Deepavali is here! Lo and behold, this Festival of Lights springs from the simple act of lighting a single oil lamp. A humble gesture that has transcended the ages and the seas, it aptly tells of the triumph of light over darkness and goodness over evil.
As part of the festivities, families light oil lamps and decorate their floors with rangoli, traditional patterns made on the floor using coloured rice or flour.
Sweets such as laddu, and savoury snacks like chakli are exchanged and shared between family and friends, who go all out in their finest garb to drink and make merry.
Hold tight, and hop on our magic carpet ride. We’ll take you through a list of places so fancy and awesome, you’ll be looking forward to Deepavali 2017!
1. Little India’s Deepavali Festival Village
For the ultimate Deepavali experience, head down to Little India! The Festival Village on Campbell Lane and Hastings Road comes to life with a bazaar, which will tantalize your senses in all the best ways.
Its quirky medley of stalls offers traditional Indian costumes, jewellery, traditional tidbits and festive snacks, henna, kitschy curios, handmade perfumes and so much more.
Before you get walking, munch on some snacks to power up those mighty legs!
What’s tasty and neon orange in colour? Yes, it’s a jalebi. A traditional Indian sweet, it’s a coil-like pretzel made of deep-fried wheat batter soaked in sugar syrup.
With a curiously appetising texture, it manages to be both slightly chewy and crunchy at the same time. Really fun to eat!
Another crowd-pleasing favourite is sandesh, a creamy treat concocted from milk and sugar. The perfect comfort food, simple but good!
Walk on and you’ll see that the bazaar has more to offer. We literally won’t be able to finish telling you all about it!
Temple flowers and flower garlands are sold by the dozen, in numerous stalls frequented by devotees who purchase them as temple offerings.
Hint: You might need to drop by here if you’re heading to Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple (read on for more info).
Here’s to dressing like a Bollywood star, right down to the bling!
At the end of the day, wind down and gaze upon the mad skills of henna artists, offering henna tattoos at $5 a pop.
It’s been lots of fun, but we can’ just stop here when there’s so much more to see and do! Moving on…
2. Deepavali Light-up
Cameras? Check. Selfie sticks? Hell yeah!
Along the streets of Serangoon Road and Race Course Road is the Deepavali light-up we’ve been awaiting all year.
Festive lights and decorations will transform the roads into a veritable wonderland till 12 November 2016. Photo opportunities are aplenty, so keep your eyes peeled!
Apart from the elaborate arches stretching across the roads, there will be two new highlights.
For the first time ever, there will be two giant light structures –a lotus encircled by golden elephants, and 20m-tall peacocks along Serangoon Road and Kinta Road.
All you photo-holics, snap away to your hearts’ content!
Now – 12 Nov, 7pm – 12am. Serangoon Road and Race Course Road, Little India.
3. Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
Feast your eyes upon this grand Hindu temple! In the heart of Little India sits one of Singapore’s oldest Hindu temples dedicated to the goddess Kali, destroyer of evil.
With lifelike figurines of deities in striking colours and ornate carvings on literally every inch of the temple, it truly is a magnificent sight to behold.
Buzzing with life from the throngs of loyal devotees who visit regularly, this temple is an even greater hub of activity during festivals such as Deepavali.
All are welcome, so feel free to step inside to witness the prayers and processions!
29 Oct, Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, 141 Serangoon Rd, 5am-12.30pm, 4pm-9.30pm
4. 48as: Halloween X Deepavali Edition
Is it a Deepavali party, or a Halloween fest?
Shophouse The Social Hostel is celebrating a genius fusion creation – a Deepavali party with Halloween spice thrown in. The best of both worlds indeed.
On the Shophouse rooftop, celebrate this mishmash event in your most gorgeous and outlandish outfit – we’re already imagining Morticia Adams in a sari.
There’ll be great food, good music, and a lovely company of odd fellows to share in the fun.
