One way in which Singapore’s multi-ethnic and multicultural spirit is truly reflected is in its celebration of diverse religious and cultural festivals. So it follows that the Chinese New Year is observed with as much fanfare as say Deepavali or Hari Raya Puasa or Christmas Day. The national government of Singapore publishes a list of public or national holidays every year which are generally 11 in number. Out of these 11 national holidays, 8 holidays are of a religious nature and the remaining three holidays are not in any way linked with observing any religious or cultural event.
The Public or National Holidays of Singapore
The eight holidays that are declared annually for commemorating a religious or cultural event are:-
- Chinese New Year-usually held for two days and therefore two subsequent holidays are declared. The holiday dates keep varying according to the Chinese lunar calendar.
- Good Friday-a religious festival of the Christian to remember the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the date keeps changing according to the Gregorian calendar
- Vesak Day-This is a religious event of the Buddhists and is held to commemorate the birth of Gautam Buddha and his attainment of nirvana. Again, the date keeps on changing in accordance with the Chinese calendar
- Hari Raya Puasa-Holiday for Hari Raya Puasa culminates with the closure of the Islamic fasting phase of Ramadan. Holiday date depends upon the Islamic lunar almanac.
- Hari Raya Haji-This again is an Islamic religious festival that venerates the sacrificial act of Ibrahim where he offers his son Ismail to Allah as proof of his devoutness. Holiday date keeps altering from year to year according to the Islamic calendar.
- Deepavali-It is the most important of all Hindu festivals and is celebrated to honour the return of Lord Rama from his exile and his subsequent slaying of Ravana-the demon. There are many other legends surrounding the festival of Deepavali. Declaration of holiday date depends upon the Hindu almanac.
- Christmas Day-The principal Christian religious event observed to celebrate the ‘Immaculate Conception’ of Jesus Christ. Holiday date remains the same for every year that is 25th December.
Some key facts regarding public holidays in Singapore
- The holidays are listed in the schedule of the Holidays Act
- The Ministry of Manpower is the statutory authority responsible for issuing a fresh list every year
- Generally 11 public holidays are declared every year
- In case the day on which the public holiday is declared happens to be a Sunday, then the subsequent day i.e. Monday is affirmed as a holiday
- The Employment Act stipulates that an employee working on a national holiday is eligible to receive additional compensation equivalent to one day’s salary (at basic rate) over and above what he or she’d normally receive for that day
- New Year’s Day- 1st January (Wednesday)
- Chinese New Year-31st January and 1st February (Friday and Saturday)
- Good Friday-18th April (Friday)
- Labour Day-1st May (Thursday)
- Vesak Day-13th May (Tuesday)
- Hari Raya Puasa-28th July (Monday)
- National Day-9th August (Saturday)
- Hari Raya Haji-5th October (Sunday)
- Deepavali-23rd October (Thursday)
- Christmas Day-25th December (Thursday)
Disclaimer: The data provided here is based on the facts and research using available sources. As the data is made available on "as is" basis and subject to change anytime. This website shall not be liable for any discrepancy found in the data on our site and actual figures.