Fifty and fabulous. An icon loved over the world. A shutterbug’s delight.
Happy anniversary Merlion, which turns 50 on 15 September this year, an occasion to be marked by month-long Golden Jubilee parties across Singapore.
From the National Gallery Singapore to the shopping mecca of Orchard Road, from hotels to bars and beyond, the anniversary will be celebrated with special events covering food, drinks, shopping and culture that pay tribute to Merlion’s longevity.
At the centre of celebrations, the Merlion at the Merlion Park, near One Fullerton, will be lit up from 15 to 29 September from 6pm to midnight every day. The lights will also stay on throughout the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix 2022 from 30 Sept to 2 Oct.
The Merlion is a mythical creature with the head of lion and the body of a fish, that was first created in 1964 as the corporate logo for the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board (STPB).
The first Merlion statue was constructed in 1972 by local sculptor Lim Nang Seng and was officiated on 15 September 1972 by then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew at the mouth of the Singapore River.
It remains, after 50 years, one of the country’s top five free-access attractions.
Activities planned for the anniversary month will include afternoon teas, cake-cutting and family weekend stays at The Fullerton Hotel, celebration cocktails at Marina Bay Sands (Spago’s Purple Lion, anyone?), and exclusive merchandise from local retail brands.
Singapore Tourism Board’s Japan office will join the party with an original dorayaki (Japanese red bean jam-filled pancake) for its partners featuring the Merlion 50 logo.
Keith Tan, chief executive, Singapore Tourism Board said, “The Merlion is an enduring symbol of Singapore that is recognised around the world. It is also synonymous with tourism, which has helped to make Singapore a vibrant city and a home that Singaporeans can be proud of.”