Deepavali is the festival of lights celebrated by Hindus across the world. The festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil. In Hindu traditions, it is celebrated as the day when Lord Krishna killed the demon Naraka and freed thousands of women he had captured. The dark reign of Naraka ended with light with the Lord killing the demon.
It is also celebrated as the day the God Rama returned home after killing the demon-king Ravana and completing a period of exile. The festival includes prayers to the Goddess of wealth Lakshmi. It is a grand festival celebrated across the world wherever Hindus and people of Indian origin live.
2022 Deepavali is coming up and Singapore too would be celebrating Deepavali. After the pandemic years, this is the first time the festival will be celebrated in a grand way and not online. If you wanted to know more about how Singapore would celebrate Deepavali, then go through our guide.
When is Deepavali in 2022?
Deepavali is usually celebrated in October or November, as per the Hindu calendar. The Deepavali 2022 date is 24th October. While 24th is the main day of celebrations, people celebrate the festival for five days. The five days are:
- Dhanteras, when people buy gold, silver, and clothes.
- Naraka Chaturdashi is the celebration of the killing of Naraka. People get up early, get an oil bath and wear new clothes to celebrate the festival.
- Lakshmi Pooja is when people (especially business persons) pray to the Goddess of wealth.
- Goverdhan Pooja is a celebration of Lord Krishna. In the South, this day is celebrated as Bali Padyami to remember the great King Bali.
- Bhai Dooj is a celebration of the bond between brothers and sisters.
What are Singapore’s Deepavali Traditions?
Singapore has been celebrating Deepavali as a public holiday since 1929. It is one of the major cultural festivals in the country. While Hindus celebrate the festival joyously, people from other communities also join in. The celebrations are held across the city-state.
If you wanted to know if Deepavali is Deepavali a public holiday in Singapore, the answer is yes! There is a holiday for Deepavali, so people get time to celebrate the occasion with their families and loved ones.
1. Shop for new Indian clothes
Deepavali is when people have to wear new clothes. They shop for the best traditional clothes and wear them during the festival. If you are planning to celebrate Deepavali, don’t forget to buy new clothes. Choose traditional Indian clothes from the various Indian clothing and apparel stores in the city.
Tekka Centre has many such stores. Fab India at Vivo city is another popular store. Each region in India has different types of traditional clothes. People buy clothes based on the region they come from. You can choose the clothes you like the most and enjoy the festival in your new clothes.
2. Fireworks & Sparkles
Deepavali is the festival of lights, it is also the festival of crackers. While the world over, crackers are burst on New Year’s Day, Indians reserve their crackers for Deepavali. The celebration of the victory of good over evil is done by bursting a variety of crackers. Sparklers are one of the top attractions of the festival. Children love to hold the long sticks that sparkle at one end when lit.
Nowadays, there is less focus on fireworks because of increased awareness of the pollution crackers cause. People prefer to burst green crackers that do not harm the environment. They prefer to burst more of sparklers, flower pots, and wheels instead of crackers that make sounds. Do buy sparklers and watch the smile on your children’s faces as they play with them.
3. Deepavali Sweets
Convey your happy Deepavali greetings to loved ones with sweets. Indians love sweet dishes and are known for making a huge variety of delicious sweets. Deepavali is a festival of celebrations, people eat sweets and gift sweets too. If you are celebrating Deepavali, don’t forget to make sweets at home or get them from the nearest sweet shop.
Known as ‘mithai’ Indian sweets are incredibly rich in taste. They are mostly made from milk or ghee (sometimes from both). They use a lot of nuts, dried fruits, and different types of flour. There are assortments of sweets available, and you will end up confused about which to buy. Some top sweets to buy are ladoo, jalebi, gulab jamoon, peda, kaju barfi, rasagulla, and kheer.
4. Deepavali shopping for gifts in Little India
Since Deepavali is the major festival for Hindus, they do the bulk of their shopping during the festive season. People shop for new clothes for their families. They shop for lamps or lights, sparklers, sweets, and also gifts. Deepavali is the occasion to celebrate. This is why people buy gifts on this occasion.
