Singapore National Day 2023: A Really Useful Guide To The Parade & Celebrations

Singapore National Day 2023: A Really Useful Guide To The Parade & Celebrations
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9th August, Singapore’s National Day is a time for celebrating the birth of Singapore as an independent nation and the National Day Parade or NDP is one of the most looked forward to national events of the year. 

National Day 2023 is Singapore’s 58th birthday and it is going to be a great one. Here’s a look at all you need to know about this year’s National Day and NDP. 


What is Singapore’s National Day?

National Day is a time when Singaporeans come together to remember the country’s independence from Malaysia that came about in 1965, two years after it had joined the Federation in 1963. 

While the separation from Malaysia was a tumultuous one, Singapore has since progressed on and developed into a country that many Singaporeans are proud to call home.


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Singapore’s National Day is a time to recall the sacrifices of those who have come before and to look ahead to the future. 

The highlight of National Day is the National Day Parade, an evening spectacle featuring marching contingents on display and performances that reflect the energy of the nation. 


National Day 2023: What to Expect

National Day 2023 Theme: Onward As One

The theme for National Day Parade 2023 is Onward As One. This is a call for Singaporeans to look forward confidently and move onward together and build a shared future as one united people. 

The word “Onward” encapsulates the idea that Singapore needs to be forward looking and resilient in the face of challenges. 

The next part of the theme, “As One”, reflects the need for collective ownership of the future and highlights the need for inclusivity and unity. 


National Day Parade 2023 Logo

The logo for National Day Parade 2023 features a lion’s head and incorporates the numbers 58 within the lion’s mane. 

The five stars in the logo are captures moving forward and upwards.


National Day Song 2023

This year’s National Day song features music by Don Richmond with lyrics by Don Richmond and Shiggy Shay, along with additional lyrics by Sara Wee.

You can give it a listen below.

How do you feel about it? You can have your say and read what others are saying in the comments section of the YouTube video.


National Day Parade 2023 at the Padang

National Day Parade 2023 at the Padang
Image: NDP website

The National Day Parade 2023 on 9 August will be held at the Padang. It will be hosted by Joakim Gomez, Hazelle Teo, Eswari Gunasagar and Fauzie Laily and feature four segments:

  • Pre-parade
  • Parade and Ceremony – Defending Our Nation as One (Part 1)
  • Total Defence Parade – Defending Our Nation as One (Part 2)
  • Show – Building Our Shared Future as One

You can also watch the live stream on the NDPeeps YouTube channel above.


Pre-parade

The evening will start off with a series of sing-along songs and performances by students from Bedok View Secondary School, East Spring Secondary School and Victoria Junior College. 

There will also be performances by students from Deyi Secondary School, The Island Voices and Music & Drama Company. 

The Red Lions will also be making their entry into Padang, jumping from C-130 transport aircraft to the Padang in the Military Free Fall segment. 


Defending Our Nation as One (Part 1) – Parade and Ceremony

A Military Tattoo comprising the band from the Singapore Armed Forces, Singapore Police Force, Bowen Secondary School and Yuhua Secondary School will take to the parade ground. 

34 contingents involving more than 1,700 participants will be on parade during this segment. One of the first-time participants is the Singapore Armed Forces’s new Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS), which will feature as one of the Guard of Honour contingents.

This segment will include the Presidential Ceremonial Vehicle drive-past, Presidential Gun Salute and Feude-Joie.

An always popular segment is the aerial display. This year’s National Day Parade will have an Enhanced Aerial Display to commemorate the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s 55th anniversary. 

A CH-47SD Chinook helicopter, escorted by two AH-64D Apache Attack Helicopters, will carry the State Flag past the Padang during the singing of the National Anthem.

The RSAF’s fighter aircraft will put up an enhanced “Salute-To-The-Nation” segment. Five F-16D+ fighter aircraft will carry out the bomb-burst manoeuvre over the Padang, immediately followed by three F-15SGs performing a fly through as a salute to the nation.

More details of the RSAF55 Enhanced Aerial Display can be found below.


RSAF55 Enhanced Aerial Display at the Padang

National Day Parade 2023 at the Padang
Image: NDP website

In commemoration of the RSAF’s 55th anniversary, there will be four parts to the aerial display at the Padang. 

Fixed Wing Formation Flypast – The first part will feature a Multi-Role Tanker Transport escorted by four F-16D+ fighter aircraft. 

Helicopter Formation Flypast  – one CH-47F will lead the formation with two H225Ms flying diagonally behind the lead and parallel to each other. This is the H225Ms’ debut in an NDP.

