Deepavali is a Hindu festival celebrated between mid-October and mid-November in Singapore. Deepavali literally means "festival of lights". During the month of Deepavali, the streets of Little India are brightly decorated in colourful decorations.
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Plurality of cultures in Singapore
Singapore is a country which is rich because of the plurality of cultures in that country. From Chinese New Year, Thaipusam Hindu Festival of Faith, Singapore Art Festival, Vesak Day and National Day, everything is celebrated with equal pomp and show. So, it is quite natural that Diwali is also celebrated with equal fervour at the Little Red Dot. And, why not?
Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the biggest festivals for the Indians. So the expats living in Singapore naturally celebrate it in their own way. And from there it has also become a regular festival of celebration in Singapore.
Deepavali- the truer reason of the celebration
Deepavali is a festival I always look forward to. Being an Hindu, this is one of the festivals I celebrate annually.
The morning usually begins with prayers to the sun god, it's a way to thank the gods for another day in our lives. Thereafter, oil is applied on our hair, which is known to cool the body down. Then it's bath time, with breakfast awaiting us right after we change into our new clothes. After breakfast is done, we head down to a temple as a family to take blessings and pray for one another's health and prosperity.
Here comes the fun part, after the temple visit, we head over to each of our relative's house for visiting. Good food, laughter and happiness will always be a good combination. For the children, we always look forward to the ang bao presentation. Yes, ang baos are also given out during deepavali.
The visiting will continue for approximately 3 weeks, due to time constraints and having really big families. But one thing is for sure, spending the holidays with family is surely a blessing.
A pleasant holiday..but do not go to Little India
I never really had much opinion about Deepavali aside from it being another holiday until recently.
I stayed in Little India for about 2 years and I hated Deepavali. It meant that the streets around my house would be literally flooded with people. The party would continue long and loud into the night. The first year, I realized I could not even leave my house! The second year I left early and when I returned around midnight, I could not get back into the house!
Having said that, I have no prejudice whatsoever against Indians and do find that visiting with my Indian friends an enjoyable experience. Its just my recommendation to avoid Little India area completely on Deepavali.
Indian food delights!
I don't know about you, but I am a huge fan of Indian cuisine. Sadly, I just never seem to go to Indian stores to chow. Luckily, we live in a multi-racial, multi-religious country. On this wonderful day called Deepavali, I get to fulfil my craving.
Of course, the Festival of Lights is much more than Indian food, but for me, it's an opportunity to sample the spices and fragrances of nasi briyani, rendang, lassi, roti, and so much more! Every year, I head over to a good friend's of mine, and just enjoy the food his mother cooks. It's a fantastic opportunity to catch up with old friends and just take a moment to chill and relax. It is also during this period, that you see Hindus in temples and praying - a rare moment to see them in their religious garb.
Yes, I'm not Indian, but I am a huge fan of Deepavali. I mean, what's not to like? The gorgeous candles that line walkways, the mouthwatering Indian snacks and dishes, the entire atmosphere is exciting. I always anticipate deepavali and the chance to catch up with close friends over some Muruku and Thosai.
On days like these, I am more than proud to be Singaporean, to be part of a multi-racial and multi-cultural society.
Festival of Lights... and bites!
It's impossible to walk through Serangoon Road during the annual Deepavali festive period and not try at least one cookie! Stallowners will hold out free samples for you to try their baked wares and these are the true home-made cookies which are immensely popular with Singaporeans all over for their taste and originality.
With a plethora of lights lighting up Serangoon Road, vivid colours will greet you when you look at the bazaars offering decoration items and drapery. The Deepavali mood will fill the air as locals get their last-minute shopping done and get set to entertain guests and family members at their homes.