Singapore celebrated its fiftieth birthday. It became independent on August 8th, 1965. The celebrations saw the largest fireworks display ever in Singapore. Thousands of people gathered in the streets. The country has been counting down since New Year's Eve. Hundreds of events marked the fifty-year birthday. Singapore's Prime Minister gave a special message to the nation. He said: "We must press on, because we aspire to do better for ourselves."
Singapore has come a long way in the past fifty years. It got independence from Britain. It was very poor but the leadership of founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew made it wealthy. He died earlier this year. Singapore is the world's fourth most important financial centre and the second busiest port. A woman felt sad that Mr Lee did not live long enough to see the anniversary. She said: "We definitely feel that something is missing this year."