Deepavali - also known as Festival of Lights will occur on 4th November, Thursday and it’s widely celebrated by Hindus and Indians of other religions all around the world. If you are unsure on what this festive occasion is, simply put, Deepavali marks the victory of good over evil and light over darkness1. Thus, many of them spring clean their homes and light up little lamps in their doorway. Despite the pandemic and several restrictions that have been put in place, that should not stop us from celebrating the festival. As Deepavali celebrations take place over 5 days with each day having different rituals and traditions, we have also consolidated 5 ways on how you can savor Deepavali this year in Singapore!
1. Shopping for new clothes
Looking for a place to get your Deepavali clothes in Singapore? Where else would be an ideal location to shop for your goods other than Little India? There are rows and rows of shops selling beautiful ‘kurta pyjama’2- knee length tunic with drawstrings pants, whereas for the ladies a ‘ghagra choli’2 - a long flowy skirt with a blouse. Head down to Tekka Centre or even the shop houses that sell an array of dazzling costumes, pick your favourite clothes and celebrate Deepavali in style!
2. Light up the night with sparklers
What better way to celebrate the festive season than with fireworks and sparklers. A big part of Deepavali celebrations is usually fireworks. However, with the emphasis to reduce noise and air pollution3, it has been somewhat reduced. Nevertheless, kids and family can still enjoy lighting up a few sparklers. Boxes of sparklers can be bought along the shops at Tekka or Mustafa Centre. Nonetheless, do be careful when playing with sparklers, and ensure that there is adult supervision when children are playing. Don’t forget to put on your mask and stand 1m apart!
3. Delicious treats
The best part of Deepavali is enjoying the scrumptious sweet and savoury Indian food. Celebrating Deepavali wouldn’t be complete without having a feast since we Singaporeans love food! Traditional Deepavali food includes sweet (also known as ‘mithai’), idli, puri and other rich main courses which are normally vegetarian. Whether you are ordering in or whipping out your own cooking, you can never forget the wonderful traditional Indian sweets and snacks! To save the trouble, head down to Moghul Sweets located at Little India for some mouth watering Kaju Katli (Cashew Fudge), Jalebi, and many more. While the night bazaar remains suspended, you can always shop virtually on e-commerce platforms such as Shopee, Lazada and even All Things Delicious! Also, this is the time of the year where you can enjoy a plethora of dishes without feeling guilty! Remember if you are eating out, ensure you are following the regulations and wear your mask.
4. Decorate your home
Deepavali is an important time for Indian families to not only spring-clean their homes, but to also decorate. Adorn your home with flower garlands and lighted ‘diya’ (small clay oil lamps). Not forgetting beautiful drawings on the floors at the entrance using coloured rice flour, also known as ‘kolam’1. You can get your hands on them down Campbell Lane - Jothi Store, where you can also get various flowers and essentials to decorate your home!
5. Enjoy the Festival Lights in Little India
One of the few things that you can look forward to is the light up at Little India. Celebrating Deepavali in Singapore means that you can get to catch all the beautiful lights yearly! This year's light-up started on September 25th4 . This is a great time to bring your family to bathe in the beautiful glow of lights down Little India and enjoy the festive mood. Now, it may get very crowded at Little India but fret not, you can always enjoy the lights in the comfort of your own vehicle! Drive around the precinct and I’m sure you will appreciate the scenery just as much.
Come 4th November, put on your best ‘kurta pyjama’ and 'ghagra choli’. Put on some Bollywood music, savour the sweet treats and cook up some family-friendly Indian feast! In the evening, light up your home and enjoy the wonderful festival with your family! The celebration doesn’t stop here! In fact, Little India Shopkeepers & Heritage Association (LiSHA) has curated exciting activities lined up in the month of October to November! Activities such as food trails, masterclasses, treasure hunts, and fun competitions are all age inclusive5. Esplanade will also be having their annual ‘Kalaa Utsavam’. This 10-day festival is held during the festive season of Deepavali, showcasing a variety of classical to contemporary arts performances by renowned Indian artists from Singapore and abroad6.
With all the fun going on, do keep in mind the regulations to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe. Remember, if you are feeling unwell, see a doctor and stay at home. You can always celebrate the fun virtually. If you wish to order in for Deepavali this year, we have a selection of dishes you can choose from! Ranging from our mini buffets, little cakes and whole cakes. These are just perfect for you and your family to enjoy.