A Beginner's Guide to the National Day Parade 2024 in Singapore

GeneralJune 07, 2024 11:00

Editor’s Note: Welcome to the first instalment of our three-part series on Singapore’s National Day Parade (NDP) 2024! This series is designed to provide an in-depth look at one of Singapore's most significant annual events. 

In this first part, we'll offer a beginner's guide to the NDP, perfect for foreigners and expats who are new to Singapore and want to know what to expect from this grand celebration.

What to Expect from NDP

Singapore’s National Day Parade (NDP) is an annual event held on 9th August to commemorate the country's independence from Malaysia in 1965. It’s a vibrant, patriotic celebration filled with spectacular displays, cultural performances, and a sense of unity that binds Singaporeans together. For those new to Singapore, here’s what you can expect from NDP 2024.

Historical Significance

The first NDP was held on 9th August 1966 at the Padang, marking Singapore’s first year of independence. Over the years, the event has grown in scale and significance, becoming a key fixture in the nation’s calendar.

Venue and Main Highlights

The NDP 2024 will be held at the Padang, a historic site that has witnessed many of Singapore’s significant events. The parade typically includes:

1. Military Parades: Showcasing the prowess of the Singapore Armed Forces with precision drills, march-pasts, and a display of military vehicles.

2. Cultural Performances: Featuring diverse acts that represent Singapore’s multicultural society, including traditional dances, contemporary music, and theatrical presentations.

3. Fireworks: A grand fireworks display over Marina Bay, lighting up the night sky in a dazzling array of colours.

Celebration Hotspots

There are several prime locations to experience the festivities:

  • Marina Barrage: A favourite spot for families to enjoy the fireworks. Arrive early to secure a good viewing spot.
  • Marina Bay: Offers a stunning backdrop for the parade and fireworks. The area is also bustling with dining and entertainment options.
  • Singapore Flyer: Provides a bird’s eye view of the city and the fireworks, offering a unique perspective of the celebrations.

Symbols of Singapore

Several symbols play a significant role in NDP:

  • National Flag: Red and white, with a crescent moon and five stars representing democracy, peace, progress, justice, and equality.
  • Vanda Miss Joaquim: The national flower, symbolising resilience and diversity.
  • Merlion: The iconic statue that combines a lion's head and a fish's body, representing Singapore's origins as a fishing village and its original name, Singapura, which means "Lion City."

NDP Theme Song

This year’s theme song, “Not Alone” by Benjamin Kheng, is a heartfelt anthem that resonates with the spirit of unity and resilience. The song’s music video, combining introspective and nostalgic visuals, celebrates the journey and collective memories of Singaporeans over the past 59 years.

How to Participate

  • Volunteer: Engage in #GiveAsOneSG to contribute to meaningful activities and volunteer efforts.
  • Celebrate Together: Join the #TogetherAsOneSG campaign by participating in events like FlyOurFlag and Dance of the Nation.

Getting Tickets

Tickets for NDP 2024 are available through a ballot system open to all Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents. Applications closed on 10th June 2024, and successful applicants will be notified by email.


NDP 2024 promises to be a memorable celebration of Singapore’s 59th birthday. Whether you are a resident or an expatriate, joining the festivities is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the collective pride and joy of Singaporeans.


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