated with lights. Burning fire crackers on this day is a common tradition. People dress up in new clothes and exchange gifts. The entire family comes together for feasting on various dishes. Lord Ganesha and goddess Lakshmi are also worshipped on this day. Five percent of Singapore’s population being Hindu, this festival is celebrated splendidly. The temples on the Serangoon Road are decorated with candles and flowers on this day.|
|Christmas Day||25th December 2017||“This day is celebrated almost all over the world with the same amount of splendor and it marks the birth of baby Jesus. One sixth of Singapore’s population being Christian, the Christmas day is celebrated in a grand manner. Many people go to churches on Christmas eve and attend special services. The streets are decorated especially for this day. People attend feasts which include traditional dishes like turkey roast, eggnog, gingerbread, fruit cake and many more dishes. Other festivities include concerts, parades and other performances. People also go for shopping on this day.|