National Day

Singapore like things to be perfect, which goes a long way to explain the efficient public transport system here.

August 9th is National Day in Singapore, which is a little like Australia Day except they actually celebrate the day, as opposed to just having the day off from work and watching cricket on the telly as we do in Australia.

I don’t know if it’s law or not but almost every condo (including ours) has decorated the entrance with Singaporean flags and bunting in the last week in celebration of Singapore’s 46th birthday.  I come from a country where we do not display our patriotism.

If you were to hang an Aussie flag off your house you’d be considered a bit odd.  The only times it’s really acceptable to be patriotic is at sporting events and even then it’s not the Aussie flag you’ll see, but the sporting one which features a boxing kangaroo.  We don’t deck ourselves in red, blue and white which are the colours on our ‘proper’ flag but the green and gold ones of the sporting flag.  This may (or may not) hark back to the fact our country was founded on convict labour, so we’ve always liked to thumb our nose at authority.

So, flags have appeared and it’s strange to me given my cultural background. But it’s nice at the same time.

On National Day there’s a big parade.  One of the radio stations here was giving away tickets to the parade as a prize. If Aussie radio stations offered that as a prize I’m pretty sure their phones would remain silent.  The parade is a BIG DEAL.  Such a big deal that they do practice runs for at least 6 weeks prior to National Day.  There are soldiers, tanks, cannons, helicopters, navy boats, light shows, songs, and fireworks.

Yes, they run practice fireworks shows.

It must cost a bomb to run 6 weeks of practice fireworks shows, but the benefit is it gives everyone a chance to catch the fireworks.  Which given we are heading to Hong Kong when the real parade is on is fortuitous for us!

So last night we headed down to the area near the Merlion. I think this is called One Fullerton, but I’m happy to say we parked ourselves at a bar near the Merlion   some spectacular fireworks.

My girls were spellbound. They gaped at the sky with open mouths and oohed and ahhed over the beautiful colours that lit up the night sky.  I was captivated by the reflection of the fireworks on all three towers of Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort, it was truly beautiful.

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4 thoughts on “National Day

  1. Sounds like quite the event!

    I’d have to say, though, when you find yourself back in Australia for Australia Day, pop up to Canberra. It’s a sea of red, white and blue worn by young and old alike, people turn out in droves for Australia Day events and we have a most beautiful firework display over Lake Burley Griffin. It’s one of the biggest days on the Canberra calendar.

    Then again, Canberra kinda needs to justify its existence, doesn’t it 😉

  2. Ha! Canberra needs to justify its existence..LOL.
    Oh we are funny about our patriotism..typically UNDER-stated… Yes!
    But, Kel, I ‘disagree’ about the people who have an Australian Flag at the front of their house….we DID. It went up, via pole B made, jutting out from the verandah…and I put a $10 Aussie Flag on it for A.N.Z.A.C. Day 2009. Stayed till just a few weeks ago… commemorating many events…like “Hugo and Ruby” coming on Mondays, and ummmmm…oh well. You guessed it, we “just didn’t take it down & put it up again.” Gorn now

    It is interesting to hear and read of another’s culture and traditions..Singapore celebrates like the USA I imagine. But don’t tell them I said that.

    Have a wonderful 9th August

  3. I think the longer you live overseas the more patriotic you get. After 9 years living away from Aus I now have a complete set of Aussie flag hats for the family as well as several sizes and versions of our National flag – even one trimmed in silver sequins from the HK sevens a few years ago 😉
    Living in Singapore and HK I promise you – there is a chance you will get sick of the fireworks, they love them and they are or surprisingly often throughout the year. Enjoy the novelty (while it still is one)

  4. I have yet to see the fireworks but from photos I’ve seen they look amazing.

    I think most of the flags you see are placed due to obligation. Probably nudged by the neighbourhood grassroots? Although it would be great if our government was not so stringent about the flag placement rules they may actually see people being more patriotic.

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