Celebrating Deepavali @ Little India
Deepavali also means “Festival of Lights”.
It is the most important Hindu festival on the Hindu calendar. In Singapore, Deepavali is usually held in late October to early November. To the devotees of this magnificent Hindu festival, Deepavali “convert darkness to light and the victory of good over evil”. In Singapore, 55% of the Indians are Hindus.
This year Deepavali will be celebrated on November 13. You can visit Little India, an area located along Serangoon Road and there will be great festivities, sales promotions, food galore and plenty of both local and overseas visitors
|||||Where to feel the heartbeat of Deepavali
Situated along Serangoon and Tekka Roads, there are endless rows of shops and shop houses, restaurants, affordable hotels, textile and jewellery shops – all reflecting the Indian lifestyle, spices and awesome gourmet. The ever popular 24 hours Mustafa Shopping Centre is also located in this area. On a normal weekend, the human and vehicle traffic flow along this area can almost come to a standstill. This area has become the home to the thousands of Indians who either have migrated to Singapore or are professionally engaged as part of the Singapore white and blue collar workforce.
Little India – the heartbeat of the thousands of Indians and Hindus in Singapore – is the right place to feel the vibrant warmth of Deepavali.
During this festive season, the streets of Little India will be grandly decorated and there are bright shiny curved arches to create a colourful festive atmosphere. It is also a good shopping place for the tourists. There will be a wide variety of merchandise on display from the dazzling bazaar stalls. The visitors can also enjoy a wide range of Indian snacks and north-south cuisine. There are plenty of cultural shows and activities too such as the India Cultural Relic & Crafts Show, street parades, Deepavali New Year’s Eve concert.
So if you are free, you may go to Little India, find a coffee shop to sit down and then order a cup of fragrant India tarik (tea with milk foam). While you relax and appreciate the festival atmosphere of the crowd on the busy streets, you can also view the dazzling shops and stalls next to the hustle and bustle of the busy streets.
|||||Wear bright new clothes
In celebrate Deepavali, wearing new clothes are essential. The men can wear Jippa while the women will wear brightly colored silk sari or Punjabi style clothes. The young girls will generally wear Pavadai. Like the Chinese, the Indians also avoid wearing black clothes on Deepavali day because they view black as an unlucky color.
An authentic Deepavali tradition is the drawing of pretty paintings on your hands with the use of Indian herbal pigments (Henna). Such herbal pigments are also suitable for dyeing painted skin, hair, nails, and even leather and wool.
|||||The legend of Deepavali
Traditionally Deepavali is the day where the Hindus celebrate justice defeats evil and light conquer over darkness. There are different opinions about the origin of Deepavali. The most widely circulated story was how Narakasura became the monarch of a country by doing everything possible to win the favor of God. He became a tyrant and forced his subjects to live in dire straits.
As a result of wide spread hardship, Narakasura’s subjects went to seek comfort and help from Madura Kingdom rulers – Krishna (later known as Lord Sri Krishna). Eventually Lord Sri Krishna managed to slain the evil tyrant King Narakasura. Coincidentally, Lord Sri Krishna’s victory over the evil Narakasura took place on a new moon night where the whole city was in darkness. To celebrate Lord Sri Krishna victorious return, the people lit oil lamps to celebrate the victory. So even up to today, the Indians still retain this traditional of lighting up oil lamps to commemorate the victory over the evil forces.
|||||Traffic tips: Road closures in Little India during Deepavali
The Deepavali festivities are sponsored by the Little India Shopkeepers & Heritage Association. The duration is from November 13 to November 16, 2012.
To ensure that the festival activities are being run smoothly and safely, the following roads will be at closed from 13th to 16th November and during this period, these sectors will remain closed from 8am to 8 pm: Serangoon Road, Campbell Lane and Hashtings Road and Clive Street.
The traffic police will be on duty to regulate traffic and assist motorists as well as pedestrians. The traffic police also remind the public not to park their vehicles around the surrounding roads. Illegally parked vehicles will be towed away.
If in doubt, the public can call 63922246 to the organizers for more information. (■Singapore 360°)
- Address：Serangoon River, NE7 Little India MRT Station