Ways to soak in the Deepavali atmosphere
Look forward to gorgeous lights, temples and indian food.
The Festival of Lights falls on Nov 4 this year and in spite of current COVID-19 restrictions, there are still many ways to soak in the Deepavali atmosphere.
From the gorgeous lights at Serangoon Road to a temple in Chinatown, here are some of the highlights to get you in the spirit of the 15th day of the holiest month in the Hindu calendar.
1. Admire the light-up along Serangoon Road
The Deepavali street light up, an annual must see, is here once more. The main light-up motif is located near Campbell Lane and features peacock designs as well as accompanying text: “Deepavali, Festival Of Lights.”
There are also various lamp motifs that represent the triumph of light over darkness. The light up starts at 7pm daily.
2. Visit the Indian Heritage Centre
The Indian Heritage Centre (IHC) has a whole lineup of activities to celebrate Deepavali from now till Nov 14.
These will take place both virtually and physically, and include a Trishaw Trail, Paper Garland craft workshop and an Instagrammable mini replica of the street light-up among other activities.
Additionally, you can also get free Deepavali money packets featuring the arch and peacock designs from the light-up by snapping a photo of yourself at the centre. All you have to do is to upload the photos and tag them with #IHCDeepavali on your social media accounts.
3. Visit Hindu temples
What is Deepavali without a trip to a Hindu temple? There are currently about 30 main Hindu temples in Singapore, including the Sri Mariamman Temple.
The Sri Mariamman Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, dedicated to Goddess Mariamman, a Hindu deity known for curing illness, disease and epidemics.
Apart from Sri Mariamman, there is the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple on Serangoon Road. Dedicated to the destroyer of evil, Goddess Sri Veeramakaliamman also known as Kali, you can marvel at the colourful and intricate statues and detailing, making it one of the most spectacular places of worship in Singapore.
There is also the Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple on Ceylon Road, boasting a five-tiered, 68 ft tall (about 21m high) golden entrance tower, a gem to behold in Eastern Singapore.
So, admire the breathtaking sculptures, pray and come out of the temples feeling hopeful. If you’re there to take photos, do take note to respect and not disturb worshippers there.
4. Enjoy the Indian Festival of Arts
Featuring digital programmes, music performances, film screenings and live theatre productions, the Indian Festival of Arts has sought to be a catalyst for excellence by developing and supporting the creations of Singapore artists in debut performances and premieres since its inception.
Festival highlights include Kaanalvariyum Kaarigei Nilaiyum – Madhavi’s story, an indian literary masterpiece about passion and revenge, short films by local filmmakers, and Mighty Warrior Prince Bheema, a story for kids from the famous epic, the Mahabharata.
The festival takes place from Nov 19 to Nov 28 online and at the Esplanade.
5. Indulge in Indian food
From the delectable fish head at Samy’s Curry to the mix of North and South indian fare like tandoori chicken, fried fish and mutton curry at The Banana Leaf Apolo, there is no shortage of established indian food places.
If you are craving modern Indian food, Firangi Superstar has you covered with their Prata Waffle, a Madras-style fried chicken with curry leaves and garlic which sits on a waffle pressed prata. It is served with butter chicken sauce and jaggery syrup.
Tucking into these Indian delights may help you to soak up the Deepavali atmosphere in the best kind of way and after that, you can always finish off your meal with an indian dessert such as Burfi.
Here’s wishing all Hindus a very Happy Deepavali!