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The festival of lights shines bright yet again

Four sights you cannot miss this Deepavali.

Anna Fernandez


Published: 20 October 2016, 12:29 PM

With Deepavali just around the corner, it’s that time of the year again to visit the ever-vibrant Little India enclave and get lost in all the colours and lights.

Celebrated mainly by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains around the globe and signifying the triumph of good over evil, Deepavali is the grandest festival both in India as well as amongst the Indian diaspora.

Here are four not-to-be-missed sights this Diwali season.

1. Traditional staples at the Deepavali Festival Village

Organised by the Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association (LiSHA), the annual Deepavali Festival Village boasts an array of ethnic clothing, traditional sweets and delicacies, as well as ornamental decorations like lanterns and glass rangoli designs.

 

A rangoli stall, with many different ornaments defying gravity.

 

The bazaar runs from Hastings Lane to Campbell Road and the narrow streets are dotted by various henna stations as well.

 

Henna has been used to adorn young women’s bodies since the late bronze age (c. 3000 – 1200 bc).

 

Whilst being spoilt for choice of ornaments, take in the aroma of sweet incense and the scents of marigolds, roses and jasmine, braided into colourful garlands.

Ending on the eve of Deepavali (Oct 28), the shopping extravaganza will overwhelm your senses, in the best way possible.

2. A bird’s eye view of your future

Also within the Deepavali Festival Village lies the Deepavali craft and heritage exhibition. Situated in the middle of Hastings Lane, the exhibition even showcases a talented green parakeet which will be handpicking (or should I say beak-ing) tarot cards as the astrologer takes the role of the interpreter and tells you your fortune.

 

The parakeet impressively chooses tarot cards and hands them to the astrologer.

 

Popular among the Tamils of Tamil Nadu and the Telugus in Andhra Pradesh, parrot astrology has become a mystical trade in Singapore, one that is slowly vanishing from our streetscape.

3. Sparkling lights

The yearly Deepavali street light-up never fails to amaze since it was introduced in 1985 by then Singapore Tourism Promotion Board and Serangoon Merchants Association and Feature Development.

 

At night, the little india area is transformed into a bedazzling display of peacocks and oil lamps.

 

The diya, an oil lamp usually made of clay, makes multiple appearances during the Deepavali season. Light symbolises purity, goodness, good luck and power, thus the existence of light means the non-existence of darkness and evil.

Running till Nov 12 from Serangoon Road through Race Course Road, this is a spectacle that will definitely brighten your nights.

4. Feathered friends

Keeping with the peacock-themed display this year, two giant 20-metre-tall peacock statues, complete with individual flowers for their trains, line both sides of Serangoon Road.

 

The peacock is associated with Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity.

 

So be sure to snap some pictures of these majestic and auspicious birds before they take flight!


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