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Diwali or Deepavali is one of Hindu's major festivals celebrated every year in autumn by Hindus all over the world. Spiritually it signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Hence, it is known as The Festival of Lights.
Devotees clean up and decorate their homes and workplaces before Deepavali night. On Deepavali night, they dress up in their new outfits or best outfits. They visit Hindu temples to offer their prayers to Goddess Lakshmi. Lamps and candles will be lit up. After prayer, family members gather and have a feast.
Here are the best of local celebrations in Singapore:
The Festival of Lights in Little India. Photo courtesy of LISHA
Deepavali Street Light Every year the stretch from Serangoon Road to Race Course Road will be decorated with spectacular ornaments like peacocks and lotuses. Take a stroll in the evening and be enchanted by the radiant street. The light up will end on 12 November this year.
Mithai (sweets) is a popular Deepavali festive goodies. Photo courtesy of Aashish Jethra
The Festival Village The bazaar occupies the lots of Campbell Lane and Hastings Road. Shop your fill of great buys from stalls offering vibrant Indian ethnic wear, intricate costume jewelry, ornamental decorations, greeting cards, traditional sweets and delicacies, festive cookies, henna, flower garlands and more. Shop for your festive goodies here such as Mithai, Murukku, Milk Peda, Kesar Peda, and Coconut Ladoo. It's free entry. The ongoing bazaar together with the craft and heritage exhibition and carnival will end on 28 October 10pm.
Parrot Astrologer. Photo courtesy of LISHA
Deepavali Craft and Heritage Exhibition You could have your fortune read by a parrot astrologer. The card selected by a parrot will be accompanied by an explanation of your future prediction. Visit crafts and heritage exhibition on Hastings Road and find art and craft made by traditional craftsmen from India. They demonstrate their skills at pottery-making.
The Arts Carnival Feel free to view photo exhibitions, interactive art installations, art jamming and sand art sessions on Hindoo Road.
A museum display. Photo courtesy of Indian Heritage Centre
Indian Heritage Centre Visit the centre for free on 28 & 29 October. A free guided tour will be offered from 2pm to 3pm. On Deepavali night, the centre has lined up a series of performances. Catch them for free.
Be entertained by a medley of sounds and breath taking performances at Clive Street every Friday and Saturday from 7pm to 9pm. You could interact with the dancers to learn a few steps like a professional.
A special spot for your memory of Deepavali celebration. Photo courtesy of LISHA
Get a glimpse of rangoli on the floors of various shops in the vicinity. It is an art form originated from India made using materials such as colored rice, dry flour, colored sand or flower petals. It's a decorative item which is thought to bring good luck. Many shops in Little India are selling traditional ethnic wear, gold and silver accessories, fabrics, souvenirs, food and beverages, and more.
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple at the heart of Little India. Photosource: Wikipedia
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
It is one of the oldest Hindu temples here. This temple is dedicated to the goddess and destroyer of evil, Sri Veeramakaliamman or Kali. This temple at the heart of Little India will be the center of the attraction during the festival.
Istana Open House
In a spirit of Deepavali celebration, the Istana will open to the public on 29 October. Many activities are waiting for visitors to participate and to be entertained. Guided tours at a small fee. If you are lucky, you could shake hand with Mr. President!
Community Centres in every corner of the country are gearing up too for the festival with Deepavali celebrations in the neighborhoods.