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National Day Parade 2019
Photograph: National Day

NDP2022: Guide to National Day in Singapore

Singapore flags, NDP songs and the kampung spirit – are you feeling patriotic yet?

Cheryl Sekkappan
Written by
Cheryl Sekkappan
&
Izza Sofia
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Anniversaries are meant to be celebrated with gusto and Singapore knows just how to party when it comes to National Day. Observed on August 9, the yearly affair marks Singapore’s independence from Malaysia. The city dresses for the occasion with flags lining the buildings, patriotic songs pervading the airwaves, people kitted out in red and white, and of course, the National Day Parade (NDP).

Here’s the NDP in a nutshell: impressive aerial displays, military parades, and multicultural performances – all wrapped up with stunning fireworks. After a relatively muted NDP in 2021, this year's parade returns bigger and better with live performances and virtual components at the Float @ Marina Bay, alongside heartland activations. 

This is the last time that NDP will be held at Marina Bay, as it will be heading to The Padang in 2023, so you'll want to tune in for a last look at the festivities against this stunning backdrop. Whether you're planning to pop the poppers outdoors or join in the fun from home, here's everything you need to know about NDP2022. 

RECOMMENDED: The best places to catch the National Day Parade fireworks for free

Theme
Photograph: via NDPeeps

Theme

This year's theme is Stronger Together, Majulah! – a rallying call for Singaporeans to unite for a better future. Celebrating unity in diversity, this year's NDP is about bringing together communities, families and friends together to build a stronger Singapore – especially as we bounce back from the last two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Our National Day song, titled Stronger Together reflects this theme. Written and composed by Don Richmond and performed by Taufik Batisah and The Island Voices, the theme song calls on everyone to "rise stronger together" as we emerge from the flames of adversity. It's accompanied by a stirring music video inspired by the true stories of Singaporeans from all walks of life who've persevered through difficult times. 

Total Defence Display & Parade and Ceremony
Photograph: NDP

Total Defence Display & Parade and Ceremony

The National Day Parade returns to The Float @ Marina Bay this year. Expect a jam-packed display beginning with sing-alongs, activities and the Marina Wave led by NDP 22's four show hosts in the pre-parade section.

This year, the parade and ceremony as well as the total defence display segment, have been combined under Strength of Our Nation. Highlights include the Military Tattoo – a hybrid performance that will include precision drills and band performances – alongside favourites like the state flag flypast, and 'Salute-to-the-Nation' bomb burst flown by fighter aircraft. To mark 55 years of National Service, there will also be a special tribute video, formation by youth contingents and salute national servicemen.

The impressive display continues with a showcase of SAF's capabilities, including jaw-dropping land, air and sea manoeuvres featuring RSAF's F-16-C/D fighter jets, naval diving units, and battle tanks. In a showcase of inter-agency responses to peacetime contingency scenarios, Singapore's firefighting, first aid and counterterrorism units will also be demonstrating live hostage rescues and more. 

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NDP 2022 Show
Photograph: NDP

NDP 2022 Show

The celebrations continue in the NDP 2022 Show segment. Here, we celebrate the strength and unity of Singaporeans through grand song and dance performances. Told in five chapters, the show will include pre-recorded satellite performances, exciting live showcases by students and youth, as well as a stirring Show Film called Connections. Written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Ken Kwek, it chronicles Singapore's story through two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Audiences at home don't have to feel left out either – exclusive CGI effects have been prepared so you'll feel part of the national celebrations. 

Heartland activities
Photograph: NDP

Heartland activities

A good hangover from the Covid-19 pandemic days is that NDP celebrations now spill over to the heartlands. Over the NDP weekend, you and your family can enjoy celebrations at five heartland locations. This August 6 from 4pm to 9pm, visit four of these themed carnivals where you can enjoy a variety of other performances, exhibitions and activities for the whole family.

  • Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Ficus Green - Celebrations in the Park
  • Punggol open field beside Waterway Point - ONE Heart @ North-East
  • Open field next to Sembawang MRT Station - Family Bliss @ North-West
  • Open field next to Buona Vista MRT Station - Celebration with Our Stars

The organisers are going all out too, with static displays by the Singapore Armed Forces and the Home Team – including the Leopard 2SG Main Battle Tank, the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat and the RBS 70 ground-based air defence system. The Red Lions will over be making freefall jumps over two heartland sites. On August 7, the Red Lions will conduct freefall jumps at 9am at the following locations: 

  • Open field next to Junction 8 in Bishan
  • Open field along North Buona Vista Road, near Ghim Moh Food Market

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Screenings
Photograph: Zuyet Awarmatik/Unsplash

Screenings

If you can't watch the National Day Parade at the Marina Bay Floating Platform itself, then catch all the action, song and dance on your telly and social media platforms. The show will be broadcasted live on screens islandwide, showcasing the parade alongside some nifty live-virtual action. Head to NDPeeps on Facebook and YouTube to tune in. 

Rehearsals and previews
Photograph: NDP

Rehearsals and previews

The remaining July date for rehearsal is July 16, while the NDP previews are scheduled to take place on July 23 and 30. Ticket applications for previews and the actual NDP date have closed, but you can try to book hotel rooms overlooking the floating platform if you're determined to get as close as you can to the fireworks and festivities!

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Fireworks
Photograph: NDP

Fireworks

The main star of the NDP is, undeniably, the prodigious pyrotechnics. This year, the usual main fireworks display will take place at Marina Bay, with simultaneous light-ups at heartland venues. 

Fireworks will be set off at five heartland locations on August 9, the same time as the display at the main parade in Marina Bay. From 8.15pm, fireworks will be seen at these places: 

  • Jurong West Stadium
  • Woodlands Stadium
  • Bedok Stadium
  • Site of former Tampines Junior College
  • Field in front of Ang Mo Kio Public Library 

If you're resuming your annual ritual of heading down to the Marina Bay area to soak it all up, get to know the vantage points for the best view. From rooftop bars to the waterfront, we’ve listed out the best National Day fireworks spots to catch more than just a glimpse. 

NDP fun packs
Photo: NDP

NDP fun packs

There isn't much information about what will be included, except that the fun packs will include "sustenance items and interactive items". Last year, the NDP packs were scaled down in response to public feedback, so we expect that this year's bounty will lean towards the minimal side too. 

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Road closures
Photograph: Unsplash/Hu Chen

Road closures

Come August 9, do remember to check the road closure advisory on ndp.gov.sg for information about streets to avoid while commuting. As can be expected, roads around Marina Bay, such as Raffles Avenue, Temasek Avenue and Bayfront Avenue will be affected by the parade proceedings, so take careful note if you're in the area to avoid any inconvenience. 

Majulah Singapura

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