Indian Heritage Centre’s Deepavali festivities to take place Oct 14-Nov 12; feature traditional food, fashion, art

Each weekend will show a different facet of the traditions surrounding Deepavali.

Keola Cheah

Irrationally moved by otter live cams. Enjoys trashy rock and metal.

Published: 11 October 2023, 3:34 PM

For five weekends starting on Oct 14, the Indian Heritage Centre (IHC) will offer a way to brighten up your week with its Deepavali celebrations.

As part of the IHC Open House 2023, each weekend will celebrate a different facet of Deepavali traditions.

Here are some of the highlights:


Anyone hungering for a good time can anticipate the first part (Oct 14 to 15) of the Deepavali celebration, which will spotlight Indian cooking. 

To kick off the weekend, IHC will organise a Food Trail, where participants will be able to learn about the ingredients and cooking methods that spice up Indian cuisine. 


Beyond learning about cooking methods, participants can also taste Indian dishes such as traditional vadai, masala tea, and Indian sweets. PHOTO CREDIT: INDIAN HERITAGE CENTRE
Beyond learning about cooking methods, participants can also taste Indian dishes such as traditional vadai, masala tea, and Indian sweets. PHOTO CREDIT: INDIAN HERITAGE CENTRE


The Food Trail will take place on Oct 14 from 11am to 12.30pm.

Other events to tuck into during the food-themed weekend include live cooking workshops and demonstrations for hyderabad mock meat biryani, murukku, and thosai and chutney


The mock meat biryani workshop will be led by the ‘Spice Queen’ Chef Devagi Sanmugam, who has written and co-authored 22 cookbooks. PHOTO CREDIT: INDIAN HERITAGE CENTRE


For dessert, anyone with a second stomach for sweets can find their way to the ladoo-making kids’ workshop centred around the spherical sweet. It will combine the process of making the treat with storytelling. 

The workshop, which will take place on Oct 14 at 11am, will lead participants through the story of Diya and her Nani. Together, they will make ladoo and learn about Deepavali and the cultural importance of lighting diyas (small clay oil lamps).


The ladoo-making workshop is aimed at children aged five to seven. PHOTO CREDIT: INDIAN HERITAGE CENTRE


The celebrations’ second weekend (Oct 21 to 22) will be themed after Indian fashion. Visitors can look forward to a slew of activities focused on traditional clothing and jewellery.

Attendees can pick up the art of draping a saree at IHC’s masterclass, where they will learn to pleat and arrange the garment and understand its cultural significance.


Attendees of the workshop will be taught the symbolism and stories behind the different draping styles and techniques. PHOTO CREDIT: INDIAN HERITAGE CENTRE


The workshop will be held on Oct 21 from 11am to 1pm.

There will also be South Indian jewellery painting and henna artistry workshops to anticipate, which aim to connect visitors with the history behind each tradition.


The jewellery painting workshop will be hosted by Shalini Gupta, a trained artist who is also skilled in other painting areas, including Indian miniatures, Kerala murals and watercolour. PHOTO CREDIT: INDIAN HERITAGE CENTRE

The Arts

The third weekend (Oct 28 – 29) of the Deepavali celebrations is grounded in the arts. 

In the centuries-old tradition of Indian miniatures painting, attendees can learn to paint divine figures and ornate patterns using intricate detailing. 

The workshop will be offered across Oct 26 to 29, from 3pm to 3.30pm. 


Any creations made during the workshop can be taken home as a keepsake. PHOTO CREDIT: INDIAN HERITAGE CENTRE


IHC will also organise cultural dance performances from Nov 4 to 5 at 11am, 2pm and 4pm on each day. 

Visitors aged 14 and above can bask in the five-minute performances, which will be held by candlelight amidst IHC’s artefacts.


The performances will be held for free in IHC’s gallery. PHOTO CREDIT: INDIAN HERITAGE CENTRE


Beyond the performances, the array of artistic events will also involve a Tanjore gilded art workshop.


In the celebrations’ fourth weekend (Nov 4 to 5),  IHC will delve into the rich mythology that surrounds Deepavali with a dramatisation of the story of Hindu deity Krishna and Radha, in which “love transcends time and space”.


Beyond the dramatised gallery session, there will also be a lineup of workshops that explore the rich mythology behind Deepavali. PHOTO CREDIT: INDIAN HERITAGE CENTRE


The hour-long dramatised gallery tour will take place at IHC’s Permanent Galleries, and can be attended by those five and above. It will be held across Nov 4 and 5 from 10am to 11am.


The final weekend of the celebrations falls on the eve and day of Deepavali (Nov 11 – 12), and will see colourful decorations sprawling across IHC and Little India. 

Visitors are encouraged to explore the area and soak in the festive atmosphere.


The decorations will include the annual appearance of the arches that stretch across Serangoon Road and Race Course Road. PHOTO CREDIT: INDIAN HERITAGE CENTRE


READ: A walk down Little India during the Deepavali light up

Registration Details

A full calendar of events can be found on the Indian Heritage Centre’s website. Registration for selected events can be done via Peatix’s platform, where the exact pricing and timing of each activity is also available.  

Pricing for each event ranges from free of cost to $25.

Admission to the Indian Heritage Centre, not inclusive of event attendance, is free for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents. 

The Indian Heritage Centre is located at 5 Campbell Lane, Singapore 209924.

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