Deepavali celebrations will be more elaborate this time as President of Singapore Halimah Yacob will be hosting the first Open House of her tenure at Istana on the coming Sunday (October 22). She took the oath of office of President during September.
Istana, the official abode of the President of Singapore, will be opened to the public on Sunday from 8:30am to 6:00pm where they can observe the magnificent building and get acquainted with the glorious past of the Republic.
Singaporeans can also enjoy various programmes on the occasion including music and dance performances, a display of birds by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, balloon sculpting and henna painting.
Admission to the Istana grounds is free for Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents. Other visitors are required to pay an entrance fee of 2SGD per person. Entrance to the grounds is via the main gate at Orchard Road.
Visitors can also tour selected function rooms in the Istana building and view a special display of gifts presented to the President and Prime Minister of Singapore. For this, there is an entrance fee of SGD2 for Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents and SGD4 for others. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the Istana main building led by volunteers from the National Heritage Board.
There is also a mobile app Istana Garden Walk which can be helpful if a person wants to explore the Istana grounds on his own.
The Istana Heritage Gallery at the Istana Park, located opposite the main gate of the Istana along Orchard Road, will also be open from 10am to 6pm. For a self-guided interactive tour of the Gallery and the Istana Park, visitors can download the LocoMole mobile application.
During the open house, there will be sale of Istana souvenirs. The proceeds from the sale of souvenirs and all entrance fees collected will be donated to charity.
Istana Open House is generally held for the public five times a year on the occasion of Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Raya Puasa, Labour Day and National Day.