The Christmas season is upon us! It’s a swell time to eat, drink and be happy, and there is no better place to revel in the festive mood than at the Christmas Wonderland at the Gardens by the Bay (the Gardens). In Singapore, we celebrate Christmas in a uniquely Singaporean way; with tons of people, incredibly stifling humidity, sweet treats and drinks, and spectacles of lights and sounds!
This year, the familiar Gardens was rejuvenated with Christmas lights, eateries and retail outlets in adorable wooden huts, and carnival rides and games! Aptly themed Christmas Wonderland, it was a night to behold and be immersed in!
At the outset of this post, we would like to express that the human traffic during the weekends (including Friday) is exceptionally high; of course it’s great that everyone will be in the festive mood, but if you’re that kind of person who wish for a little less company, we advise you to visit the Gardens during a weekday!
Just a little sidetrack: we actually watched Jason Mraz live in Singapore at the Gardens 3 years ago! How time flies… and how times change hmm.
Festive markets seem to have largely originated from Europe, with countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom famously hosting them during Christmas and Easter. Having had a taste of a few Christmas markets while studying overseas, Sandra was keen to discover any differences or similarities; for Damian, he was encountering a Christmas market for the first time!
Some differences stood out:
- The choices of food were vastly different (in Germany, sausages, beer and hot chocolate (with Baileys!) were the staple); in Singapore, our tropical climate provides us the reasons to indulge in sweet, cooling drinks. Stores were seen selling ice-cool slushies, fruit juices and lemonades! Of course beer is prevalent, but then again, we DO have a law stating it’s illegal to drink after 11pm (jokes).
- The sale of handicrafts are not completely based on Christmas; there were scented candles, perfume and jewellery for sale! However, this is not to say that there were not any Christmas base trinkets (ie Christmas tree decorations) on sale.
- Entry to the Christmas Wonderland is free! In London, one would have to pay an entry fee to enter the Winter Wonderland; so Singapore wins on this one!
As Catholicism/Christianity are the main religions in most of Europe, the celebration of Christmas permeates their culture and society more than it does so in Singapore. As a result, the Christmas Wonderland is a modest reflection of the European Christmas markets but with a local twist!
There are numerous attractions at the Gardens during the Christmas Wonderland, so we’ll highlight them as we detail our eventful night here!
Walking into the Gardens
Here are some of the scenic shots taken whilst wandering into the Christmas Wonderland:
Fun Time @ the Fairground
Feasting at the Christmas Market
Carnival Games, Fun Times for Everyone!
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the Gardens! Despite the immense crowd, the boisterous atmosphere contributed to a festive mood that cannot be replicated elsewhere! There’s tons of things to do at Christmas Wonderland which we did not manage to capture (in our photos), including the Spiegeltent, Santa’s Cottage, Christmas Toyland and more; not to mention the plethora of musical performances hosted during some nights! For more information, do check out the website.
The event closes on 3rd January 2016, but surely you’ll want to catch the jolly occasion before Christmas has passed!
We leave you with our shots from the PhotoBooth!
Till next week,
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