Safe and Healthy Chinese New Year – Things to Watch Out For

Chinese New Year is massive nationwide celebration and an astonishing experience with much joy and cultural splendour. The fireworks in particular are unbelievable.

Chinese New Year | Image Credit - Westerheversand, CC BY-SA 1.0 via Wikipedia Commons

Chinese New Year | Image Credit – Westerheversand, CC BY-SA 1.0 via Wikipedia Commons


During Chinese New Year, there’s mass exodus of people travelling from the city to their various hometowns. This can result in exponentially more pollution, which will reach critical mass when the fireworks go off. So if you suffer from health problems, it’s best to be prepared.

Stay Vigilant in Crowds

During Chinese New Year, crowds will be at their most congested, so one should always keep an eye out for pick-pockets or kinds of unsavoury people. Theft can easily go unnoticed if you’re in a crowd.


When the fireworks begin they can be overwhelming, and dangerous if you’re at ground level. If you’re staying at some high end accommodation, such as Clarke Quay hotels Singapore along the likes of Park Hotel Clarke Quay, then it’s best to enjoy the fireworks from the comfort and safety of your balcony.

Prepare Everything in Advance

During Chinese New Year, tourism can be at its peak, so be sure to make your travel arrangements, book your accommodation and reserve your restaurant tables well in advance to secure them for your arrival.

Intrigued by history, art and food, Shazzana Hamid is a writer who is passionate about the extraordinary. Disguised as Lavinia Woolf she writes of the exhilarating and enchanting.


National Day Celebrations Singapore -Celebrating an Independent Nation

Singapore celebrates its National Day on the 9th of August with a magnificent colourful parade to commemorate the Independence gained after its separation from Malaysia in 1965. The tumultuous road to Singapore’s independence is theatrically and beautifully display in the parade which forms as a narrative. For those looking for a comfortable Singapore luxury serviced apartments to stay in while celebrating this exhilarating National day with the locals, Ascott Raffles Palace Singapore is one of the options that travellers could choose from as it is centrally located to the venue of the ceremony.

The 51st Singaporean National Day Celebrations will be centred on the theme ‘Building Our Singapore of Tomorrow’, which aims to unite Singaporeans to create the next chapter of their great nation. Prior to the Parade, a pre parade will entertain the audience with a myriad of mass displays, choir performances, school band displays and other performances. The pre parade is also a chance for the hosts to lead and rehearse with the audience actions which may be required when the parade begins. The Parade will feature of displays from Military parades, multi-cultural song and dance performances and aerial high jink and many others. The celebrations held at the National Stadium will take part in a series of six Acts, which feature; a prologue, Badang and the Singapore Stone, Four Civilisations, Dare to Dream, Ingenuity, Building our Singapore of Tomorrow, Our Home Our People and finally the Finale.

The segment before the Finale will feature over 150 special needs participants singing What a Wonderful World as other participants create a colourful display of varying images of hand painted artwork from the students of the TOUCH Community Services. The official ceremony of the celebrations will conclude with participants reciting the pledge and singing the national anthem followed by a mesmerising display of fireworks that sets the bubbling Singaporean skyline on fire.

Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+

Firing Through The Waters – Dragon Boat Festival 2014

Also known as Duanwu, the Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional holiday in the Chinese calendar and in parts of Asia where Chinese immigrants live. In Singapore this annual race comes to life at the Bedok Reservoir. A significant number of crews participate in the Dragon boat race which commemorates the famous Chinese scholar Qu Yuan. Overall the festival is meant to be a celebration; it is a display of Chinese culture and habits. Those who are not racing at the event generally feast on some of the delicious Chinese cuisine prepared for the day. The main items available are rice dumplings and rice wine and the Bedok Reservoir is filled with stalls that serve steaming dumplings for the spectators. Enjoying Chinese food is simply one aspect of the Festival, there are several other activities lined up for those who come to watch the race. Hanging icons of ZhongKui, Mugwort and Calamus, sporting perfumed medicine bags and writing spells is all part of the day’s celebrations.
Most of the activities have a symbolic and cultural meaning tied to it. For instance, making an egg stand at noon time was believed to be an effective way of preventing the spread of disease and evil. Chinese people consider it a sign of good health and well-being and look at it as a guard against evil spirits entering their homes. The major component of the festival is the dragon boat. The boat is human powered and is usually made from teak wood. Brightly colored designs often adorn the teak structure of the boat and it is somewhere between 40 to 100 feet long. The end of the boat is shaped like the open mouth of a dragon and the rear end is a jagged tail. There are around 80 oarsmen/women who row in the boat.
The race begins with a sacred ceremony; the boat is ‘brought to life’ with the painting of the dragons eyes. The winner of the race is determined by the first team to grab the flag that is at the end of the course. If you want to catch the action and get a good view of the race, then 5 start hotels Singapore would be a good fit for you. Singapore luxury suites offer a spectacular view of the Bedok Reservoir and most of the city’s landmarks. The St. Regis Singapore can be recommended for visitors who are keen to be at the center of all the action and enjoy the festival’s many activities.

