While not much has changed as to how many restrictions are in place for the celebrations, we’re at a whole new stage of our battle with COVID-19.
After over a year of trying to eradicate the disease, we’ve finally accepted that COVID-19 is going to be a part of everyday life.
And this year’s NDP is going to reflect that.
Here are 10 facts about NDP 2021, where only select individuals will be allowed to attend:
Tickets Will Not Be Open For Public Balloting
Before COVID-19 emerged and ruined our lives forever, there was a balloting system for tickets to the national day celebrations.
But for this year’s NDP, just like last year, this system will be suspended.
That’s right, tickets to the parade will not be open for public balloting.
Tickets Will Be Given to Frontliners & Essential Workers
Yes, tickets to NDP 2021 will only be given out to those who have contributed to the fight against COVID-19, in recognition of their efforts.
These include Singaporean COVID-19 frontliners, essential workers, and community volunteers.
So healthcare workers, teachers, transport workers, hawkers, and those in the cleaning industry, to name a few, can look forward to being a part of the celebrations this year.
NDP Will Return to the Float@ Marina Bay
After two years, the NDP will finally return to the floating platform at Marina Bay.
Last year, the NDP was held in a decentralised format, with far fewer participants.
NDP 2021, however, will be a centralised, in-person event, like other events pre-COVID-19.
There will be fewer participants and spectators, of course.
All Participants & Spectators Must Be Fully Vaccinated
To ensure that NDP 2021 doesn’t become a superspreader event where a Singaporean variant of COVID-19 emerges, this year’s restrictions require all participants and spectators to be fully vaccinated.
Performers must also undergo antigen rapid testing before every rehearsal – even if rehearsals are held in smaller groups – while the spectators must undergo pre-event testing.
According to Yahoo News, around 1,200 participants will be part of the 2021 festivities.
It Will Feature the First-Ever Live-Virtual Performance at an NDP
Just like NDP 2020, this year’s event will combine live and virtual elements for the performance so viewers at home can enjoy the celebrations too.
According to the NDP 2021 Executive Committee (EXCO), it will “harness technology and connect performances for the first-ever live-virtual performance at NDP”.
The same technology will be used in the parade and ceremony segment, where “civilian entities” will participate and join the parade virtually.
Viewers can look forward to seeing television-exclusive special effects during the show as well.
As always, the parade will be streamed live so people can watch it at home.
Some Celebrations Will Be Brought to the Heartlands
I have good news and bad news.
The good news is that some celebrations will be brought to the heartlands, just like last year.
The bad news is that there will be no mobile column in the heartlands this year. (Could it have something to do with the fact that it nearly ran over an uncle last year?)
Over the weekend leading up to National Day, the popular Red Lions will conduct free fall jumps over various heartland sites, and the State Flag will fly over residential areas.
There will also be, as always, glorious fireworks.
This Year’s NDP Logo is a Lion’s Head
The theme for this year’s NDP is “Together, Our Singapore Spirit”, which celebrates the spirit of our people which has kept Singapore strong during the devastating pandemic.
Brigadier-General Tan Cheng Kwee, chairman of EXCO, said: “We hope that NDP will provide a rallying call for Singaporeans to come together, draw strength from our Singapore spirit, and have the confidence to build a better Singapore.”
This year’s logo is a lion’s head, with the number 56 beautifully weaved into the artwork:
The five parts of the lion’s mane symbolise democracy, peace, progress, justice, and equality.
This Year’s NDP Theme Song Will Be Performed by 4 Singaporean Singers
When it comes to NDP theme songs, they either stay in our heads forever, or we forget it about 5 minutes after hearing it.
This year’s theme song is called ‘The Road Ahead’ and pays tribute to the way Singaporeans have stood united throughout the pandemic and managed to overcome its various and persistent challenges.
‘The Road Ahead’ will be performed by a racially diverse group of Singaporean singers, namely Linying, Sezairi Sezali, Shye-Anne Brown, and Shabir.
The moving piece was composed by singer-songwriter Linying and music producer Evan Low.
NDP Fun Packs Will Only Be Distributed to Spectators
Remember when I delivered some bad news just now? Well, I forgot to add one little thing: NDP fun packs won’t be distributed to every household.
Last year, each Singaporean and permanent resident household were entitled to one fun pack.
But for NDP 2021, fun packs will only be given out to spectators, with the number of items in the packs being reduced from previous years.
The pack will include a reusable bottle, hand sanitisers, and a mini handheld Singapore flag.
It Will Provide a Glimpse Into Our Future with COVID-19
As you know, Singapore is shifting to a new phase of its battle with COVID-19, where we prepare to live with the disease indefinitely.
This is why, when asked why NDP 2021 is going ahead despite concerns that it could turn into a super spreader event, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said:
“Part of it is learning to live with the disease, an endemic disease. And by August, we hope two-thirds of our population would have received the vaccination.”
“The short answer is that we think it can be held safely, and it’s an appropriate occasion to shift to living with the disease, but managing it so that you can get back to a new normal.”
After another difficult year, Dr Eng hopes that this year’s NDP will boost spirits and invigorate Singaporeans.
“NDP is as much about each Singaporean using the occasion to affirm together what we value about Singapore. We hope that the NDP will uplift, we hope that the NDP will encourage,” he said.
“We hope that the NDP will give us a wider perspective, because it’s been a tough year, a year and a half, and I think with Singaporeans’ help, we can achieve it,” he added.
Featured Image: Square Box Photos / Shutterstock.com
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