Best time to visit Singapore

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Best time to visit Singapore

It's the first question if you want to travel to Singapore. Alright, we will share with you some information about this country in order to you to give decision the best time to visit Singapore depends upon whether you want to avoid busy periods during big festivals or embrace the crowds and join in the fun.

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When is the best time to visit Singapore?

Singapore is one of the most attractive countries in Asean for tourists over the world. This island country welcomes about 15 million visitors every year. With its warm climate all year round, the time to visit Singapore is any time. However, depending on your preference, there are periods of time in various activities affecting tourism here.

July - September: While tourists visit throughout the year, the festive season is a great time to explore the many facets of Singapore, especially around July when the Great Singapore Sale and the Singapore Food Festival take place.

February - April: The months between the summers and winters are quite pleasant. Plenty of outdoor activities become available then.

November - January: The wettest months are between November and January, when showers can last for long periods of time, while the hottest months are May and June.

Festivals and Events in Singapore

Whether it’s the festive celebration of Chinese New Year or the roar of Formula 1 cars, there’s always a party going on somewhere on the island.

1. World Gourmet Summit: April

Gourmands have a ball during this three-week fine food festival, spread across town at some of the city's best eating and drinking venues. World-renowned celebrity and Michelin-starred chefs, as well as vintners, fly in to preside over a gastronomic orgy, including wine master classes, gourmet BBQs and charity dinners. Book tickets in advance.

2. Singapore International Film Festival: April

For over two decades, SIFF – Singapore's longest-running independent cultural event – has pretty much single-handedly championed foreign, regional and local films (with a competition section for new Asian cinema), and set the agenda for film appreciation outside the multiplex. Expect a serious and provocative mix of up to 300 international documentaries, features, animation, shorts and retrospectives over three weeks.

3. Vesak Day: May

A sizeable proportion of Singapore's population commemorates the birth, enlightenment and nirvana of the Buddha on Vesak Day (the first full moon day of the fourth lunar month). Vegetarian food is served at Buddhist temples, where devotees flock to make offerings of flowers, incense, oil lamps or lighted candles. Some even release captive animals like turtles and birds as offerings.

4. Great Singapore Sale: May - July

The national obsession for shopping becomes even more frenzied during the biggest sale of the year. Department stores, malls and individual boutiques offer discounts that range from cursory to crazy, and late-night shopping events are organised at weekends. Stock up like there's no tomorrow.

5. Singapore Arts Festival: Late May - June

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2007, this month-long arts extravaganza brings a mind-boggling array of mainstream and experimental music, dance, theatre and visual arts to venues all over town. It's organised by the National Arts Council, and international and regional acts tend to dominate - UK theatre group Station House Opera, Belgian dance outfit Rosas, and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra appeared in 2006 – but there's local fare too, as well as a slew of free street performances and workshops.

6. Singapore Dragon Boat Festival: June

A 2,000-year old festival held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month to commemorate the death of Qu Yuan, a Chinese poet who drowned himself in protest at political corruption. Fishermen raced their boats to rescue him, but to no avail. To distract the fish from feasting on his body, people threw bah chang (glutinous rice and meat dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves) into the water. Today, local, regional and international teams race beautifully decorated boats on Bedok Reservoir, while bah chang are sold widely throughout the island.

7. Singapore Food Festival: July

Another national obsession – eating, and talking about eating – comes to the fore with this month-long string of food events across town. From chilli crab buffets and street stalls selling heritage dishes to chef competitions, cookery workshops and demonstrations, it's a great opportunity to experience the best of the island's gastronomic offerings.

8. Festival of the Hungry Ghosts: July - September

The Chinese believe that during the seventh lunar month, the gates of hell open to allow its spirit inhabitants to roam the earth – so they ritually offer food and burn 'hell money' for their deceased loved ones, ancestors and deities. There's a host of activities, especially in Chinatown and Chinese neighbourhoods, including celebration dinners, loud auctions and outdoor street performances (known as getai) of Chinese opera, puppetry, singing and comedy.

