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    Posted November 21, 2011 by
    Singapore, Singapore
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Photo essays: Your stories in pictures

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    Christmas in the Tropics


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     RosemarieJ says 'it's a common practice in Singapore to conduct everything on a big scale and apart from religious reasons, Christmas...is a chance to engage in what some would regard as the true Singaporean religion: shopping and dining out!'

    RosemarieJ says that Christianity is recognized as one of the four main religions of Singapore, and that "Celebrate Christmas in Singapore" is also an effort by the Christian community of Singapore to raise awareness of the true meaning behind the holiday, which is 'all about sharing and giving...the season also drives many local and multi-national companies in doing their bit for the society through their generous donations to charitable organizations.'

    She says that the decorations are a huge part of celebrating Christmas in Singapore; a few of the Orchard Road decoration themes from past years include: "A Fairytale Christmas" in 2007, "A Sweet Christmas in Singapore (a candy theme) in 2008, and "Starlit Christmas" in 2010.
    - jne2013, CNN iReport producer

    Apart from gift shopping, November end is that time of year most people start setting up their Christmas decorations, lighting up their trees and playing Christmas carols all day long creating joy and merriment that the festivities bring.


    While households in the west go all out with Christmas décor covering their lawn and roof that sometimes sparks off friendly neighbourhood competitions, the East celebrates it in a milder way. Elaborate Christmas decorations in South-East Asia has always been mostly confined to the interior of malls, restaurants and the insides of homes. However, that isn’t the case in Singapore.


    The year end festivities are taken to an extremely exciting extent, that walking down the city’s most loved streets would make any frown turn upside down. Orchard Road, Singapore’s ultimate shopping district along with Marina Bay, the luxurious waterfront spot of entertainment and dining, turns into a myriad of tiny lights and ornaments that glistens the bustling city skyline.


    Now in its 28th year and awarded the Top 10 Frommers World’s Best Holiday Lights in 2010, Orchard Road comes back with a new theme – Christmas Blooms in Singapore. The streets are filled with scintillating, glowing blue flower lights, turning the city centre into a huge flower garden. Each flower is composed of five little hearts bound together by a star, expressing the spirit of the season.


    With President Tony Tan KY officially switching on the sensational lights on November 19th 2011, the Singapore Christmas spirit came alive as the city sparkled in blue and golden hues. Major malls along the busy thoroughfare will be all decked out in their Christmas best as they tussle for the title of ‘Best Dressed Building’ – a sight truly not to be missed.


    The sheer magnitude of Christmas themed lighting makes celebrating the joyous occasion in the tropics all that more fun. Lit until 2nd January 2012, the festive theme this year will transform Orchard Road and the Marina Bay into a garden of scintillating lights. Both locals and travellers alike will be spellbound by its sheer beauty.


    Walking the streets can be breath-taking as you stop to admire each constellation of lights, decorated trees and radiant reindeers. Alternatively, for a better view of the city’s entire Christmas Light-Up, opt to take on a hop-on hop-off bus ride to feast your eyes on more glimmering moments along the thoroughfares of Raffles City, Millenia Walk, the Singapore Flyer and The Fullerton Hotel. Dotted with twinkling fairy lights and snowflakes, Singapore’s most loved festival gets even more glitzier!

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