5 Stay-Home Ways To Celebrate National Day

Celebrate togetherness without the crowds. Here are 5 pandemic-safe ideas. 

By Annie Tan        9 August 2021

Every National Day, Singaporeans gather en masse to watch the parade live, and catch the mobile column, aerial display and fireworks shoulder-to-shoulder. No thanks to Covid-19 however, for the first time ever, this year’s parade has been postponed till Aug 21. There will also be no balloting for tickets – these will only be made available to essential workers and community volunteers.

So how should the rest of us get in on the action? How can we recreate the ambience and excitement of a live parade via a 50-inch TV? Here are five tips to celebrate togetherness and the Singapore spirit safely at home.

1. Create A Family Fun Pack

A beloved NDP tradition, fun packs have delighted parade-goers for decades. This year, instead of settling for a bag of generic items sponsored by advertisers, why not create your own bespoke pack, and fill it with your favourite snacks, a mini-flag, temporary tattoos in our national colours, lights sticks and other little surprises.

You could even include retro snacks such as ice gem biscuits, sunflower seed chocolates and animal biscuits, and use this opportunity to share your childhood memories with the kids. Or, enlist the little ones to design national day caps, paper fans and mini-flags to include in your fun pack.

2. Indulge Your Inner Foodie

Since the parade stretches over dinner time, shift the dinner party in front of the TV. In fact, what better way to show patriotism and national pride than by supporting our struggling hawkers, who have recently helped Singapore street food earn UNESCO status? 

From char kway teow to chicken rice and chilli crab, we Singaporeans are deeply passionate and fiercely opinionated eaters. So instead of simply dabao-ing a regular meal at your neighbourhood hawker, add an element of fun by introducing a theme such as “Most Underrated Dishes”, “Spiciest Dishes”, “Crab Galore” or “Salted Egg Everything”, and give everyone a say in what to order. For more takeaway ideas, check out our story on National Day takeaway bundles!

3. Make Yourself A Singapore Sling

If there is one cocktail that will evoke feelings of national pride, this would be it. Created by a bartender from Raffles Hotel in 1915, more than a hundred years ago, the Singapore Sling sports our national colour and is widely regarded as Singapore’s national drink.

Can’t head to Long Bar this year? No problem! Simply mix it up yourself at home. Simply add 25ml of dry gin, 25ml of cherry brandy, 25ml of Benedictine, a few drops of Angostura bitters and a few cubes of ice into a mixing glass or jug, and stir well. Pour this into a tall glass, add 25ml of lime juice and 50ml of pineapple juice, top your glass up with sparkling water, and garnish with a slice of fresh pineapple and cocktail cherry for the perfect sundowner.  

4. Recreate The Festive Mood At Home

You don’t have to be at TheFloat@Marina Bay to soak in the spirit of National Day. Rally the family to decorate the house with red and white tassels, balloons or handmade paper flags, and reuse fairy lights from Christmas. While you are at it, why not create your own Singapore edition playlist on Spotify, and play it all afternoon leading up to the parade? This could include all-time favourites like Home by Kit Chan, oldies like The Little Things by Mel Ferdinands and Mahani Mohd, xin yao (classic Mandarin songs by Singaporeans), or your favourite hits by modern local artistes such as Charlie Lim.

And if you fancy yourself a National Day song expert, put your knowledge of the lyrics to the test in the SAFRA Family Games Night – National Day Edition! To register, read the lyrics at the end of the GIF on this Facebook post and name the song in the comments. The first 250 correct comments will receive an exclusive gift, and from here, 20 SAFRA members and their families will be invited to participate in the main virtual event on 18 Aug to stand a chance to win $200 worth of prizes! Find out more at www.safra.sg/whats-on/SAFRAFamilyGamesNight.

5. Join Your Voices On Social Media

Part of the magic of NDP is joining our voices in celebration. While we cannot do it physically this year, we have social media for that. Indeed, WhatsApp and Telegram stickers and memes are already available on the official NDP website.

Get creative with red and white Instagram #OOTDs (outfit of the day), iconic food posts, photos of your favourite spots in Singapore, and TikTok song or dance routines. You could also include a heartfelt message in tribute to our nation and fellow citizens for their resilience, and use the hashtag #NDP2021.

2020 and 2021 have been tough years for many around the world, including Singaporeans. And more than ever, a bit of heartfelt encouragement and solidarity could go a long way to lift spirits and rally fellow Singaporeans during in these trying times. 

Share your stay-home National Day celebration ideas with us at magnsman@sph.com.sg!