Easter is one of the two Christian holidays celebrated in Singapore.
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The single largest religious group in Singapore is Buddhist, and Christianity comes in second at a distant 18 percent. Christmas and Good Friday are public holidays in Singapore, and the former is accompanied by a turbulent shopping season, but Easter is mostly only celebrated in Singapore by Christians.
In many churches of Singapore, which cover virtually the full spectrum of denominations, Palm Sunday (a week before Easter) will be kept with special services. To remember the Triumphal Entry of Christ into Jerusalem, local palm leaves are harvested, folded into the shape of a cross, and paraded by children during the service. The details of each service will vary, but waving palm leaves like the people of Israel did 2,000 years ago to welcome their Messianic King is typically central to the celebration.
On Good Friday, many churches will have services again, marking the day of Jesus’ death on the cross. In Singapore, these are normally short, morning services that are very solemn.
When Easter Sunday arrives, Singaporean churches often take the occasion to baptise converts. Since rising up out of the water symbolises entering a new life with Christ, it is connected with the Resurrection of Jesus from the tomb, which Easter commemorates. Some churches will also have sunrise services on Easter.
Christians will also gather with friends and family for an Easter meal. Roast lamb is usual for the main dish and symbolises what Christians believe about Jesus being the Lamb of God slain for the sins of the world.
Hot cross buns, an introduction of Singapore’s former colonial masters (Britain), are also popular. Hot cross buns are a kind of spiced bread with cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices, which have a cross shape baked into their tops. Easter eggs are also gaining popularity in Singapore, as are chocolate eggs, chocolate rabbits, jelly beans, and other Easter candies.