As one of the major cultural festivals in Singapore, Deepavali (also known as “Diwali” or the “Festival of Lights”) is a celebration that marks the triumph of good over evil.
It’s when thousands of Hindu families in the city—and across the world—transform their homes into beacons of light, exchange gifts, share feasts and perform pooja (prayers) to deities such as Lakshmi, the goddess of fertility and prosperity. Join the action
Before the day of the festival, Hindu families throng Little India to gear up at the district’s many bazaars, and snap photos of the stunning street light-up. The monumental installations, Instagram-worthy decorations and bright festive lights will stand in the neighbourhood for about a month after Deepavali, so there’s plenty of time to celebrate with the locals. Chase the scents of floral garlands and incense while browsing through stalls hawking gold jewellery, traditional snacks, embroidered sari (traditional Indian womenswear) and ornamental decorations. Enjoy a musical performance under the stars while getting an intricate henna tattoo done. Or simply park yourself at any of the neighbourhood’s many coffee shops with a mug of teh tarik (pulled milk tea) to watch one of the most beautiful festivals in Singapore blossom. Deepavali Celebrations 2022 is back! This year’s Festival of Lights will see a line-up of exciting programmes and activities, both on-ground and virtual that will allow for a delightful celebration for families and loved ones. Kicking off the celebrations will be the annual street light-up in Little India starting from 16th September 2022. Families can also look forward to exciting events such as cultural shows, a Tamil rap competition, treasure hunts and challenges in Little India. And for the first time ever, visitors would get to see three puranaic (epic) mascots – Radha, Krishna and Naragasuran walking down the streets and interacting with people! Don’t miss the chance to snap a photo with them. For those who prefer to soak in the festivities in the comfort of your own home, you can participate in virtual activities such as live cooking demonstrations and entertainment shows. Find out more about the exciting celebrations at www.deepavali.sg. Celebrate together
To learn more about the Hindu community, follow the Silver Chariot procession, held twice in the lead-up to Deepavali. Devotees tow a silver chariot that houses an effigy of the goddess Sri Drowpathai Amman all the way 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 spectacle: Theemithi. In a ritual that continues well into the night, witness thousands of men walk on burning charcoal as a tribute to the goddess.
It's hard not to notice a Hindu home during Deepavali. Each doorway boasts a beautiful, vividly-coloured picture created out of flour, rice or flower petals. It can take the form of a geometric pattern, a floral shape or a more detailed representation of animals or nature. Known as 'rangolii', these artworks are created to usher deities into the home, so that they can bless the household for the year ahead.