The Myth of the Merlion


Singapore is a unique country with an equally unique set of traditions. Just as a mosaic is made up of small, colorful stones that come together to make the entire image, Singapore is made up of various cultures that help make the city whole. However, there is one symbol that all Singaporeans recognize, regardless of their cultural backgrounds. If I asked you to imagine a Merlion, what kind of animal would pop into your mind? Would you think of a type of fish? How about a species of lion? Keep reading to find out more!

What tradition did I learn about?:

While I was touring the downtown area of Singapore, I came across a large statue of what seemed to be a fish, with the head of a lion. I had never seen anything like it before, and it was a confusing yet intriguing sight. The statue was gigantic, and later on, I found out that it measured about 8.7 meters tall and weighed nearly 70 metric tons. In other words, the statue was nearly 30 feet tall and about 6 times the weight of an anchor for a cruise ship! One interesting feature about the statue was that it spewed water from the mouth of its lion head, and it looked as if this statue was filling the bay with water. 

Later on, I asked my Singaporean friends about the statue I had seen, and I was told that it was called a Merlion.