Singapore has consistently been ranked as one of the world’s best places to work, live, and start a company. That’s why people from all over the world come to Singapore, creating a diverse community of people with various cultural and religious backgrounds.
This unique mix has put Singapore on the map as a multi-cultural country with an array of celebrations that are observed through the year.
Key Public Holidays Celebrated in Singapore
As a nation that celebrates diversity and multi-culturalism, we have public holidays for each of our ethnic groups – Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Eurasian. These festivals are considered the main public holidays for Singaporeans, alongside National Day, which falls on August 9 every year, to celebrate the nation’s independence.
|Key Public Holidays||What is the occasion about?|
|New Years Day||
|Chinese New Year||
|Hari Raya Aidilfitri||
|Singapore National Day||
|Hari Raya Haji||
Aside from those, if there is a general or presidential election in Singapore, Polling Day will also be an official public holiday. This is the government’s way of encouraging the Singaporean popular to exercise their rights and duties to the country by casting their vote. However, by-elections are not considered as a public holiday.
List of Singapore Public Holidays 2023
With the dates of each public holiday differing every calendar year, here’s a quick look at the full list of public holidays in Singapore in 2023!
Employees’ Entitlements on Public Holidays in Singapore
When it comes to the business end of public holidays, new employers in Singapore need to know that all their employees are entitled to be paid the gross rate of pay for every public holiday if:
In any event that you would require your employees to work on a public holiday:
While such agreements are perfectly legal, please make sure that it is properly communicated to avoid any disputes!
For those working in managerial or executive positions:
These guidelines are in accordance with Singapore’s Employment Act and are to be followed by all employers in Singapore.
If you are looking to work or live in Singapore for more than a year, do reach out to us to learn more about:
History of Public Holidays in Singapore
Did you know that many years ago until 1968, Singapore had an additional six public holidays? These six public holidays were:
The reason why these public holidays were removed by the Ministry of Manpower was to improve the nation’s business competitiveness as this means a reduction of business costs incurred by Singapore companies, and mitigate the impact brought about by statutory leave.
How Singapore’s Public Holidays Compare to Those of Its Neighbours
To put things into perspective on how the Singaporean government stands regionally when it comes to public holidays, let’s take a look at how nation’s public holidays compare to our Southeast Asian neighbours – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
Number of Public Holidays in Each Country
Most of the four countries have similar number of public holidays, with the exception of Indonesia who has 16!
|Countries||No. of Public Holidays|
|The Philippines||12 days|
Public Holidays & Their Occasions
The similarities when it comes to the public holidays include:
While there are common public holidays, there are also differences that denotes the cultural differences between the countries:
The Singapore Identity Through Public Holidays
Singapore has carved out a unique place for itself in the world today by celebrating its deep cultural heritage and multi-culturalism. Staying true to their ethos and values, Singapore public holidays represents a great reflection of our identity, where all four core religions are celebrated as holidays.
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Yes. Part-timers are entitled to holiday pay too if they must work on public holidays in Singapore.
I am a student. Do I have a replacement holiday if the public holiday falls on Saturday in Singapore?
Yes. If you are a primary or secondary school student, you do have a replacement holiday on the following Monday if the public holidays fall on a Saturday.
According to the Employment Act, if you must work on a public holiday in Singapore, you are entitled to an extra day’s salary at your basic rate of pay, on top of the gross rate of pay for that public holiday.
In Singapore, if a public holiday falls on Sunday, the following Monday will be declared as a replacement holiday.