9. National Day Parade: 9 August

The anniversary of Singapore's independence (a public holiday) is greeted with much pomp and hullaballoo. The official Parade involves patriotic Singaporeans dressed in red and white (the national colours) watching a series of decorated floats, military marches and painstakingly synchronised dances, culminating with fireworks. Formerly held at the Padang or the National Stadium (currently being rebuilt), the event has moved temporarily to Marina Bay. Tickets are free, but only citizens and permanent residents (not tourists) can attend – though the whole shebang is televised live.

10. Singapore Fireworks Festival: Early/mid August

Visitors can, however, enjoy the visual extravaganza that is the Singapore Fireworks Festival, also held at Marina Bay and lasting four days. Some 300,000 visitors watched the 2006 displays, with pyrotechnic expertise from Europe and beyond.

11. WOMAD Singapore: End August

Founded by rock legend Peter Gabriel, WOMAD (World Of Music, Arts & Dance) has been entertaining audiences in more than 20 countries for over 20 years. Usually held on the last weekend of August in the lovely leafy setting of Fort Canning Park, the Singapore version draws expat families with kids in tow, clubbers looking to party and all kinds of music-lovers who have been starved of exciting live music all year. Expect bands, DJs, dancers, arts and crafts, and food from Peru to Korea, Australia to Africa.

12. Mid-Autumn Festival: September - October

This Buddhist festival in honour of the full moon is celebrated during the eighth lunar month (especially on the 15th day), and is also known as the Mooncake Festival, Lantern Festival or August Moon Festival. Colourful paper lanterns, elaborate decorations, spectacular street lights, and markets selling traditional goodies abound in Chinatown and elsewhere. Mooncakes – round pastries filled with lotus seed paste, preserved duck egg and other sweet fillings – are sold throughout the island.

13. Hari Raya Puasa: September - October

Starting on the first day of the tenth lunar month, Hari Raya Puasa (the Malay name for Eid Al Fitr) celebrates the end of the month-long fasting period of Ramadan. Geylang Serai and Kampong Glam – the Muslim areas of town – come alive with festive decorations, street lighting, bustling roadside bazaars and a mouth-watering array of traditional Malay foodstuffs. Hari Raya Haji, which marks the conclusion of the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca, is also a public holiday, but is less of a public event; it usually falls around December.

14. Singapore Biennale: September - November

Singapore joined the biennale club in 2006, hosting a blockbuster showcase of work – on the theme 'Belief' – by 95 artists from over 38 countries. With an internationally renowned curator (Nanjo Fumio, from Tokyo's Mori Art Museum) and most of the work exhibited in public spaces, including churches, temples, mosques and City Hall, it carefully mixed the cerebral and the cryptic with plenty of playful, accessible art. Expect similar things for the next edition in 2008.

15. Deepavali: Usually October

Diwali – known in Singapore under its Tamil name, Deepavali – also called the Festival of Lights, is a major Hindu festival for Hindus, Jains and Sikhs throughout the world, symbolising the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. Hindu families offer prayers at local temples, which are illuminated with a profusion of oil lamps, candles and fairy lights. For most of October, Serangoon Road, the heart of Little India, is abuzz with spectacular street decorations and lighting, and evening roadside bazaars sell garish jewellery, saris, spices, crafts, jasmine garlands and foodstuffs.

16. Theemidhi Festival: October

Barefoot Hindus walk across a 4m/13ft bed of red-hot coals to show their devotion to the Goddess Draupadi, who was said to have done the same to prove her innocence. Unstinting concentration is needed by the fire-walkers, and pure faith leaves them unscathed. The ceremony begins about 3am at Sri Mariamman Temple in Chinatown; respectful attire is required. Look out for the Silver Chariot procession around the same date, when a statue of the goddess is carried from Sri Mariamman Temple to Sri Perumal Temple in Little India (Campbell Lane is a good spot from which to see the action).

