Deepavali - The Festival of Lights
Deepavali is the wonderful festival of lights, a celebration that fosters family ties. It symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and hope over despair.
Deepavali is the greatest festival in India, but it is also celebrated in different corners of the world. It is celebrated across Singapore in a unique and colorful way. Let us look at some traditions, history, and significance of Deepavali.
Deepavali begins with cleaning houses, taking out the things that are not useful signifying that negative energies are removed. Moving towards light away from darkness. It’s a great way to get rid of what you don’t need and do a thorough cleaning, both material and spiritual.
When is Deepavali 2022?
The Deepavali festival occurs on the 15th day of the Hindu Lunar calendar, this year it falls on the 24th Oct 2022. In Singapore, the district of Little India celebrates by putting up delightful lighting and a buzzing Deepavali bazaar, where people enjoy the festivities with great vigor and exhibit a lively atmosphere.
Deepavali signifies the Festival of Lights. That is why oil lamps (diyas) and candles cannot be missed. Generally, one can fill the house with little diyas that will light up the evening. The more there are the prettier it gets. During Deepavali, it is common to decorate home entrances with rangoli designs or kolam as it is known in Tamil (with colored sands or other materials). You can buy them prefabricated or, if you are skilled, make them with your own hands or use flowers as well. It’s the way to extend a warm welcome to your guests. Gifts and sweets are exchanged between families and friends.
Nothing bonds us like food. In multiracial Singapore, people of all races and religions join in the feasts that accompany Deepavali. Many restaurants have come up with the Deepavali theme having a large spread of Indian food. The variety of deserts like kulfi (Indian sweet), coconut laddoo, payasam, or semolina kheer (a pudding). The delicious dinner with loved ones along with traditional sweets, and Deepavali delicacies are a great way to celebrate family bonding. Most Deepavali sweets are homemade, which are suitable for vegetarians also. Gift boxes and hampers filled with snacks like coconut burfi, murukku (spicy delicacy) and cookies or little cakes are available in the market.
New clothes are a must for Deepavali. No matter how busy one is a visit to shops to buy new clothes is a must. The traditional colorful clothes have now been twisted with the latest trends according to the latest fashion trends. The traditional clothes are dhoti and angavastram for men and saree and blouse for women and Pavadai or kurta pajamas for kids. Colorful ethnic clothes are trendy in the festive season. The variety of materials and clothes make it a joy to go shopping. There is always something that will attract you and fit your budget. A bright beginning with new clothes signifies a new start for the individual, a hope that he or she will become a better person.
Deepavali without firecrackers is like a pearl without shine. The firecrackers are an attraction for the kids. They enjoy the festival with new dresses, firecrackers, and sweets. The sparklers truly create the bright and warm atmosphere of the festive season. Thanksgiving prayers and puja (prayer rituals) performed before the family shrine are also part of the morning ritual. Traditionally, a ritual oil bath at dawn on the day of the festival is taken followed by a temple visit to offer prayers and seek blessings on this auspicious occasion before proceeding to visit relatives and friends.
It is believed that Narkasura (the demon) was killed by Lord Krishna. It signifies victory over evil. This day is celebrated as Naraka Chaturdashi. It also means the death of negativity, moving toward positivity. The good over evil. The God over Devil. This story has stood the test of time over generations which is why it is relevant even after decades.
Deepavali festival celebrates values and traditions, bonding, and love. Indeed, this holiday, make sure to celebrate it by lighting the Diya and bringing the light of Health and Happiness with your loved ones and to your loved ones. Join in the festivities and get the true experience of what Deepavali is about.
Little India Shopkeepers & Heritage Association (LISHA) was established in 2000 to promote the precinct's heritage, culture, business, and commercial activities. During Covid times as well Little India Shopkeepers & Heritage Association (LISHA) promoted several virtual events bringing the people together during testing times. This year they had planned a series of events along with exciting gold and cash prizes. More details can be found at www.deepavali.sg.