Christmas and New Year's DayChristmas commemorates the birth of Jesus, and December 25 is a public holiday in Singapore. With its focus on peace, goodwill towards others, gift-giving, and family time, Christmas is important for Christians and has become popular across communities in many countries. Although people often assume that December 25 is the actual date of Jesus' birth, in fact the real date is not known, and some Christian communities celebrate the event in January.
Christmas traditions include baking cookies, exchanging cards, singing carols, putting up festive decorations, reading Christmas classics, and giving to charities that help the needy. Some, such as holly, mistletoe, and fir trees, were adopted from ancient pagan customs, while others are much more modern. Santa Claus, for instance, is based on the famously kind and generous Bishop of Myra (who became Saint Nicholas) and incorporates northern European elements like reindeer, as well as more modern influences like the well-known poem "Twas the Night Before Christmas."
On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Christians attend church services that focus on the story of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. Religious and non-religious families alike take time to have a holiday feast together and exchange gifts. People worldwide remember the ideals of compassion, faith, and joy illustrated by the story of the birth of Jesus.
New Year's Day on January 1 is also a Singapore public Holiday. People often stay up late on New Year's Eve to see in the new year with fireworks, music, and festivities. We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!