As one of Singapore’s main cultural festivals, Deepavali (also known as “Diwali” or “Festival of Lights”) is a celebration that marks the triumph of good over evil.
It is when thousands of Hindu families in the city – and around the world – transform their homes into beacons, exchange gifts, share parties and perform pooja (prayers) to deities such as Lakshmi, the goddess of the fertility and prosperity.
Bright colors, tantalizing aromas and the light of a thousand oil lamps fill the streets of Little India during Deepavali.
To learn more about the Hindu community, follow the Silver Chariot procession, which took place twice upstream from Deepavali. Fans tow a silver chariot that houses an effigy of the goddess Sri Drowpathai Amman from the Sri Mariamman temple in Chinatown – the oldest of its kind in Singapore – to Little India.
About a week before the big day, the Sri Mariamman Temple hosts another cultural show: Theemithi. In a ritual that continues until late into the night, witness thousands of men walking on burning charcoal in tribute to the goddess.
Join the action
Before the day of the festival, Hindu families invade Little India to get ready in the many bazaars in the neighborhood and take photos of the beautiful illuminated street.
Monumental installations, Instagram-worthy decorations, and bright festive lights will stay in the neighborhood for about a month after Deepavali, so there is plenty of time to celebrate with the locals.
Hunt the scents of floral garlands and incense while browsing stalls hawking gold jewelry, traditional snacks, embroidered sari (traditional Indian clothing for women) and ornamental decorations. Enjoy a musical performance under the stars while performing a complex henna tattoo. Or just park in one of the many cafes in the area with a cup of Tarik (pulled milk tea) to attend one of Singapore’s most beautiful flowering festivals.
See you in December 14th every year!!!