SINGAPORE - The National Anthem and the pledge resonated at observance ceremonies all over the island on Thursday (Aug 9) but Singaporeans also had the opportunity to usher in the nation's 53rd birthday in other novel ways.
At the stroke of midnight, about 1,300 residents in the Geylang Serai constituency were among the first to mark National Day this year.
Two pyrotechnic shows, one at midnight and one after the observance ceremony, entertained residents who had stayed up for the festivities.
Besides that, the residents also took part in a dragon dance procession that covered 1km from the Geylang Serai Community Club (CC) premises in Haig Road to Wisma Geylang Serai, where the CC will be relocating to from Friday.
MP and grassroots adviser to Marine Parade GRC Fatimah Lateef was among those present.
Dr Ang Jia Ming, 30, a member of the committee that organised the event, said that the turnout for the celebrations surprised him.
"The crowd was much more than I expected and I think they enjoyed the pyrotechnic performance. This is something that I hope residents will remember," he said.
Music filled the air over at Teck Ghee in Ang Mo Kio at about 8am on Thursday as more than 1,500 residents enjoyed several performances at its National Day Observance Ceremony at Townsville Primary School.
The event, which was attended by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is also an MP of the Teck Ghee ward in Ang Mo Kio GRC, saw a Chinese orchestra ensemble and a pipe band play National Day songs.
The student choir from Townsville Primary School performed some of the songs and led the crowd in sing-along sessions.
Mr Lee, who is also a grassroots adviser to Ang Mo Kio GRC, took part in a cake-cutting ceremony as well.
At Choa Chu Kang, about 5,000 Singaporeans celebrated National Day by lacing up for the Majulah Walk and Run - an event that saw them take part in either an 8km run or a 3km walk from Choa Chu Kang stadium to the Gain City Megastore in Sungei Kadut.
Participants were flagged off by the MPs and grassroots advisers to Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, Mr Lawrence Wong and Mr Alex Yam.
Residents were also entertained by a number of performances, including Malay and line dances by interest groups.
Entrepreneur Eric Lim, 58, was one of the residents who helped put together the National Day event. He said: "The main objective is to motivate residents to get out more. Activities like this walk and run can also help them interact, get together and develop closer bonds with one another."