17. Kusu Island Pilgrimage: October - November

Legend says that a magical giant turtle turned itself into Kusu Island, off Singapore's southern coast, to save two shipwrecked sailors. Grateful, the sailors visited the island regularly to give thanks. Taoists in Singapore and the region make an annual pilgrimage during the ninth lunar month to Tua Pekong Temple on the island, praying for luck, prosperity and fertility. It gets incredibly busy, so non-pilgrims might want to visit at another time.

18. Singapore Fashion Week: October - November

The Singapore fashion scene is always striving to keep up with the major fashion capitals, as can be seen at this week-long event, which pulls in players from all over South-east Asia. It includes contests for fledgling designers from Singapore's top four design schools, and culminates in an expensive gala dinner. Paid tickets are needed for most shows, but some events are free.

19. Swissotel Vertical Marathon: Mid November

The original vertical marathon began in 1987. About 1,000 participants race up 1,336 steps to the top of the 73-storey Swissotel The Stamford, South-east Asia's tallest hotel; Bavinder Singh set the fastest time of six minutes 55 seconds in 1989.

20. ZoukOut: Early December

Mega-club Zouk organises this gigantic, weekend-long beach party on Sentosa, usually on Siloso or Tanjong Beaches. First held in 2000, it has grown every year: 20,000 revellers turned up in 2006. Local and overseas music acts and big-name DJs play in tents and outdoor arenas; expect everything from rock to hip hop, lounge to house.

21. Christmas celebrations: Late October -25 December

All of Orchard Road is dressed in Yuletide finery from late October, marking the beginning of the Christmas shopping and dining rush. Hotels and shopping malls also get in on the act, ensuring that the city's decorations are pretty splendid. There's a parade on Orchard Road on Christmas Day itself (which is a public holiday), but the city doesn't completely shut down – many Singaporeans don't celebrate Christmas, after all – and it's back to normal straight afterwards.

22. Singapore Marathon: Early Dec

Currently sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, the Singapore Marathon draws up to 13,000 runners (elite and amateur) from all over the world. Starting at Esplanade Bridge, the route loops through the CBD and beachfront East Coast Park, finishing at the Padang. It's a tough marathon, owing to the island's humid weather, but a spectacular one – during which the city grinds to a momentary halt.

23. New Year's Eve: 31 December

New Year's Eve is celebrated in a big way. The Nation's Countdown is a televised event that includes performances by local celebrities, followed by several big public parties, in varying venues. Bars and restaurants across town throw their own bashes, as do popular entertainment hubs like Clarke Quay and Esplanade. The morning after, streamers and other debris litter the streets – the only day you'll find Singapore less than spotless.

24. Chinese New Year: January - February

Thanks to Singapore's largely Chinese population, this is the biggest festival/holiday period of the year. In the weeks leading up to New Year, celebrations erupt all over the island, but are centred on Chinatown, with street lighting, music, performances and a massive street market hawking traditional Chinese goodies, decorative items and food. Associated events include the wonderfully kitsch Chingay Parade of Dreams (www.chingay.org.sg), on Orchard Road, an outdoor variety show, float parade and carnival rolled into one; and the River Hong Bao fair next to Esplanade.

25. Thaipusam: January - February

One of the most colourful and ritual-heavy festivals in Singapore, held in honour of the Hindu deity Subramaniam (Lord Murugan). Penitents carrying kavadis – elaborately decorated semi-circular structures with skewers and hooks piercing the body – walk the 3km/2-mile route from Little India's Sri Perumal Temple, via Serangoon Road, Selegie Road, Penang Road and Clemenceau Avenue, to Sri Thendayuthapani Temple. Friends and family chant in support as they go.

We hope that above information to help you have chosen the best time to visit Singapore. Have a good trip to Singapore!

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