Little India is the obvious destination if you are looking for Deepavali gifts. As the name itself suggests, Little India is a Singapore locality that will remind you of India. Many Indian stores recreate the traditional Deepavali. There are a large variety of stores in Little India where you can do your shopping.
Once you are done shopping for clothes and gifts, you can also buy cards with Deepavali wishes in English for your loved ones.
5. Little India Deepavali Festival Lights
Do you know the meaning of Deepavali? Deepa is light and avail means series or rows. It is all about lighting lamps in a row to celebrate the win of good over evil. This is why Deepavali world over is associated with lighting up places. A little drip of cedarwood pure essential oil could help elevate the environment.
We need to sort out the Diwali vs Deepavali confusion. Deepavali is based on the original Sanskrit words. Diwali is an abridged version of Deepavali. Both are right, but Deepavali conveys the meaning perfectly since it focuses on Deepa, or light, which is the central theme of the festival.
You need to visit Little India during Deepavali. The entire area would be lit up in colourful, bright, and attractive lights. You can enjoy watching the lights and also crackers and sparklers being lit to celebrate the festival.
3 things you probably did not know about Deepavali in Singapore
1. ‘Tekka’ Market is derived from Hokkien
Tekka Market is one of the well-known shopping centres in Little India. This multi-cultural shopping market has a rich collection of stores offering all that you need to buy for Deepavali. But do you know the meaning of Tekka? A surprising fact that not many people are aware of is that the word Tekka is derived from Hokkien.
The word ‘Tekka’ has its origins from the Hokkein words ‘Tek Kha Kha’. Translated, it means ‘foot of the small bamboos’. Tekka market was earlier located between Sungei Road and Hastings. It was where bamboo grew. In 1982, it was shifted to its present location but its old name was retained.
2. Sri Mariamman Temple in Chinatown is a hotpot during Deepavali
One of the hotspots during Deepavali where a lot of action happens is the famous Sri Mariamman Temple. The temple dedicated to the Hindu Mother Goddess (wife of Shiva) is located in Chinatown. It is one of the top tourist spots in Singapore and is frequented by Hindus.
Just before Deepavali, the Thimithi festival is celebrated at the temple, which includes fire walking over blazing coals. Hindus come across the city come to the temple during the festival season and pray to the Goddess to take her blessings.
3. High Street was a place to celebrate Deepavali back in the 1900s.
High Street is one of the well-known places in Singapore. It is a place where you can see tall buildings with many government offices located there. It hardly seems to be a place where people celebrate Deepavali. But the interesting fact is that during the 1900s, people used to celebrate Deepavali on High Street.
During those times, High Street was different from today. There were several Indian-origin textile and jewellery shops. They would celebrate Deepavali by lighting lamps on High Street. It was a great sight with people thronging the area.
What to wear during Deepavali?
Deepavali is when people dress at their best. Hindu women wear grand sarees made of silk and other material. They also wear lehengas and traditional dresses. Men dress in kurtas and pajamas. People shop for dresses for the festival and wear the new dress on the festival day.
If you want to celebrate Deepavali, you can also wear new dresses to enjoy the occasion. You can shop for colourful and vibrant Indian clothes at the apparel stores in Little India. Wear your best and favourite dresses and enjoy the festive occasion.
Wherever you go during the festive times, you will find crowds. The COVID-19 pandemic has still not gone. It is in your best interests to mask up. Wear a 3-ply surgical mask along with your festive dress to remain safe. To ensure the best protection, get a KN95 mask Singapore or KN94 mask Singapore to keep yourself protected at all times.
Why Do People Celebrate Deepavali?
Singapore is a multicultural hub and festivals of all cultures are celebrated. Deepavali is the biggest festival for Hindus and is hence celebrated with grandeur. For Hindus, it is one of the major festivals. Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists also celebrate Deepavali.
The festival is not merely a religious one, but a celebration of the victory of good over evil. It is a celebration with lights to indicate that darkness will always be replaced with light. This is why people of all cultures love to celebrate the festival.
You can also celebrate Deepavali 2022 by decorating your home, eating sweets, wearing your best dress, and lighting lamps.Follow Wistech Health Newsroom on Wistech Instagram to check the latest news weekly!