The First National Day
It’s Singapore’s 52nd National Day today! Majulah Singapura! On this very exciting day, we thought we’d share a piece of writing that didn’t make it into The Little Singapore Book because of space constraints. We had wanted to include a bit more fun details about Singapore’s first national day in 1966. So here goes…
“Singapore’s first national day parade took place at the Padang on the morning of 9 August 1966. It rained that day but no one left their seats or position on the parade ground. Like today, the national anthem was sung, there was a 21-gun salute, performances and a huge march past. The finale was huge lion and dragon dance featuring 60 lions and dragons in total — the biggest ever in Singapore. At night, fireworks were set off at Fort Canning and lots of people went to enjoy it. The fireworks could be seen from the Istana, too, where Singapore’s first President Yusof bin Ishak was holding a party for 1,000 guests. Out at sea, there was an illuminated ‘sea dragon’ that was towed by boats across the waterfront off Princess Elizabeth Walk, near where the Esplanade is now. It measured 152m long, 12m high and was lit by 12,500 light bulbs! What a grand sight!”
If you want to find out more, see this video link below and watch the original participants reminisce about that amazing day!