52 WEEKENDS IN SINGAPORE
Ongoing and Upcoming Events:
- 16 Oct – 11 Nov: Singapore River Festival
- 22 Sep – 25 Nov: Deepavali Street and Light Up
- 30 Nov – 2 Dec: Anime Festival Asia
- 10 Nov – 1 Jan: Christmas on a Great Street
Event Spotlight: Deepavali Festival and Light Up
In a nutshell, Deepavali is a celebration of the victory of light over darkness, of good over evil. The word in Sanskrit means “rows of lighted lamps”. And people celebrate Diwali by literally celebrating light!
People from various faiths, countries, and cultures celebrate the festival by illuminating their homes and streets with magnificent light displays. Every year, Deepavali, or Diwali for some, sees Indian households light up with oil lamps coupled with good cheers and great food.
Visitors to Little India during this year’s Deepavali celebrations will be amazed by the bright colours, tantalising aromas and the light of a thousand oil lamps filling the streets. They will also learn the story behind the Hindu festival and take part in traditional Indian street games.
Not a single Hindu home will be left unnoticed during Deepavali. Each doorway will boast a beautiful, vividly-coloured picture created out of flour, rice or flower petals. It can take the form of a geometric pattern, a floral shape or a more detailed representation of animals or nature known as ‘rangoli’ – artworks created to usher deities into the home, so that they can bless the household for the year ahead.
Where to go?
To start, it is best to explore the religious aspects of the festival. Step into one of Singapore’s oldest Hindu temples, the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, dedicated to the goddess and destroyer of evil, Sri Veeramakaliamman or Kali. This distinctive landmark in the heart of Little India has fascinating stories to tell of colonial Singapore.
Now for the non-religious part, Mustafa Centre is the best place to go shopping. It’s famous for having whatever you want, whenever you want it — cause it’s a 24-hour shopping mall. Choose from a wide range of household appliances, gold jewelry, apparel and groceries, at reasonable prices.
But if you really want to feel the ‘light’ spirit, Deepavali Festival Village is the place to be. This bazaar bustles with stallholders who peddle everything from festive knick-knacks to seasonal snacks like ‘murukku’ (savoury twists) and ‘athirasam’ (sweet doughnuts).
Oh, here’s a trivia! During the festival, massive statues of elephants and peacocks stand proudly across Little India. According to Hindu tradition, the former alludes to royalty and abundance, while the latter symbolises victory, love and wisdom. So, if you go shopping, you’ll find a lot of elephant and peacock motifs in many jewelry pieces sold in this cultural precinct.
Find out more about the Deepavali celebrations at www.littleindia.com