Deepavali in Singapore 2011:
Ways to Enjoy the Festival of Lights
|Deepavali in Singapore 2011... Head down to Serangoon Road for the Deepavali Light Up. And soak up the atmosphere in the temples.|
If you are a Hindu, you probably won't need the information on this page. But for the rest of us, here are some tips to enjoy Deepavali in Singapore, come September-October 2011.
On this page:
Deepavali Light Up on Serangoon Road
- A Few Photos from 2008 & 2009
Firstly, a few photos to whet your appetite. I took these at the Deepavali Street Light Up in Little India. Truly, it's the Festival of Lights...
Deepavali Light Up 2008
The Deepavali Light Up as seen from the junction of Bukit Timah Road and Serangoon Road.
The Deepavali Light Up in Little India gives a new meaning to the Festival of Lights. Look at this stretch of lights near the Sri Veerama Kaliamman Temple. Aren't they dizzying?
Oil lamps made out of gouched-out limes! Isn't this imaginative?
But limes have a special meaning in Hindu worship. They are usually used to symbolise protection. So the devotee who lit these lime-lamps was probably praying for protection, either for himself or for his family.
Deepavali Light Up 2009
Meaning of Deepavali, Very Briefly
Deepavali in Sanskrit means 'rows of lights'. So it is quite apt to call Deepavali the 'Festival of Lights'.
There are several legends which explain why lamps are lit during Deepavali. But there seems to be a common theme about these legends: good will eventually overcome evil. So by lighting lamps during Deepavali, Hindus celebrate the victory of light over darkness.
It's a time to drop bad habits and bring on the good. It's a time to let knowledge triumph over ignorance. It represents the dawn of good things to come. Join in the fun - usher in the good times during Deepavali in Singapore!
7 Ways to Enjoy Deepavali in Singapore 2011
No doubt about it, Little India is the place to be in the month leading to Deepavali Day. Want to enjoy Deepavali in Singapore 2011? Here are 7 suggestions:
- Enjoy the Deepavali Street Light Up on Serangoon Road!
Dates: 23 Sep 2011 to 6 Nov 2011
Time: 7pm onwards
This is a must-do if you are planning on celebrating Deepavali in Singapore.
I can almost hear you say, 'Duh? Tell me something new, Gabriel!' Ok, here goes...
Go to Queen Street and head to the Albert Mall Trishaw Park near the Bugis Street Bazaar. Once there, join a Little India trishaw tour. This will take you down Serangoon Road, where the Light Up is most beautiful. (See the photos above.)
There are few things quite as enchanting as seeing the lights from a trishaw...
If you could turn up during the official opening (evening of 23 Sep 2011), consider heading down to watch the Switch On Ceremony for the Light Up.
- Dine at one of Little India's vegetarian restaurants.
Get the trishaw rider to drop you off at one of many vegetarian restaurants in Little India. There are many but here are 2 of my favourites:
- Komala Vilas Restaurant
76/78 Serangoon Road
- Chellas Restaurant
70 Serangoon Road
Vegetarian food is a major aspect of Hindu life.
- Wander into one of the 3 major temples on Serangoon Road.
The most convenient of these temples is perhaps the Sri Veerama Kaliamman Temple at the junction of Serangoon Road and Belilios Lane. Mingle with the worshipers and figure out what each ritual means. Why the garlands on the deities? Why the giving out of bananas after prayers? Why the dotting of the forehead by the priests?
This is Hinduism 101 for the uninitiated. And you get a better sense of what Deepavali in Singapore means, away from the decorative lights.
- Get your hand henna-painted at the Deepavali Bazaar (Campbell Lane).
See it as a temporary tatoo! And the artists will have a folio of sample designs for you to choose from.
Dates: 23 Sep 2011 till 25 Oct 2011
Time: From 11am, but an evening visit is recommended.
- Watch the Thimithi Festival (Fire-walking Festival).
Some singing, dancing and merry-making. But watch the guys run over hot coals, barefooted.
Date & Time :
15 Oct 2011 late evening) to 16 Oct 2011 (early morning)
Venue: Sri Mariamman Temple, South Bridge Road
- Countdown to Deepavali Day and Fireworks. Celebrate with the stars!
Join the stars from India and Singapore and countdown to Deepavali Day. Hosted by local celebrities from Vasantham Central channel.
Date: 25 Oct 2011
Time: 9pm onwards
Venue: Race Course Road near Little India MRT Station
- Buy some sparklers from the Deepavali Bazaar and join in the merry-making.