Dual High G Combat Turn – two F-15SG fighter aircraft will execute a dual high G combat turn manoeuvre.

Cross Turn + Vertical Climb manoeuvre – as a finale to the aerial display, two F-16D+ fighter aircraft will fly towards the Padang and cross each other’s flight path like an X. At the same time, an F-15SG will fly from the opposite direction towards the intersection of the F-16D+ fighter aircraft’s flight paths, crossing the intersection point before it pulls up into a vertical climb.

If you would like to find out more about the flypast around the island, read more about the islandwide flypast and the Fly Our Flag segments.

RSAF Island Flypast Route
Image: NDP 2023 Exco, 6 July 2023 Factsheet

For your easy reference, we have attached a map above, but do get the details on this separate story on the islandwide flypast and the Fly Our Flag segments.


Defending Our Nation as One (Part 2)

The next part of the evening will be the Total Defence Parade. This segment is meant to underscore the role that everyone has to play in Total Defence. 

Six large floats, one for each pillar of total defence, will kick-off the proceedings. The six total defence floats represent Civil Defence, Digital Defence, Economic Defence, Military Defence, Psychological Defence and Social Defence. 

Then there will be a combined drive past of 20 assets from the Singapore Armed Forces, Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force.

Amongst the assets that audience members can look out for are:

  • Leopard 2SG Main Battle Tank
  • Hunter Armoured Fighting Vehicle
  • Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicle
  • High Mobility Artillery Rocket System
  • Aster 30 Missle System
  • Surface-to-air PYthon-5 and DERby
  • Tactical Strike Vehicle
  • Next-generation Fast Response Car
  • 6th Generation Light Fire Attack Vehicle
  • Hazmat Mitigation Vehicle. 

Finally, a large Total Defence Flag will be unfurled by 100 participants before a Total Defence Parade salute will be given to the audience. 


National Day Parade Show

The last segment of the National Day Parade 2023 is the show. This year, the show is based on the sub-theme “Building Our Shared Future as One”. The Creative Director of the show is Royston Tan. 

There are four acts in the National Day Parade Show. 

Act 1 – Our Singapore celebrates the diverse cultures that make up the Singaporean identity. The performers are from the People’s Association and there will be 58 pairs of cyclists featured as part of this segment.

Act 2 – Our Strength is about resilience in the face of challenges. Look out for a film that also showcases eight Singaporeans chasing their dreams and passions, which includes our very own Sprint Queen Shanti Pereira.

Act 3 – One Heart features dancers and musicians expressing their individual dreams with the common love for music. 

Act 4 – Onward as One features students from CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent, Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Second School, Nanyang Girls’ High School and Yio Chu Kang Secondary School dancing to the NDP 23 Theme Song as an expression of the pursuit of a brighter future.


National Day Parade Fireworks

National Day Parade Fireworks
Fireworks locations in the heartlands

A highlight of each year’s National Day Parade is the fireworks display.

This year, fireworks will go off at the Padang and five heartland sites around the island on 9 August. These heartland sites are:

  • ActiveSG Bedok Sport Centre
  • ActiveSG Jurong West Sport Centre
  • ActiveSG Toa Payoh Sport Centre
  • ActiveSG Woodlands Sport Centre
  • Our Tampines Hub 

The time of the fireworks display is expected to be between 8.15 pm and 8.25 pm. The five heartland sites will be open to the public for viewing of the fireworks from 6 pm onwards.


NDP Digital Play Pack

Celebration National Day Digitally With The New NDP Digital Play Pack App

If you can’t be at the parade, you can experience watching the NDP from home and also download a NDP Digital Play Pack. This includes stickers and 3D icons for you to create your own digital memories. 

There will also be some special features activated on the NDP Digital Play Pack on 9 August 2023.

Find out more about the NDP Digital Play Pack app.


Heartland Celebrations

On 5 and 6 August, there will be heartland celebrations at five locations around Singapore. Admission to these Heartland Celebrations are ticketed. Ticket applications were done online from 15 July 2023.

For more details, read about the NDP Heartland Celebrations.


NDP Previews and National Education Shows

In addition to the National Day Parade on 9 August, here are some of the rehearsal dates leading up to the actual day. 

NE Shows: 15 July 2023
NDP Previews: 22 & 29 July 2023
NDP 2023: 9 Aug 2023

One other event that you may be interested in in the lead up to 9 August is the National Day Istana Open House. Or you may also be interested in the RSAF55 Familiarisation Flights.


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