We foresee that things are gonna get a little crazy, somewhat freaky, and definitely glorious and kickass. And maybe, just maybe, “weirdly wonderful” and “strangely awesome” might be the best ways to describe it.
29 Oct, 7pm – late, Shophouse The Social Hostel, 48 Arab Street. No fixed price, pay as you wish.
5. Bollyween Masquerade
All those sinful Deepavali snacks may make your taste buds happy, but your waistline might not be.
If that is cause for lament, or if you’re up for a buzz of activity, we recommend this ZUMBALICIOUS party.
Shake and shimmy up a storm with zumba instructor Erich Edralin and Miko Valenzuela. Their zumba sessions are legendary, and you’ll be dancing like a pro in no time. You’re bound to have a great time with your fellow zumba mates with the hype at an all-time-high!
29 Oct, 1pm – 2.15pm. TMP Fitness Club, 55 Newton Road, #05-02 Revenue House. Tickets go for $20, and only 35 slots are available, so hurry! Call 9178 3443 for ticket reservations.
6. SICCI ‘Retro’ Deepavali Nite 2016
Ooh, a grand dinner to wrap up the Deepavali season would really hit the spot.
Join in this party and come decked in your best retro glam à la Audrey Hepburn and Clark Gable.
It’s time to raid your parents’ wardrobes, for the theme of this party is the evergreen era of the 60s, 70s and 80s. In other words, it’s retro with a capital R.
Get ready to be dazzled by top-notch singers, comedians who actually crack you up, and dance groups from both Singapore and India.
Held at Marina Bay Sands (MBS), you’ll enjoy an outstanding gastronomical experience. With a sumptuous spread of fine Mughlai food served by noteworthy MBS culinary experts, we give it two thumbs up!
26 Nov, 6.30pm – late, Marina Bay Sands, 10 Bayfront Avenue. SICCI members pay $150, non-members pay $165. E-mail [email protected], or call 6508 0140 / 6508 0142 for any enquiries.
7. Deepavali Arts Carnival
Frisk and frolic your way through this arts carnival!
Like no other, it’s a melting pot of diverse artists and art lovers coming together to add a splash of fun to the Festival of Lights.
There’ll be interactive arts installations, art and photo exhibitions, dances, fashion shows, sand art sessions and tons more fun stuff.
- 11am – 12pm: Music
- 12pm – 2pm: Rhythms Aesthetic Society – Spice Art
- 2pm – 3pm: Malaysian Dancers
- 3pm – 4pm: Fashion Show
- 11am – 12pm: Music
- 12pm – 2pm: Bhaki-Rasamrta: The Rhythmic Waves of the Mellows of Love
- 2pm – 4pm: Malaysian Dancers
NOTE: Both event days feature these staple activities as well – Interactive art for the community, Art Jamming and Sand Art Station
Look forward to mind-boggling abstract art with meanings so obscure, even Da Vinci wouldn’t understand.
Here, it’s fun for all, and all for fun. Come with your friends and family for a great weekend of community art workshops and hands-on activities!
8. Deepavali Craft & Heritage Exhibition: Project Oasis in Little India
Hailing from India, traditional craftsmen and a parrot astrologer are here to showcase their skills and hawk their unique wares this Deepavali season.
Watch Indian crafts being created on the spot, and get your fortune told by the astrologer and his green parakeets, which wisely select tarot cards that foretell your life path.
Getting your fortune told by an intelligent bird definitely counts as a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
That’s not all. If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at pottery, here’s your chance to make your very own sculpture, no more potter-ing about!
24 Oct – 28 Oct, 11am – 10pm, Project OASIS in Little India, Clive Street and Hindoo Road.
All you Deepavali celebrators, fun seekers, party goers, city nomads, wanderlusters… go forth and explore! Do take note, we are not, in any case, to be held liable for an excessive amount of fun.
Header image credits: Stereoculturesociety Tumblr