PHOTOS: Singapore celebrates 50 years of independence with lights, culture and army tanks

Singapore celebrated its 50th anniversary of independence over the weekend.

Celebrations included a colourful military parade at Padang in downtown Singapore.

The South East Asian city-state has enjoyed a wealth of economic success over the past few decades, compared to its poverty-stricken neighbours.

Singapore became an independent republic on 9 August 1965, initiating a modernisation programme in the late 1960s with a focus on establishing a successful manufacturing industry, large public housing estates and an improved public education system.

By the 1990s Singapore had developed into a wealthy nation with strong international trade connections and the highest per capita gross domestic product (GDP) in Asia outside of Japan.

To honour the country’s immense achievements over such a short period, locals were entitled to free train rides throughout the city — and they took advantage.

Here’s just a taste of the weekend’s festivities.

A young family enjoy a quick selfie as they ride the train into the city for free during Singapore's National Day celebrations.

Locals frantically wave Singapore scarves as a show of patriotism during the National Day military parade.

Singapore Airlines flight attendants join the parade, driven around in bicycle rickshaws with colourful umbrellas.

The Singapore Police Force vintage contingent marching during the National Day military parade in downtown Padang.

Locals cheer and celebrate while proudly waving Singaporean flags.

Cultural entertainment was everywhere, with performances scattered across the city over the weekend.

Singapore's president Tony Tan Keng Yam inspected the guard of honour during the National Day parade.

One local obviously thought there was no better place to be to celebrate 50 years of independence.

During the evening, Singaporean pop artist Stefanie Sun performed much-loved National Day songs, including We Will Get There and One United People.

One Singaporean fights to keep his head above the throng of flags and Singaporean scarves during the National Day parade.

Around 600 primary school students put together a strange and colourful human arts performance, involving an array of fluorescent light.

The performance, entitled Onwards -- Bright Future, was meant to symbolise Singapore's journey of growth and future prosperity.

Armoured tanks and other military vehicles roll past City Hall during the military parade.

Fire trucks and emergency vehicles spray water into the cheering crowd.

Fireworks signal an end to the weekend's celebrations.

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