The public holidays which are celebrated in Singapore reflect the cultural identity of the country. Participation in these holidays are an important and satisfying part of what it truly means to be a Singaporean today.
Singapore is a country full of cultural diversity. Many people of Malay, Chinese, and Indian descent have been residing there for centuries, thus giving the country its multicultural character. Each distinct culture also has its own public holidays which are celebrated. The official list of public holidays in Singapore is decided by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) which must keep in mind the religious and cultural value of each holiday.
Public Holidays in Singapore
The Singapore authorities have published the list of public holidays in 2020 for everyone in the country. There are a total of 11 official public holidays in Singapore. These public holidays include New Year’s Day, Chinese New Year, Good Friday, Labor Day, Vesak Day, Hari Raya Puasa, Hari Raya Haji, National Day, Deepavali, and Christmas.
It should also be noted that some of these public holidays will serve to extend the weekend because of their date. In 2020, everyone in Singapore will have three long weekends to enjoy public holidays.
Dates of Public Holidays in Singapore in 2020
New Year’s Day will fall on January 1, 2020
Chinese New Year will fall on January 25-26, 2020;as it falls over a weekend, the following Monday will also be a holiday
Good Friday will fall on April 10, 2020
Labor Day will fall on May 1, 2020
Vesak Day will fall on May 7, 2020
Hari Raya Puasa will fall on May 24, 2020; as it falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will also be a holiday
Hari Raya Haji will fall on July 31, 2020
National Day will fall on August 9, 2020; as it falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will also be a holiday
Deepavali will fall on November 14, 2020
Christmas Day will fall on December 25, 2020
As can be seen from the preceding list, if any public holiday happens to fall on a Sunday, the following Monday will also be regarded as a public holiday.
Laws Related to Working in Singapore on Public Holidays
On many an occasion, the directors, managers, or employees of a company based in Singapore have to work on a public holiday due to certain unavoidable circumstances. In this situation, certain provisions which have been specified in the Employment Act go into effect. Such provisions first took effect on April 1, 2019. All employers in Singapore ought to note that if an employee is required to work on a public holiday, such an employee is entitled to an extra day’s salary at the basic rate of pay as stated by authorities. Any employer and employee can hold discussions so that they may mutually agree to substitute the official public holiday for another working day.
All employers based in Singapore who employ employees who have to work on public holidays are granted permission to exercise certain options such as providing additional vacation time based on the agreed number of hours for which the employee is to work. Different provisions apply to different groups of employees. These groups are as follows: managers and executives who earn more than S$4,500 every month, non-workpeople who do not earn more than S$2,600 per month, and all general employees.
As has been mentioned, should any public holiday in Singapore fall on a Sunday, the Monday which directly follows it will be regarded as a public holiday. Therefore, most employees will not be required to work on the Monday which follows a public holiday which falls on a Sunday. In 2020, such a situation applies to Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa, and National Day.
The rights of all employees and employers which are related to working on public holidays are overseen and protected by the Ministry of Manpower. The Ministry of Manpower may also impose punishments on employers who do not uphold the employment rights of their employees, including those related to public holidays in Singapore.
Public Holidays and Singapore’s Cultural Character
The country of Singapore contains a fascinating mixture of various traditions and cultures, especially those of the Malays, Indians, and Chinese because they are the people who form the vast majority of all the people who live in Singapore today. Singapore’s culture as depicted through its public holidays show that while different festivals are celebrated by different communities, they are all celebrated harmoniously and do not cause any offense to those who do not celebrate each particular festival.
The public holidays of Singapore provide one with more knowledge about the multicultural ways of life which exist all over Singapore. The Singaporean government has selected public holidays to specifically mark celebrations of the most important festivals celebrated in Singapore throughout the year.
The public holidays of Singapore also symbolize the influence that the Chinese, Indian, Malay, and other communities have had on the country. The diverse communities of Singapore have played their own unique roles and made their own contributions to Singapore’s culture and history.
Singapore is a nation which contains a variety of different cultures and historical influences which have impacted the country in various ways. However, despite such striking cultural contrasts, there has not been any harm caused to the intercultural interactions of the country. People residing in the country celebrate their festivals without any trouble and with great joy. Anyone cultural groups can also participate freely in these festivals because the Singaporean government provides all who live in the country with the freedom to do so.
Singapore Public Holidays in 2020 FAQs
Can the dates of Singapore’s Public Holidays be changed?Tiwi2020-07-02T17:31:04+08:00
In certain cases, the dates of the public holidays can be changed in Singapore. Although the dates for the public holidays in 2020 are not subject to change,they may neverthelessvary in specific circumstances. If the public holiday falls on a Sunday,it will be brought over to the next working day. In Singapore, there are three such days which occur in 2020.
Furthermore, the date of the Hindu festival Deepavali may be changed according to the reviews provided by the Hindu Advisory Board or Hindu Endowments Board. The date may be changed according to the lunisolar calendar after confirmation withthe Hindu Almanac. Should the board issue a notice that there will be no change in the published dates,the stated date of Deepavali in Singapore will remain unchanged.
Which public holidays are observed in both Singapore and other countries of the Asia-Pacific region?Tiwi2020-07-02T17:29:05+08:00
Although Singapore has a low number of public holidays, it nevertheless shares the same a public holidays with many other countries of the Asia-Pacific region. For example, public holidays such as Chinese New Year and Vesak Day are also celebrated in countries such as China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. In a similar way, these festivals are celebrated by the Chinese and Buddhist population living in Singapore today. Christmas and Good Friday are celebrated in similar ways to those of other Asia-Pacific countries which have large populations of Christians such as the Philippines and South Korea. In such countries, these public holidays are celebrated in a vibrant and lively manner. Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji are celebrated in countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and Pakistan because they also have large Malay or Muslim populations in their countries. Once again, these are celebrated in the same way in Singapore by the Malay or Muslim communities of these countries. Deepavali is celebrated by the Hindus living in Singapore in the same way as those in India. The markets are decorated and fireworks are organized to celebrate the festival on an impressive scale.
Does Singapore have more or fewer public holidays than do other countries of the Asia-Pacific region?Tiwi2020-07-02T17:26:09+08:00
In 2020, Singapore has a total of 11 days which are to be observed as public holidays. A comparison of this number with those of other countries in the Asia-Pacific region reveals some interesting facts. China has more than twice the number of days used for public holidays than does Singapore with a total of 24 days which are public holidays in 2020. Indonesia has 20 such days, Taiwan has a total of 19 days which are public holidays while Thailand has 18 such days.In 2020, Hong Kong and South Korea have 16 days apiece which are public holidays while Vietnam has 12 such days. This comparison therefore shows that Singapore has the lowest number of public holidays in the Asia-Pacific region.