Singapore celebrating its National Day

Just a few days after my arrival, on August 9th, Singapore celebrated its 53rd anniversary since independence from Malaysia. The main festivities were held at Marina Bay where thousands of people had secured a seat to watch long-practiced performances on a floating stage. Hundreds of thousands of citizens and tourists had gathered around the bay area to watch the country’s flag fly by, marines parachuting into the water, low-flying military jets roar across the sky, and of course the magnificent firework once it got dark.

Marines parachuting at NDP

Singapore Flag  Flyover at NDP

I had not anticipated such a big crowd of spectators, so that, when I arrived more than two hours before the firework was to start, the waterfront around the bay had already been closed off. I made my way through the slow-flowing masses of people and finally managed to secure a good viewpoint. The fireworks, although not very long in duration, were worth the wait, at the same time I started understanding why many Singaporeans I had talked to had decided to watch the spectacle on TV…

Spectators of Fireworks


During the days leading up to the event there had been many rehearsals of the elaborate parade, and on the streets and in front of housing blocks and businesses large signs had depicted citizens wishing their country a happy national day. The overall atmosphere seemed joyous to me, but not overly patriotic and fixated on this day (which I felt was refreshing).

Here is a time-lapse video of the entire parade by Straits Times:

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