Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up 2020

Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up 2020
Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up 2020

Other than fewer giant trees and no street booths, Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up 2020 is the same as every other year.

‘Right. I originally intended to do my annual Orchard Road Christmas photo walk this weekend. However, while at Ion Orchard last evening for a prehistorical dinner, I noticed most decorations have already been switched on.

Yup, that made me decide to get my photos done ahead of schedule; Thursday evening itself is probably a much better i.e. less crowded time for the walk too.

In short, I’m pleasantly surprised, and not just because the light-up went ahead despite a traumatic year. Previously, news reports stated that decorations this time around would be more subdued, with no festive villages or fairgrounds. After reading that, I assumed most if not all of the malls wouldn’t be putting up Yuletide displays.

Well, no.

Several annual showpieces are indeed markedly missing; for example, Ngee Ann City’s signature 4-floor tall Christmas tree and basement festive market. But other than those, most malls did still put up something. There are also festive trimmings hanging all over the interiors.

The street lights are, as reports stated, more modest too, but it would be grossly unfair to say they are underwhelming. Actually, I think this year’s decorations are attractive in their own avant-garde way. They are certainly still way more elaborate than those I’ve seen in other cities, over the last ten years.

Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up 2020

As I mentioned above, I was at Ion Orchard. And so I started with the artsy tree there, as well as the festive gate.

Ion Orchard Christmas 2020.
Ion Orchard’s A Gift of Hope. Less eye-catching than last year’s “big snake,” but elegant nonetheless.
Singapore Christmas Lights 2020.
“Love this Christmas.” The catchphrase is, frankly, a little out-there. But I like the straight forward elegance of this showpiece. The blend of cool and warm colours too.
Orchard Road Christmas 2020.
Close-up of the festive showpiece for Orchard Road Christmas 2020.
Wheelock Place Xmas 2020.
Wheelock Place’s showpiece for this year gives the semblance of a small festive village.
Forum Galleria Singapore.
Okay, Forum Galleria is missing a big tree. But there are at least festive trimmings over the entrance.

From Forum Galleria, I decided I’d make the trek up-road to Tanglin Mall; I was sure there’d be eye-worthy decors there. I wasn’t disappointed.

Tanglin Mall Christmas 2020.
This is traditionally festive and fun to me. I like the large stockings too!
Tanglin Mall Santa.
I’m not sure whether this huge Santa is meant to be lit; there were technicians still working on it. I’m also wondering whether the plane around Santa’s hat would eventually be making circles!

Okay, this might creep you out a little. While choosing which Santa pic to put up, as in the one above, I noticed HIS EYES MOVED! So this huge Santa could possibly be animated?!?!

Wisma Atria Xmas Decorations 2020.
From Tanglin Mall, I took a bus back down to Wisma Atria. There were two very photogenic, selfie-perfect displays there.
Romans 12:10.
Tangs’ Yuletide reminder for 2020 is Romans 12:10. As I mentioned in last Christmas, I’ve long appreciated their biblical reminders.
Orchard Road Xmas Light Up 2020.
Ah, here’s one big tree that didn’t go away.
Orchard Road Christmas Decorations 2020 / 乌节路圣诞灯饰
The actual street ornaments over Orchard Road.
Mandarin Hotel Xmas 2020.
Big presents, with traditional wrapping patterns, at Mandarin Hotel.
313@Somerset Christmas 2020
313 Somerset feels to be putting up the same amount of decorations as previous years. There’s a tree, trimmings, and indoor displays.
Orchard Central Christmas 2020.
Added Nov 15: Okay, Orchard Central’s decorations weren’t lit on Thursday. So I went back two nights later to check out their rustic festive tunnel.
Orchard Gateway Xmas Tree 2020.
Last but not least, Orchard Gateway has one of the most unusual Christmas trees I’ve ever seen! They haven’t been doing it since 2017, but they are back with out-of-the-world displays.


I like to end this Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up 2020 post with some musings.

On the whole, the illuminations this time are quieter, as official announcements said. But frankly, I don’t think they are un-festive, or at all “sad,” if you know what I mean.

I’m saying so because I was already in mid-primary when the first light-up took place in the 80s. (In other words, half-aware of the world) As I remember, things were very much just fairy lights and traditional trees back then. There weren’t that many eye-catching showpieces by the shopping malls too.

But since the 90s, we got more and more elaborate and extravagant. Then performances and festive villages came into the mix . And so on and so forth.

This return to smaller-scale celebrations might end up being a good thing, at least spiritually. I mean, as much as I personally enjoy them, do we really need hugely expensive decorations and energy bills to enjoy the year-end? Do consumer expectations also create a recurring horror for struggling retailers every November?

I … know part of the answer for the latter question, but it’s too glum a subject for this festive post. For the moment, I’d just invite you to take a stroll under this year’s light-up. And savour the fact that awful 2020 is almost over.


The festive illuminations are ongoing till January 1, 2021.

Some geeky Christmas gift ideas for 2020

Check out the Christmas decorations at Jewel Changi Airport for 2020.

Pictures of the 2021 Light-Up here!

Read my other Festive Celebrations in Singapore posts.

Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up 2020
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Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up 2020
Orchard Road Christmas Light-Up 2020 was intended to be more subdued. But I think there’s still more than enough festivities for everyone.

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