Singapore is known for its rich and colourful traditions and practices, thanks to the diversity of the communities that reside here. The myriad customs are given full expression on significant occasions such as weddings, funerals, and festive celebrations. As seen in the historical photographs in this section, they have been practised in Singapore since its early days.
The rites of passage and festive traditions of the various communities are diverse yet share many similarities. Traditional weddings and funerals were highly public events, often involving elaborate processions. Many traditional festivals in Singapore have religious origins – Hari Raya Aidilfitri, or celebration of the end of the fasting month for Muslims; Deepavali, the festival of lights for Hindus; Christmas celebrations for Christians and Chinese festivals that are based on folk beliefs. Usually celebrated with loved ones, many of the festivals are occasions for deepening family ties and renewing friendships.