8 Oct 2o13: Although we won’t get a working day off for the holiday this year (d’oh!) – due to the Hindu Advisory Board revising the official date of Deepavali from Sunday the 3rd to Saturday, 2 November – there are still plenty of ways to celebrate the Festival of Lights in Singapore. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Little India’s annual light-up, and as usual, the district’s streets – stretching from parts of Selegie Road to Serangoon Road (from the junction of Sophia Road to Lavender Street) and Race Course Road – are now adorned with colourful decorations. The theme centres on Radha and Krishna, the divine lovers in Hindu mythology, whose life-size replicas can be found swinging atop the main arch at the entrance of Serangoon Road. A range of events are planned.
Festival Village and Heritage & Crafts Exhibition
Until 1 Nov
Following the success of previous years, the Festival Village returns to Campbell Lane and Hastings Road to offer 15,000 square feet of retail therapy. Find stalls selling all sorts of decorations, jewellery and crafts, get your hands decorated by henna tattoo artists or try delicious Indian delicacies. The Heritage & Crafts Exhibition, titled Our Indian Forefathers and Their Trades in Singapore, is at Hastings Road and showcases a range of photographs and stories. There are also workshops for participants to learn from Indian craftsmen.
Kids are invited to dress up as mini Radhas and Krishnas (5 Oct, 3pm, Hastings Rd), while the Family Challenge (12 Oct, 2pm, Hastings & Kerbau Rd) encourages adults to partner up with their little ones to complete three designated tasks around the Little India district; there are prizes to be won at both events. A Dance Medley (19 Oct, 5pm, Hastings & Kerbau Rd) sees a line-up of performers demonstrating various types of traditional dances, and be sure not to miss the spectacular Theemithi, or Fire-Walking, Festival (20 Oct, 6pm, Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple).
For the best way to welcome the Festival of Lights, head down to the Event Marquee at Race Course Road. Spectators will be treated to an evening of performances by local and Indian artists – the full line-up can be viewed on the Little India website listed above – starting from 8.30pm, and culminating in the much-anticipated countdown. A fireworks display will mark the official start of Deepavali with much colour and fanfare – just be sure to head down early and leave any metallic items behind, as huge crowds are expected and security checks will be conducted.
See www.littleindia.com.sg for the full schedule.