Government Cemetery & Columbaria to Open 24 Hours from 16 Mar to 14 Apr; Drivers Need to E-Book to Park Their Cars


As the Tomb-sweeping Festival (or Qing Ming Festival) approaches, some of us may be planning to head down to the cemetery or columbaria across our islands to pay respects to our deceased relatives and ancestors.

As such, here are some important things to take note as you make your plans:

NEA’s Advisory on Visiting Government-Managed Cemetery, Columbaria and Garden of Peace

The National Environment Agency (NEA) foresees large crowds at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery, Choa Chu Kang Columbarium, Mandai Columbarium, and Yishun Columbarium on significant dates such as Good Friday, Qing Ming, and Hari Raya Puasa, as well as the 10 weekends between 16 March and 14 April 2024.

In order to manage the anticipated surge in visitors, the columbaria in Singapore will operate round-the-clock from March 16 to April 14, 2024.

Visitors are also advised to consider visiting outside peak periods to avoid congestion.

Access to the Garden of Peace at the Choa Chu Kang Cemetery will be restricted to next-of-kin with bookings and inland ash scattering permits during the aforementioned dates.

This is to respect and prioritize the privacy for those scattering ashes during these times. The Garden of Peace will only be opened for visits on weekdays between March 18 and April 12, 2024.

E-Appointment for Car Park in Choa Chu Kang and Mandai Columbaria

Visitors driving to Choa Chu Kang and Mandai columbaria must book an e-appointment for parking on designated dates and times; between 6AM to 4PM at the Choa Chu Kang Columbarium and between 6AM to 6PM at the Mandai Columbarium.

Image: NEA

Booking opens from 10 a.m. on March 4, 2024, in 2-hour intervals at Guests must present evidence of their successful e-appointment booking before they can park at Choa Chu Kang and Mandai columbaria during the specified dates and times.

As limited slots are available, visitors are advised to make their bookings in advance.

No e-appointment is required for visits outside the aforementioned dates or times, or for those using public transport. People who are simply picking up or dropping off passengers will not need to book a slot.

Moreover, shuttle buses will be available on peak days with new pick-up and drop-off (PUDO) points at S$1.00 per trip. You may refer to the tables below for the PUDO points for both the Mandai and Choa Chu Kang Columbaria:

Image: NEA

Real-Time Traffic Updates and Essential Works

Real-time traffic updates for Choa Chu Kang and Mandai columbaria will be accessible from March 16 to April 14, 2024, at Visitors are encouraged to check on the latest conditions before traveling.

Ongoing essential works at Choa Chu Kang Columbarium continue as well. While members of the public can still access all occupied niches, visitors are reminded to avoid hoarded areas.  

Key Points for Visitors at the Columbaria

NEA reminds visitors to take note of the following whilst in the cemetery and columbaria in order to keep the premises safe and clean: 

  • Use burners and containers for joss paper burning.
  • Burn joss paper in small quantities.
  • Clear food offerings and litter promptly to prevent mosquito breeding or rat infestation.
  • Avoid consuming food and drinks in columbaria.
  • Do not bring pets.
  • Exercise caution and prioritize safety, especially when crossing roads.

Visitors should also refrain from offering red packets to any staff working at these premises.

Key Points of Visitors at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery

At Choa Chu Kang Cemetery, NEA offers grass-cutting maintenance for common areas but not for individual graves. Should you encounter individuals seeking payment for grave maintenance without any prior arrangements, keep in mind that they are not regulated or endorsed by NEA, and do not pay the people who claim to have maintained the graves of your loved ones.

NEA warns against illegal activities like touting, extortion and harassment by these providers, and encourages visitors to lodge a police report if they encounter such incidents.

Visitors are also reminded to check the weather forecast before making their way down, and to exercise caution while navigating the cemetery, wea protective footwear, and seek shelter at nearby pavilions or amenity blocks during thunderstorms.

With these guidelines, visitors can pay respects safely and respectfully during the Qing Ming period while minimizing inconvenience and ensuring a clean environment for all.