9 Things To Do This Deepavali In Singapore To Celebrate The Festival Of Lights In 2021

Deepavali 2021

Deepavali, also known as the Festival of Lights, celebrates the Hindu belief of light conquering darkness and the triumph of good over evil. It is marked by colourful light displays in public and decorations of rangolis (colorful art circle patterns) and diyas (oil lamps) in the homes of those who celebrate this occasion.

Regardless of your religion, there are numerous ways for you to take part in the celebration. Here are nine things you can do to bring on the festivities this Deepavali:

Check out our other articles on Deepavali:

1. Drive through the Deepavali light-up at Little India

Every year, the streets of Little India never fail to take our breaths away with their iconic dazzling Deepavali light-up. This year is no exception.

Image credit: @fcul78 

Whether you’re cruising through Serangoon Road in a vehicle or on foot, you’ll be greeted by extensive rows of brightly lit crescent shaped arches. Continuing the legacy of showcasing India’s architectural wonders, this year’s Deepavali light-up highlights the Gopuram (a storeyed tower serving as the entrance to a main temple) as its main feature, alongside pillars resembling intricate stone temple columns.

Image credit: @atsusingapore

Look out for light displays of peacocks, lamps and lotuses as you walk along Race Course Road and Serangoon Road. All three are central motifs of Deepavali, serving as symbols of Hindu gods and goddesses like Lakshmi, the goddess of good fortune. 

Price: Free
Date: Until 21st November 2021
Time: 7PM onwards, Daily
Venue: Serangoon Road, Little India, Singapore 

2. Check out colourful flower and mini light installations

Image credit: @stanley_chee

The entrance to the Indian Heritage Centre (IHC) is decked out with a miniature replica of the Deepavali street light-up. Snap those lit Instagram pictures as you take in the festive atmosphere.

Image credit: Singapore Records

At the same time, check out the Community On Colours 100,000 Paper Flowers installation at POLI@Clive Street this Deepavali. Various multi-racial organisations in Singapore constructed a giant 12.3M x 4.7M rangoli display with paper flowers made from recycled materials.

This isn’t just any random paper flower craftwork – this installation made it into the Singapore Book Of Records for the largest rangoli made of newspaper strips. 

Indian Heritage Centre light installation
Price: Free
Date: Until 14th November 2021
Time: 7PM onwards, Daily
Venue: Indian Heritage Centre, 5 Campbell Lane, Singapore 209924

Community on Colours – Paper Flowers Installation
Price: Free
Date: Until 21st November 2021
Venue: POLI@Clive Street

Find out more about the Paper Flowers Installation.

3. Have a biryani feast at 30 restaurants

A great part about the festive season is, without a doubt, indulging in scrumptious food while we celebrate the joyous occasion. And there’s nowhere better to feast on authentic Indian food than at Little India. 30 restaurants in the area have come together in the spirit of Deepavali to offer a variety of signature biryanis at promotional prices.

Image credit: Eatbook

With a mega biryani fiesta happening over the next few weeks, you’ll get to try out different versions of the same dish at various restaurants scattered across Little India. Think chicken biryani, vegetarian claypot biryani and Arabic mandi biryani amongst others – we don’t blame you if you’re salivating just reading about it.

Promotion period: Until 21st November 2021

Find out more about the Little India Biriyani Fiesta

4. Go on trishaw rides around Little India

Image credit: Indian Heritage Centre

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be ferried around on a trishaw like in the olden days, here’s your chance. Hop aboard a 15-minute trishaw ride organised by the IHC while taking in the sights, sounds, and festivities around Little India. Each ticket permits 2 passengers, but do book a ride ASAP because slots are limited.

Price: $10
Date: Until 30th October 2021
Time: 6-8PM, Fridays

Free for all Singaporeans & Permanent Residents
5 Campbell Lane, Singapore 209924
Opening Hours: Tuesday 10:00 a.m - 06:00 p.m Show More Timings Hide
Monday Closed
Tuesday 10:00 a.m - 06:00 p.m
Wednesday 10:00 a.m - 06:00 p.m
Thursday 10:00 a.m - 06:00 p.m
Friday 10:00 a.m - 06:00 p.m
Saturday 10:00 a.m - 06:00 p.m
Sunday 10:00 a.m - 06:00 p.m

5. Redeem free limited edition money packets

Image credit: @indianheritage_sg

Those who like collecting unique money packets can get free limited-edition Deepavali-themed ones from the IHC. This year’s design features the Deepavali street light-up decorated arches and peacocks, and can be redeemed easily at the IHC by snapping and uploading a photo you took there onto Instagram.  

Date: Until 14th November 2021 or while stocks last
Venue: Indian Heritage Centre, 5 Campbell Lane, Singapore 209924

Indian Heritage Centre website

6. Make your own festive paper lamp

Image credit: @yopresh

Diyas, or lamps, are symbolic of Deepavali, and people light them up to dispel darkness and evil. To celebrate the Festival of Lights, the IHC is hosting Deepavali drop-in craft activity sessions for anyone keen to try their hand at making their very own paper lamp. There’s no age limit, so both the young and the young-at-heart can participate.

Price: Free
Date: Until 14th November 2021
Time: Various times
Venue: Indian Heritage Centre, 5 Campbell Lane, Singapore 209924

Indian Heritage Centre website

7. Visit Hindu Temples like the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

Image credit: @roy_singapore

Check out temples like the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple – one of Singapore’s oldest Hindu temples. Built in 1881, this temple is dedicated to the goddess Kali – also known as the destroyer of evil. You’ll find numerous colourful images and statues of Kali on the temple’s exterior and within the temple itself. If you’re planning to pay a visit to temples like this one, make sure to dress appropriately in tops that cover your shoulders and bottoms that are minimally knee-length. 

Fun fact: Many people sought refuge here during the Japanese air raids in World War II. And whether it was by luck or divine intervention, this temple and all its statues survived the bombings completely unscathed. 

Price: Free
Time: 8AM-12PM, 6.30PM-9PM, Daily
Venue: 141 Serangoon Road, Singapore 218042

8. Pay a visit to a parrot astrologer

Image credit: @jestin_t_wilson

Parrot fortune tellers are rare to find these days, but if you’re fortunate enough to encounter one of these feathered astrologers along the streets of Little India, you’ll be able to get a glimpse into your future. 

These Indian Ringnecked Parakeets will pick a card out of a deck for you based on your name and age. Afterwards, their human companion will interpret the reading for you. And yes, that includes readings on your love life, for those curious singles out there. 

Venue: Around Little India, along Serangoon Road

9. Go on an “Insta-walk” of Little India

Little India is just as bright in the day as it is at night and it’s not just because of Singapore’s sweltering sun. There are plenty of vibrant murals, colourful buildings and street art within the vicinity that’ll catch your eye. 

Image credit: @vietnam_pcy

Dress your best, go on a free self-guided tour of Little India, and capture those Instagram-worthy shots. 

Celebrate Deepavali 2021

Celebrate Deepavali this year with these events and activities. Though they’re not as elaborate as previous years’, they’re still worth partaking in. And the best part of all is that they’re all pocket-friendly, so join in on the festivities if you can.  

For more things to do, also check out:

Cover image adapted from (L-R): @stanley_chee, @vietnam_pcy and Indian Heritage Centre

Gabrielle Sng

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