The National Day of Singapore is a public holiday, celebrated on August 9th each year. If August 9th falls on a weekend, then a public holiday will be observed on the following Monday. Rehearsals for the occasion begin three to four months in advance, with preview shows on the two weekends leading to the celebration.
History of Singapore National Day
The Singapore story is well known—how it achieved independence in 1965 amid severe doubt it could survive at all with its tiny size and the lack of natural resources. Yet the island succeeded against the odds, deftly navigating its way through stormy waters of domestic turmoil, regional strife, and international politics. It made use of every single advantage it had, emerging on the world stage as a major commercial hub, financial center and global player.
It marks Singapore’s sovereignty, which was gained on this day in 1965. Singapore declared independence from Britain in August 1963. It joined the Federation of Malaysia in September 1963 after the 1962 Merger Referendum of Singapore. Singapore left the federation two years later and gained its own sovereignty on August 9th, 1965 when Yusof bin Ishak was sworn in as the first President of Singapore.
How is Singapore National Day celebrated?
Singaporeans begin celebrations during the last weeks of July and they will continue throughout August. These celebrations will include concerts, carnivals, and many other festivities. The largest event among the celebrations is the annual National Day Parade. The parade is held in Singapore’s National Stadium in front of 60,000 people and is nationally televised. The parade features performances from military and school bands, a 400-piece drum ensemble, solo vocalists, professional dance routines, and displays by the Singapore Armed forces, which include free-fall parachute displays, tower repelling, vehicle shows, a presidential gun salute and a national flag fly-by.
You know you are witnessing the lead-up to the country’s National Day when you hear the distinctive sound of helicopters and fighter planes overhead—a sure sign that the Republic of Singapore Airforce’s rehearsal for the National Day Parade’s aerial display is in full swing. You’ll also see the island turning patriotic shades of red and white—largely from the flags fluttering from buildings, houses and even cars.
Well, let’s celebrate the National Day of Singapore.