Spend Christmas / New Year in Singapore

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Friday, 18 November 2011

Singapore’s highly-anticipated ‘Christmas in the Tropics’ returns from 19 November 2011 to 2 January 2012.

This year, in addition to the festivities along Singapore’s prime shopping belts, Orchard Road and Marina Bay, the Sentosa HarbourFront precinct stakeholders will also come together to present a special Yuletide experience.

“Singapore’s ‘Christmas in the Tropics’ celebrations has almost become a tradition for locals and visitors from the region. This year, the two major precincts – Orchard Road and Marina Bay – have each designed their Christmas experience to feature a special and distinct focus. We are also pleased to welcome onboard the Sentosa HarbourFront precinct stakeholders as they join in to present even more fun and festivities to consumers and merry-makers this Christmas,” said Mr Andrew Phua, Director of Precinct Development, Singapore Tourism Board.

The Christmas Light-Ups at the precincts are led by their respective stakeholders and precinct associations. Each precinct’s creative light-up design is aimed at strengthening their individual identities as well as offer variety to appeal to different crowds.

Christmas / New Year on Orchard Road

The Christmas Light-up on Orchard Road continues into its 28th year. In 2010, about 27% of visitors to the light-up were tourists, marking a slight increase from the previous year’s 23%.

Having been ranked third in Lonely Planet’s list of “Top 10 Christmas Markets of the World”, and by Frommer’s as one of the “Top 10 World’s Best Holiday Lights 2010”, the 2011 edition of the Christmas Light-Up @ Orchard is set to once again delight visitors with its brilliant display of Christmas lights.

Directed by the Orchard Road Business Association (ORBA), the light-up on Orchard Road is themed “Christmas Blooms in Singapore”, where the 2.2 km Orchard Road will be lit up like a tropical garden with a specially designed three dimensional flower as the central icon to communicate the message of love and joy this Christmas.

“In the spirit of love and giving this Christmas, we hope to add a sparkle to the lives of those less fortunate even as our festive décor on Orchard Road is lit during the Switch-On Ceremony. A new ORBA charity initiative, we want to Light Up Beyond the Light-Up,” said Mrs Sng Ngoi May, Chairman of Orchard Road Business Association. “With every CCIS Candle lit by volunteers and members of the public on the night of the Ceremony, ORBA will donate a dollar to Community Chest.”

“Beyond charity, visitors can expect a visual and aural treat in our elaborately decorated precinct which will be enlivened with live musical performances. Visa cardholders can also look forward to exclusive shopping deals. With so much lined up this Christmas, we hope to bring exceptional experiences to everyone visiting Orchard Road.”

The Hitachi Group of Companies, the main sponsor of the Christmas Light-Up @ Orchard since 1991, is an important partner to bring the festive cheer to the crowds.

“The Hitachi Group is delighted to continue our support for the Christmas Light up, a tradition that both locals and visitors look forward to annually. Our partnership with Community Chest to raise funds for the needy is in line with Hitachi's commitment to contribute to society wherever we are located and we are glad that we are able to play a role in helping to spread cheer to the less fortunate during this festive period,” said Mr Makoto Nagashima, Managing Director of Hitachi Asia Ltd.

Christmas / New Year @ Marina Bay

Over at Marina Bay, the Marina Bay Business Association unveils a dramatic bayside experience with “Christmas Alive at Marina Bay”, a daring breakthrough from conventional street decorations that throws the spotlight on musical performances, art installations and interactive street decorations.

“This year, we have partnered the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts for the first time to create an arts-inspired Christmas experience against the stunning backdrop of Marina Bay. We look forward to seeing Marina Bay come alive with spectacular night displays and a host of exciting fringe events—from choral performances to land and sea cruises, charity events involving a specially designed Gail Pantin umbrella and even a Christmas food trail,” said Michelle Koh, President of Marina Bay Business Association.

Christmas / New Year @ Sentosa HarbourFront

For the first time, stakeholders from the Sentosa HarbourFront precinct have come together to organise a precinct-wide Christmas Light-Up to celebrate the festive season with the crowds.

