Singapore National Day, Singapore Overview

"One Heart, One Nation, One Singapore."

A day that awakens patriotism in us and makes us commemorate the martyrs who fought for our freedom is the National Day. Singapore, the global financial centre and a melting pot of several religions, also observes a day in remembrance of its independence from Malaysia in the year 1965. Dating back to 1963, Singapore, Sabah, the Federation of Malaya, and Sarawak was brought together with the aim of creating Malaysia. But, due to the political and social unrest among the ruling parties which also caused communal tensions leading to 1964 racial riots, Singapore parted its ways from Malaysia on August 9, 1965, making itself an independent and sovereign state. Since then this day is celebrated as Singapore's National Day. It is the day when Singaporeans unite and share their joys.

The celebrations begin with a National Day Parade and end with beautiful fireworks. The parade involves action, emotion, and loads of fun. The spectators go gaga over the performances that take place at the parade area. This year, Singapore is all set to celebrate its 53rd birthday on 9th August which is Thursday.

National Day Singapore

National Day Parade

1) Venue

The venue for the parade was usually the heritage grounds of Padang. Here, at this place, Singapore was declared as a free nation followed by the first parade which took place in 1966. It was still 1974 that the parade was held in the Padang as after that the ceremony of 1976 took place in the newly constructed National Stadium. The stadium has more capacity, hence more people could join to witness the beauty of this parade. This year, the Floating Platform, Marina Bay gets to host the National Day Parade of 2018.

National Day Singapore
The Floating Platform at Marina Bay (Source)

2) Theme Song

Every year the day incorporates a theme which is reflected in the parade celebrations. This year's theme song "We Are Singapore" speaks of the substantial unity that bonds every Singaporean together. You'll get to hear the melodious voices of Charlie Lim, Aisyah Aziz, Vanessa Fernandez, Shak'thiya Subramaniam, Joanna Dong, ITE Show Choir and THELIONCITYBOY. The Floating Platform, Marina Bay gets to host the National Day Parade of 2018.

3) The Programme

It includes mass-displays, marchpasts, school band displays, sky-diving displays, choir performances, and similar light-hearted performances to keep the spectators intact. Singapore Armed Forces, Singapore Civil Defence Force, Singapore Police Force, representatives of the People's Action Party, Labour Unions, Ministries, students from National Cadet Corps, National Civil Defence Cadet Corps, National Police Cadet Corps and the Singapore Red Cross, the Boys' and Girls' Brigades are all a significant part of the parade.

Also, demonstrating the country's military defensive and offensive capabilities, the Singapore Air Force flies pas the heads of audiences with many of its breathtaking aircraft. This flypast is being continuously performed in on the Parade Day since 1970. The show also consists of 3 main acts that are followed by a Grand Finale or a song based on the theme.

Singapore National Day

The Post-Parade

As soon as the parade gets over, the celebrations continue for an hour at the end of which the Chief of Defence Force, the Organizers of the event, and the Chairman of that year's NDP EXCO cut a cake in the gratitude of all participants for their incredible performances. The SAF Music and Drama Company is the anchor of this party.

NDP Funpack

Introduced in 1991, the free pack includes goodies and eatables based on that particular year's theme. Coming to the 2018 NDP Funpack, it heartily follows the ideas of the theme "We are Singapore." With a combination of red and white, the funpacks are represented in hard-wearing tote bags that feature 18 artworks by students from Special Education School. Creation of 38 students, the beautiful artwork depicts everything from city's skyline to its colloquial expressions like 'Lelong Lah.' These bundles of patriotism include 22 items which also includes bottled water and snacks. An estimated total of 2,52,000 NDP funpacks will be distributed this year at The Float, Marina Bay.

This is a heartfelt gesture towards Singapore's population that sweats itself in the parade ground, showing its respect to the National Heritage. In 2015, the funpacks were distributed in the households regardless of the fact that its members attended the parade or not so to celebrate the 50th independent year.

Singapore National Day

Singapore Fireworks Celebrations

The sky lightens up like never before. The beauty so unimaginable, the vision to be cherished forever - this is what Singapore's night sky looks like on 9 August every year. The celebrations feature several national and international firework teams who spread this blissful magic in the laps of darkness, brightening it in a way no one can ever think of.  The fireworks first took place in 2004 at Marina Bay and the event was then called as Singapore Fireworks Festival. Since then, the amount of fireworks, happiness, and amazement has grown to 2000%.

Some places from where you can get the best views of the fireworks are Singapore Flyer, Marina Barrage, Gardens by the Bay, Sands Skypark Observation Deck, East Coast Park, Merlion Park, Queen Elizabeth Walk, Esplanade Bridge and Jubilee Bridge.

Singapore National Day

National Day Rally

The National Day Rally takes place on every first or second Sunday that falls after the National Day. Being organised since 1966, it is an annual event in which the Prime Minister of Singapore addresses the entire nation with the key challenges and future discussions. It began as a private meeting between the community leaders and the Prime Minister, the transcript of which was released after two weeks from the day it took place. In 1971, Lee Kuan Yew decided to televise the speech, and since then the rally is broadcasted live every year.

This year Lee Hsien Loong will host the rally at  ITE College Central on 19th August 2018, i.e. Sunday.

To sum up, the day is full of breathtaking events. It is a day that comes once a year but is remembered on all the remaining days. The people of Singapore cherish every moment of the day. Moreover, the day brings family and friends closer as everyone gets together to have spectacular views of the fireworks and motivational parade. As close as it is to the people of Singapore, their love for their country is visible in the amount of energy they put into making this day memorable.

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