Christmas In The Tropics

As the year draws to a close, my favorite season is just beckoning round the corner – Christmas. I always feel like there is something indescribably festive in the air during Christmas.

Unlike what we often see in movies, here in Singapore, white Christmases are only made possible in our imagination. However, I assure you that a tropical Christmas has its own charms.

Each year, Singapore’s major shopping belt – Orchard Road is decked out in a special festive theme. I particularly love the nostalgia of the glittering lights which adorn the roads, the shopping malls with their larger than life seasonal decorations, and of course the delectable aroma of all the Christmas treats, reminding me of all the presents and parties each year.  While Christmas is largely a western tradition, Singapore still celebrates it with much fervor and gusto. Families and friends get together to share good cheer over a sumptuous festive spread and being Singaporean, there is one thing we know: how to have a fantastic feast!

Most locals embrace Western traditional foods such as a big roast turkey, a good leg of ham and of course the Christmas log cakes and candy. This year, I have decided that my roast turkey will be served with a twist.  Instead of the usual roast turkey, I will be serving a Tandoori turkey.  I have gone down to Little India to buy traditional Indian Tandoori spices and herbs such as cumin and garam masala.  I can’t wait to serve this turkey dish with a twist!

Of course, there is no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than with a group of carolers belting out all the festive favorites in local shopping malls and hotels. The sounds of the angelic choruses never fail to hit the right chord and send me sailing home in a seasonal mood.

If you still cannot decide how to spend this Christmas, come and join me in Singapore for a tropical Christmas and experience the kaleidoscope of celebrations in this cosmopolitan little island.

Christmas In Singapore

Unlike many countries where people look forward to celebrating a beautiful white Christmas, this is the time of year where our usually sunny island of Singapore is visited by plenty of rain. However as dreary and unromantic as it may seem, I can assure you it’s quite the opposite. This is because it is this very time of year where the city truly comes to life.

In the past, competitions used to be held among the shopping malls to see who could come up with the most creative and beautiful decorations.  While the official competitions are no longer, shops continue to set out their Christmas decorations in an attempt to attract more curious admirers.  Just like that, a simple street is turned into a symphony of beautifully crafted works of art.

Photo by Singapore's Tourism Board.

My favorite part is the annual Orchard Road light up – the official unveiling of the completed decoration. This is the one night where people from all over the island come over to this single stretch of road just to pass through the glittering street. There is a certain thrill, I might add, about seeing the finished masterpiece come to life.  Perhaps it’s the excitement of trying to guess what the theme of each year would be or simply the festive cheer that is evoked by the shimmering display.  Either way, it truly is a sight to behold.

Festive cheer is not just limited to the main island of Singapore. Here at Capella Singapore on Sentosa Island, we also do our best to bring in the holiday spirit, with a whole line up of exciting activities, special Christmas menus and luxurious hampers filled with delectable goodies. Even the hotel is decked out of to the nines!  So, if you’re thinking of somewhere to spend your Christmas vacation, just remember there’s always is the tropical Christmas in Singapore.

Beloved Christmastime

The holiday season is upon us! This is my absolute favorite time of year.  I love to spend time with friends and family, enjoying all the season has to offer.  Food of course is central, including almond cookies, Christmas biscuits, gingerbread, seasonal chocolates, mulled wine and the list goes on and on.  But, what makes this time of year extra special are the traditional Christmas markets.

During the holiday season the streets of Düsseldorf are transformed into winter wonderlands.  Stalls are set up where vendors sell holiday treats, handcrafted gifts and traditional holiday decorations.  There is nothing more wonderful than spending an evening strolling through the festively illuminated markets with a mug of mulled wine in hand.  In my opinion the best Christmas market is located in the market place and is not to be missed!

This year, the markets are open from November 17 through December 23.  Tours are scheduled that lead participants through the festively decorated streets of Old Town, complete with storytelling, holiday poetry and other themed surprises.


(Auf Deutsch)

Geliebte Vorweihnachtszeit

Die Vorweihnachtszeit hat begonnen! Meine favorisierte Jahreszeit. Ich liebe es, diese Zeit  mit Freunden und der Familie zu verbringen. Dabei spielen natürlich die saisonalen Leckereien wie Printen, Lebkuchen, Spekulatius, Weihnachtsschokolade oder Glühwein (die Liste ist endlos) eine ganz besonders große Rolle. Aber was diese Zeit so besonders macht, sind die traditionellen Weihnachtsmärkte.

Während der Vorweihnachtszeit verwandeln sich die Düsseldorfer Straßen in ein Winterwunderland. An den Ständen verkaufen die Händler weihnachtliches Naschwerk, handgefertigte Geschenke sowie traditionelle Weihnachtsdekorationen. Es gibt nichts Schöneres als abends über die festlich beleuchteten Märkte, mit einem Becher Glühwein in der Hand, zu schlendern und sich die Stände anzuschauen. Meiner Meinung nach sollten Sie den Düsseldorfer Weihnachtsmarkt am Marktplatz auf keinen Fall verpassen!

Dieses Jahr sind die Märkte vom 17. November bis 23. Dezember geöffnet. Organisierte Stadtbummel durch die festlich geschmückte Altstadt begleitet von weihnachtlichen Geschichten, Gedichten und weiteren Überraschungen verwandeln die Stadtführung in ein weihnachtliches Erlebnis.

 (In English)