Street Light-Up at Little India during Deepavali season. Image courtesy of the Singapore Tourism Board.
Deepavali means “row of lights,” and for this five-day Hindu festival Little India in Singapore becomes just that -- street after street dripping with varicolored lights that signify the triumph of good over evil. Diyas (lamps and candles) are lit, as is the tradition, on the night of the new moon, the darkest night of the year.
Millions around the world take part in Deepavali, the foremost festival in Hinduism. Over the five days of festivities between mid-October and mid-November (the month of Kartika, on the Hindu calendar), Little India turns into Singapore’s top attraction. Serangoon Road is the it-place to be after hours. Colorful, intricate arches light up the night sky along the street, where tourists can tuck into fragrant Indian curry, roti prata (dough flat bread), mithai (sweets), and drink their fill of teh tarik (frothy milk tea) after perusing the bazaars’ offerings of jewelry, handicrafts, saris, floral garlands, incense, and exotic spices.
Whilst visitors mill about, Hindus clean and spiff up their homes, don on their best clothes, and offer pujas (prayers) to Lakshmi, goddess of fertility and prosperity. Fireworks are lit, and gifts exchanged with family and friends. Many decorate their doors with rangoli, a floral or geometric motif made out of petals, rice, and flour. Ornate lanterns, festive lamps, and votive candles twinkle from the inside of each home, painting a fairytale picture upon the enclave.
Shopping at Little India's markets during Deepavali season. Image courtesy of the Singapore Tourism Board.
Stall at Little India's markets during Deepavali season. Image courtesy of the Singapore Tourism Board.
For other traditional New Year celebrations, visit Myanmar's Kachin Manaw Festival and Myanmar's Naga New Year Festival. For other festivals in the month of October, visit Vietnam's Kate Festival; Laos' Boun That Luang; and the Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix.
The Kachin peoples of Myanmar's Kachin State celebrate their traditional new year around January, in a scenic festival ca...
Tour is enough to turn you into a Southeast Asia expert, taking you through no less than five countries and the best they hav...VIEW DETAILS
The Philippines' highlands, Viet Nam's colonial remnants, and relics from Cambodia's generations of royal rule.&n...VIEW DETAILS
Sojourn through Laos, Viet Nam, and Cambodia mostly on board a luxurious boutique cruise ship along the Mekong River.VIEW DETAILS
PADI Underwater Digital Photography Class - A two-part introduction course to digital underwater photography centred around t...VIEW DETAILS
Escape and immerse yourself in the vibrance of Phang Nga Bay.VIEW DETAILS
Enjoy Chinese and international cuisines in Langkawi, MalaysiaVIEW DETAILS
Go on an epic Asean journey with AirAsia Asean Pass, a travel pass that allows you to book our base fares at least 14 days or...VIEW DETAILS
Rent a car for 2 days or more at participating locations in Asia and enjoy up to 15% offVIEW DETAILS
This architectural gem is strategically located in the heart of Singapore’s vibrant civic and arts district. Grand Park...VIEW DETAILS
Experience the culture, beauty and history of Indonesia's capital city at the new Days Hotel & Suites Jakarta Airport...VIEW DETAILS
Sleep and stay in style at the award-winning Hotel Fort Canning, 5-time winner of TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choic...VIEW DETAILS