Vesak Day in Singapore

One of the most significant dates in the Buddhist calendar is Vesak. It is the day that commemorates the 3 main events in Lord Buddha’s life; birth, enlightenment and death. Singapore is an Asian country that has a large number of Buddhists and therefore Vesak is a public holiday here. It falls on the 15th of the 4th month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar.
Various temples throughout Singapore have activities starting from dawn during Vesak. Devotees visit the temple with offerings of flowers, joy-sticks and candles. These simple offerings have meaning too as they symbolize that life also wilts away like the flowers or burns down like the candle and joy-stick.
This day has more good deeds being performed as it is believed that the merit of the good deeds you perform on Vesak day will increase many fold. While mass activities like blood donation are organized, families also engage in more personal ones such as releasing caged birds and animals etc. Rituals include chanting ‘mantras’, being a vegetarian and bathing a Buddha statue.
From a celebration manner Buddha statues are illuminated as well as candlelight processions. As the Buddhists in Singapore are comprised of those who arrived here from China, Sri Lanka and Burma, the practices during Vesak vary greatly. Witnessing the diverse ways in which all of them commemorate the most important day in their spiritual leader’s life is a truly humbling experience.
For instance in the Mahayana Buddhist Temple, devotees climb the steps in both knees, praying at every third step. The prayers are for personal blessings, repentance as well as world peace. In the Burmese and Sri Lankan Buddhist Temples a pot of rice milk is cooked in remembrance of Buddha’s last meal.
Since most places are closed on this day having an accommodation that has activities to keep you occupied is advisable for those of you who don’t want to participate in the happenings of the city. W Singapore Sentosa Cove is one such place. It is among the most popular luxury resort in Singapore. The hotel belongs to the acclaimed Sentosa Resort Singapore chain.

Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry. Google+

Vesak Celebrations in Singapore – A Day of Celebration Spent in Quiet Reverence

In hushed reverence and quiet veneration, the birth, enlightenment and the death of the Buddha is celebrated by Buddhists scattered the world over on the day of Vesak, the day marked as the most important on the Buddhist calendar. Bathed in the charm of this day, devotees find serenity sublime in the beautiful and symbolic celebrations and rituals that are faithfully followed on the day.

In Singapore, where Theravada and Mahayana Buddhists together abide, the rituals followed slightly vary, while the common chord of peace and good deeds as well as repentance bind the hearts and minds of those who celebrate in strong and significant unison. The day of Vesak is celebrated on the 15th day of the 4th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar in Singapore, on which good deeds and righteous gestures are practiced far and wide owing to the belief that such deeds performed on the sacred day multiplies merit many times over. Hence blood donations are organized in grand scale, mantras are chanted and caged animals are released.

The many statues of the Buddha are illuminated with lights on this day where candlelight processions take place on the streets, while some “bathe” a Buddha statue symbolizing the showers of the waters of the nine dragons that bathed Buddha after birth.

When in Singapore during the time of this festival the Lian Shan Shuang Lin Temple is a great place to observe the quiet celebrations of Vesak. This majestic temple is the second largest temple in Asia as well as being the oldest temple in Singapore. In Chinatown also one may find the beauty of Vesak pulsating with devotion at the spiritual centre of The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple while admiring the wonderful combination of the Buddhist mandala and the remnants of glory of the Tang dynasty expressed in the Buddhist art culture on display there.

For those who would like to visit the country illuminated by a million lights of reverence during the festival of Vesak, Singapore apartment hotels such as the Citadines Mount Sophia Singapore is an ideal place to seek accommodation in as it is one of the leading serviced apartments Singapore has.