 On 19 November, thousands of iridescent lights will be lit in synchrony, turning the spotlight on the vibrant and charming Sentosa HarbourFront. Adding to the splendour, a special minute-and-half light and sound show will be set out at the waterfront area of Resorts World Sentosa along with roving characters on stilts.

“In the jolly spirit of Christmas, the precinct’s leisure, entertainment and retail giants will put up a mesmerising display of the most sparkling Christmas lights,” said Noel Denis Hawkes, Vice President of Travel Partner Relations at Resorts World Sentosa on behalf of Sentosa HarbourFront. “Precinct-wide celebratory promotions from Mount Faber to VivoCity, HarbourFront Centre, Resorts World Sentosa and Sentosa Island will ensure everyone shares in the Christmas cheer.”

Season Festivities and Highlights

This holiday season, merry-makers can look forward to new retail concepts and first-to-market brands including Orchard Road’s Knightsbridge, Scotts Square, H&M and Abercrombie & Fitch.

Event organisers and businesses have also prepared a host of lifestyle offerings and experiences ranging from entertainment, dining to retail options.

A first for Singapore and the ‘Christmas in the Tropics’ celebrations is the introduction of the Elephant Parade, an open-air art exhibition that seeks to generate public awareness and support for the preservation of the Asian elephant. Hundreds of brightly painted life-sized elephant statues will be displayed prominently on the streets of Singapore, including Orchard Road. Painted by local and international artists, each elephant is a unique piece of art. All elephants will be auctioned off after the exhibition, of which a significant portion of the benefits will be donated to the Elephant Family, the largest elephant charity in the world.

The malls along Orchard Road will also be decked out in their holiday best as the “Best Dressed Building Contest” will take place from 19 November to 4 December 2011. Eleven malls will be participating this year and members of the public can vote for their favourite building via the Orchard Road Facebook page and stand to win prizes of up to Sin$13,500.

Celebrate Christmas in Singapore (CCIS) takes place on Orchard Road and Marina Bay from 16 to 25 December this year. For the last eight years, CCIS has told the story of Christmas in various entertaining ways, expressed through song, dance and theatre. During the ten days of CCIS, spectators can revel in the festive spirit with nightly music and drama performances, as well as a drive past of spectacularly decorated Christmas floats.

In addition, Singapore’s two integrated resorts, Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa, will celebrate the Christmas cheer with visitors and locals through their festive décor, hotel packages and special events.

At Marina Bay Sands, visitors can look forward to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Exhibition from 3 December 2011 to the end of January 2012, which will offer the young and old alike a world of adventure, inspired by the legendary C.S. Lewis. In the spirit of the holiday season, all proceeds from the sale of exhibition tickets will go to the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund. Broadway’s biggest blockbuster WICKED will also fly into Singapore to cast its magical spell on audiences at the Grand Theater from 6 December 2011 to 26 February 2012.

A Fairytale Christmas at Resorts World Sentosa will see the integrated resort transformed into a magical fairytale land with the most dazzling lights, iconic arches, fairytale tableaus, roving characters and Southeast Asia’s tallest Christmas tree at 38 metres with 20 carollers performing at the foot of the tree.

From 12 November to 31 December 2011, visitors can enjoy fairytale-themed events, festive promotions at RWS’ hotels and attractions, dining privileges and daily entertainment from carollers and musical bands. Come 3 December 2011, TRANSFORMERS The Ride will also make its world debut at Universal Studios Singapore.

No Christmas is complete without shopping. Shoppers will have plenty to be excited about during this festive season as they get more value out of their spending.

Visa, as a strategic partner, is once again partnering STB to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. Tourists visiting Singapore during the ‘Christmas in the Tropics’ period will enjoy shopping privileges when they pay with their Visa cards. A Visa spokesperson said: “Visa is excited to be working in partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board to support the Christmas in the Tropics celebrations, which is fast becoming one of the highlights of the Singapore festive season. This year, Visa has a series of attractive cardholder promotions to reward shoppers including a Sin$10 voucher when they spend S$200 with their Visa cards at any of the participating shopping malls in Orchard Road, and the chance to purchase a limited edition Gail Pantin umbrella for just Sin$15 with every Sin$80 spent at Marina Bay, with part of the proceeds going to the Singapore Community Chest.”

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