chevron icon chevron icon

5 common ways Singaporeans celebrate National Day

5 common ways Singaporeans celebrate National Day

Singaporeans love their public holidays. Not only does it promise a precious day off from work or school, it also gives us a wonderful opportunity to meet up with friends and family and reconnect with them.

But some public holidays are more important than others. National Day, which falls on 9th August, is one of the most anticipated holidays for every Singaporean. Not just because it’s the one holiday that’s uniquely Singapore, it’s also because of our traditional festivities that come along with it that make it extra special.

Wondering what we Singaporeans usually get up to on National Day? Read on!

Having a picnic

Picnics are a holiday staple for families who love being in the great outdoors. National Day in particular commonly sees throngs of people visiting parks all over the island from morning to night, seizing the opportunity to take a break from normal life. Some head to Singapore’s Botanic Gardens, while others prefer the various beaches around the citystate.

On National Day itself however, the prime picnic real estate lies in Marina Barrage, and for good reason: it’s the best place to catch a glimpse of the annual fireworks display in the evening. With cool breezes and the presence of like-minded families sharing the same space, this picnic ground makes the experience just a little bit more festive than usual.

Hosting friends and family at home

Singaporeans use any and all public holidays to get together for a good celebration, be it a cosy meetup with friends or a boisterous gathering for the entire family. If you manage to get invited to a National Day party, you’ll almost certainly be fed well, since food (especially local cuisine) is a core component of such celebrations.

Most National Day gatherings will also feature a running live telecast of the National Day parade as a centrepiece. Towards the evening, the television will inevitably be switched on and displaying the show, slowly luring the attention of the guests before taking centre stage as the main event of the party. From then on, it’s no longer just a conversation starter - it’s a glue that bonds people together.

Going for the National Day Parade

The National Day parade is a source of cultural pride for Singapore, and is the hottest event of the day (sometimes literally). A 3-hour spectacle featuring a revolving series of dance performances, military drills, and musical numbers, practically every Singaporean wants, or has already attended a parade in person.

The process of attending a parade is almost an event unto itself. First, the limited quantity tickets need to be procured via lottery system, which means entry to the parade grounds is partly a matter of luck. Then it’s about making an early trip down to the stands on the day itself, navigating through a series of winding routes while ushered by an army of event helpers, before finally ending up at your assigned seat and retrieving the coveted National Day goodie bag, packed with drinks, food, and more stuff to make the experience both bearable and memorable.

Having a staycation

For those who wish to eschew the idea of even stepping outdoors, yet find the usual confines of the home boring, the decision to stay the night at a local hotel can be an enticing alternative.

Hotel staycations are a common getaway for the average Singaporean, with any establishment located within the city centre a good choice due to easy access to shopping and dining options. But when it comes to National Day, only one hotel stands above the rest in desirability in recent years: Marina Bay Sands. Located right in the heart of the city, the beloved MBS sits right next to the floating platform that has been the site of the National Day parade for the past few years. With the right room, families are treated to front row seats for the show, and arguably the best possible spot to watch the fireworks later in the evening.

With that said, this advantage may soon pass - the parade will no longer make use of the floating platform as a venue and will be relocated to the National Stadium that’s located substantially further away from next year onwards. For 2023 however, the parade itself will make an extra special showing at the historic Padang - the site of the very first National Day parade back in 1965.

Eating out

It may sound like a modest way to celebrate during National Day, but don’t be fooled - practically every restaurant is guaranteed to be packed every 9th August in Singapore. With the country’s rich and diverse culinary scene, there’s something for every taste bud and budget. And what better way to catch up with friends and family over some national classics like chilli crab or Hainanese chicken rice?


Hopefully, this article has given you some idea of what the typical Singaporean does on National Day. If you’re hoping to visit Singapore with your child and perhaps soak up the atmosphere for yourselves, please come visit! We’d be happy to have you with us. And if you’re a Singaporean reading this: Happy National Day to you and your loved ones!

Book a free product demo
Suitable for primary & secondary
select dropdown icon
Our Education Consultants will get in touch with you to offer your child a complimentary Strength Analysis.
Book a free product demo
Suitable for primary & secondary