Jayani Senanayake is a writer who dabbles in travel and all things exotic. Under the pseudonym of Caliope Sage, she writes of the allures that must simply be discovered.Google+

Singapore Cultural Events – Diverse and Colourful

Home to a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities, races and religions, the city state of Singapore is a wonderful place to visit especially during the festive season. However, given its communal diversity, this state is home to a fairly divergent collection of festivals and religious celebrations and thus, it is likely that whenever you visit the country, there will always be a festival being celebrated by the locals!
Singapore cultural events kick off with the Chinese New Year, which is also known as the Spring Festival and the Lunar New Year by the locals and is one event that is celebrated by all Singaporeans regardless of their ethnicity or religion. During this celebration, new clothes are worn to welcome the New Year, houses are cleaned, relatives are visited and little children are gifted with small red bags known as ‘Hong Bao’ which are small pouches filled with money.
Another cultural event which takes place in May is the Vesak Festival, a Buddhist celebration that commemorates the Birth, Enlightenment and the Death of the Buddha. On this date, Singaporeans who are of the Buddhist faith will congregate at temples with flowers and light incense sticks, sing hymns and seek peace that comes from true knowledge. During this period, Buddhists also engage in meritorious deeds such as the donation of blood, releasing of animals etc. in the belief that the merits accrued would multiply.
Additionally the ethnic festival of Sankaranthi, more popularly known as the Pongal Festival is a celebration of a bountiful harvest and is an Asian version of the Western Thanksgiving celebrations. The Thai Pongal Festival is celebrated for four days during which homes are cleaned and spruced, Pongal is made and offered to the deities, relatives are visited, cattle are honoured by bathing and flower garlands are offered to them as well.
For those staying at a serviced apartment Singapore, other festivals and cultural events include Hari Raya Haji and the Mid-Autumn Festival which can be witnessed. It should be noted that accommodation, especially luxury accommodation Singapore tend to be booked fairly early and if you are searching for a hotel the calibre of Somerset Bencoolen Singapore, reservations should be early to avoid disappointment.

Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+

Vesak Day A Peaceful Celebration Void of the Blast of Commercialization

A festival void of unnecessary gaieties and blast, the Vesak Day is celebrated by the Buddhist scattered the world over, with great reverence and veneration. Vesak marks the most important day of the Buddhist calendar, in which the birth, enlightenment and the death of the Buddha is commemorated with great joy and meditation.

In Singapore, the Vesak day is celebrated usually on the 15th day of the 4th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. Many good deeds are performed on this sacred day by the Buddhists as they believe that such deeds will multiply in worth many times over when performed on this day. Hence caged birds and animals meant for slaughter are released, vegetarian meals are savored and blood donations are organized and participated in by the young and old alike. It is also customary to bathe a statue of Buddha, symbolizing the showers of the waters of the nine dragons that bathed Buddha after birth.

In Singapore, the Buddhist community constitutes both Mahayana and Theravada variants of Buddhism. While the Mahayana is followed by the Chinese Buddhists of Singapore, the Sri Lankan and Burmese Buddhists residing in China follow Theravada. The celebrations of each group vary slightly.

On the day of Vesak, Mahayana Buddhists observe the “three-step, one-bow” ritual wherein devotees on bended knee take three steps and a bow whilst praying for repentance and peace on a procession that continues for two long hours. Conversely, the Theravada Buddhists gather in temples and prepare a pot of milk rice to symbolize Buddha’s last meal prior to the long fasting that began with the journey toward enlightenment. Many gather to the Lian Shan Shuang Lin Temple or the Budda Tooth Relic Temple to celebrate the day of Vesak.

This charming festival can be witnessed by the visitors in the month of May in Singapore. Luxury suites such as the St. Regis Singapore, will ensure that the holiday is spent amid sheer comfort. With its plethora of luxury hotels, Singapore is lit up in reverence for the Vesak celebrations that will be observed by many around the world who visit during the season.


Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday.


Cultural Festivals Singapore – Engaging Festivities in the Lion City

Renowned the world over as one of Asia’s most culturally diverse nations the island metropolis of Singapore is no ordinary holiday destination in the region. As the metropolitan home of a plethora of cultures the Lion City is also a festival capital in Asia with various local festivals celebrated by its multi-ethnic populace decorating its annual calendar. Marked with great pomp and pageantry the festivals highlighting the diverse heritage of Singapore’s vibrant population are nothing short of mesmerizing with the entire city transforming its appearance for the coveted events that are viewed as national celebrations rather than secular events.

The Chinese Lunar New Year is one such festival where the entire country comes together in the month of January to mark the birth of a new year. Characterized by the larger than life Chingay Parade which is deemed Singapore’s most colorful street celebration and the River Hong Bao cultural and shopping mêlée that takes centre stage at the Esplanade Park each year the lunar new year is synonymous with family gatherings and delectable seasonal food that is widely available in Chinatown and other areas of the city.

The month of May is synonymous with the Buddhist festival of Vesak which marks the birth, enlightenment and the attainment of nirvana by Buddhism’s supreme leader Lord Buddha. Mass celebrations in the form of candle lit marches takes place in prominent temples in the city such as the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Lian Shan Shuang Lin Temple where the faithful flocks to meditate, give alms and chant Buddhist sutras. Charity events and alms giving to the poor are also organized during this period by many Buddhists.

