Christmas in the Tropics - Singapore's Six-Week Christmas Celebration

Celebrating Christmas in the Tropics with Light Shows, Shopping, and Parties

Orchard Road Christmas Lightup, Singapore
••• Orchard Road Christmas Lightup, Singapore. Image courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board/photographed by Andrew Tan

Singapore's Christmas in the Tropics is a (mostly) secular festival, celebrated with a highlight on shopping, entertainment, Christmas lights, and Santa showing up in full furs despite Singapore's sizzling, humid weather.

The shopping districts of Orchard Road and Marina Bay explode in a shower of light, while adjoining malls and shopping centers put on extended hours and special deals to attract sightseeing tourists.

And when New Year ticks down, countdown parties will pull out all the stops!

  • Scenes from Christmas in the Tropics: continue to this image gallery - Images of Christmas in Singapore.

Got a hankering for celebrating the holidays in the tropics? Here's a rundown of what you can do during Christmas in Singapore:

Singapore Christmas Light-Ups

Every Christmas in Singapore, Orchard Road's streets glow with stunning light shows that blaze through the island's prime shopping and entertainment districts. This, combined with the late mall hours and promos put in place during Christmas season, make nighttime shopping in Singapore way more fun.

Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up. The Orchard Road light-up - a spectacular street-length light show - stretches about two miles down from Tanglin Mall to Plaza Singapura.  2016's Orchard Light-Up begins on November 12, 2016, and shuts down on January 2, 2017. For hotels in the vicinity of the Orchard Light-Up, read this article: Hotels on or near Orchard Road, Singapore.

Tourist Shopping Privileges and Promotions in Singapore

Shopping is the central activity for Christmas in Singapore. Outside of the Great Singapore Sale, the promotions and the freebies offered by Singapore's shopping centers are some of the lowest yet, designed to hitchhike on the Christmas spirit and get Christmas bystanders come in and buy, buy, buy.

The tax-free shopping in Singapore benefits tourists who come to spend Christmas in town; they can redeem the tax they pay on their shopping as soon as they leave the country.

MasterCard Promotion. From November 12 to January 2, the first 200 MasterCard cardholders per week who charge at least SGD 300 to their MasterCard at participating Orchard Road shopping malls receive a SGD 30 shopping voucher. Shoppers can present a maximum of five same-day receipts at the same establishment to redeem their vouchers.

From November 26 till the end of the promotion, vouchers will only be issued while stocks last.

  • More information: Continue to this article on Singapore Christmas Promotions for details on each promo, participating malls, restrictions, links to the official sites, and a growing list of other promotions.

Christmas and New Year Countdown Parties

Singapore holds a number of parties to ring in the new year, one at Marina Bay and the Esplanade waterfront, and two others to be thrown at Siloso Beach on Sentosa Island.

ZoukOut 2016.Singapore's longest-running and most-awaited music dance festival kicks off on Siloso Beach, Sentosa, on December 11 and 12, uniting partygoers in a sea of music, dance and good vibes.

Marina Bay Singapore Countdown. Singapore's foremost New Year party happens at Marina Bay on the evening of December 31, with fireworks and performances bursting forth against a highly-modern backdrop. To mark the countdown, celebration, a Wishing Spheres visual art installation will pour into Marina Bay. Singaporeans write their wishes for the New Year onto 20,000 giant "wishing spheres", and the spheres will be set afloat on December 31.

Singapore Sentosa Countdown. At Siloso Beach on Sentosa, a far more raucous party will ring in the New Year. Stilt-walkers, dancers and fire-eaters will amplify the excitement launched by the fireworks. The party starts on December 31, 8pm at Sentosa Siloso Beach.