Other red letter cultural festivals include Pongal, a four day harvest festival marked by Tamil communities in the country while November brings the sights and sounds of the Indian New Year Deepavali to the corners of Little India in Singapore. The Mid- Autumn festival which falls in September is best known for Lantern parades and moon cakes whereas The Hungry Ghost Festival is famous for Chinese opera performances and mouthwatering feasts. The Hari Raya Puasa in contrast is an Islamic festival where visitors can sample Malay delicacies and shop in street bazaars.

Travellers in search of luxury Singapore service apartments will be more than pleased with Somerset Liang Court Singapore. Offering guests the best in contemporary facilities and amenities this elegant rest provides serviced accommodation Singapore ranks among the finest in the island.

Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers.


Chinese New Year in Singapore: An Annual Affair of Splendour

The celebration of the New Year on the 1st of January each year is in fact according to only one calendar: the Gregorian calendar, the existing calendar which has been unofficially acknowledged by a number of high profile institutions thereby making it the most accepted. While the Gregorian calendar remains the most accepted, a number of countries, depending on the regions they belong to, celebrate the dawn of the New Year according to various calendars. As a result, nations of the world celebrate this event at different times of the year such as the Cambodian New Year, the Filipino New Year Celebration, the Islamic New Year, the Sinhalese New Year, Baby New Year, Twelve Grapes and more.

The Chinese New year is one such celebration which dawns with the first month of the Chinese calendar and lasts for fifteen days. Known also by names such as the Lunar New Year, and the Spring Festival, this event is celebrated by a number of countries and communities including Singapore. Some of the traditions associated with this celebration is the donning of new clothes to mark the dawn of the new year, conducting a thorough cleaning of their homes in order to dispel any evil, making family visits and the Reunion Dinner which witnesses relatives and friends coming together to celebrate the dawn of yet another beautiful year, in the hope that it will be prosperous and bountiful.

Tourists visiting Singapore in February will witness multitudes of red lanterns being hung along the streets and on the porches of houses as well as the central pageant, the Chingay Parade that is held alongside the Marina waterfront. An iconic location to have such a colourful celebration, the Chingay Parade is one procession that tourists should aim to witness.

Whether you choose to reside in any one of the amazing luxury hotels Singaporeor opt to rent out a small studio, from wherever you are, the splendour of the Chinese New Year is palatable and visible. If you wish to experience this marvellous holiday in style at one of the Singapore luxury suites, there truly is no better option than the hotel located in the heart of the shopping district: The St. Regis Singapore.

Singapore Writers Festival 2013 – an outstanding literary event

The much anticipated Singapore Writers Festival is a delightful experience for anyone interested in the field of literature. Having completed 15 years of successful existence, the yearly event has secured a strong reputation as one of Asia’s most significant literary extravaganzas. Having evolved into being one of the mainstays of the international literary calendar this event attracts many notable writers from across the globe.

The festival has featured notable literary personalities like Steve Levitt, Michael Chabon, Bi Feiyu, Neil Gaiman and Gail Simone. The engrossing organised events like lectures, workshops and other features combined with the cosmopolitan ambience of Singapore make this extravaganza a unique experience.

Initially the event commenced as an offshoot of an arts festival and a springboard for local Singaporean writing talent. However the event has developed into a truly international occasion which draws the attention of literary aficionados the world over. A noteworthy aspect of the event is that it is multi-lingual, with English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil panels and the necessary translations available. The festival is also significant for its diverse topics and themes which make it appealing for a broad cross-section of readers and writers. The extravaganza encompasses various genres such as highbrow concerns, cookery writing, sports writing and children’s fiction just to name a few.

This is also an excellent venue for aspiring writers to show off their work and if fortune favours them, to leave the event with an agent’s attention or even a book contract. Aspiring writers should take the opportunity to attend features like lectures, workshops and symposiums which will explain how to develop a novel, biography, screenplay or poem from a mere idea to completion and publication. It is even possible to have a meal with your favourite author and discuss literary matters.

Although this is unquestionably a premier literary event many of the events are modestly priced while others are free of charge. Anyone with an interest in books will be enthralled by this splendid event.

Visitors to the city seeking hotels in Singapore will find an exemplary choice in the Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Singapore. These fine Singapore hotels offer well-appointed interiors and an array of amenities.

Jayani Senanayake is a writer who dabbles in travel and all things exotic. Under the pseudonym of Caliope Sage, she writes of the allures that must simply be discovered.