Feasts, festive events, dazzling lights and historic temples. This is how we're celebrating Deepavali in Singapore!
In case you haven’t noticed the lights along Serangoon Road, it’s Deepavali in Singapore! The Festival of Lights falls on the 15th day of Kartika, which is the holiest month in the Hindu calendar. This year, it’s celebrated on 24 October. You can expect gorgeous lights, beautiful rangoli decorations to bring good luck, mouth-watering Indian cuisine and fun events. Little India is the epicentre of the celebrations, of course. Here’s how to get into the spirit of Deepavali in Singapore.
How to celebrate Deepavali in Singapore
1. Little India trishaw trails
The Indian Heritage Centre offers a slew of activities at its annual Open House to get you in a festive mood during Deepavali. This year, one of its activities includes trishaw rides up and down the streets of Little India. Take in the sights, sounds and festivities happening within the precinct during this wondrous time of the year. Book your tickets today – the trishaw rides are available every Friday night throughout October.
Little India trishaw trails, Indian Heritage Centre, 5 Campbell Lane, Singapore 209899
2. Mandala dot painting workshop
Mandala dot painting is synonymous with your spiritual journey and the interconnectedness of life. If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand, join this workshop that’s taking place on 15 and 16 October. You’ll have the opportunity to decorate your own clay oil lamp to display in your home as you usher in the Festival of Lights.
Mandala dot painting workshop, Indian Heritage Centre, 5 Campbell Lane, Singapore 209899
3. A buffet feast at The Line
From 21 to 24 October, partake in a scrumptious feast centred around traditional Indian dishes. Think North Indian cuisine featuring bites like tandoori jhinga king prawn, slow-cooked lamb with eight spices, Kerala-style fish head and kaju kismis pulao. Plus, you can taste homemade desserts from chef Amar’s childhood memories. We’re looking forward to the spongy kesar rasmalai and freshly-made rava halwa.
A buffet feast at The Line, Shangri-La Singapore, 22 Orange Grove Road, Singapore 258350
4. The Deepavali story street theatre performance
Want to learn more about the origins of Deepavali? Catch this street theatre performance happening on 15 October. The interactive performance will bring to life the story of how the tyrannical demon Naragasuran was slain by Lord Krishna. There’ll be lots of music and drama – so sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
The Deepavali story street theatre performance, Indian Heritage Centre, 5 Campbell Lane, Singapore 209899
5. Deepavali breakfast dishes cooking demonstration
Get a (literal) taste of Deepavali in this cooking demonstration on 16 October. In this session, you’ll learn how to make festive breakfast dishes like coriander-coconut chutney, rava idli and medhu vadai. Worried you’ll ruin it? Don’t fret. There’ll also be a food sampling of each dish at the end of the cooking demonstration prepared by chef Vasun himself, so you still get to savour the real deal.
Deepavali breakfast dishes cooking demonstration, Indian Heritage Centre, 5 Campbell Lane, Singapore 209899
6. Admire the gorgeous display of colourful lights
Every year, Little India turns it on for Deepavali with its eye-popping light-up. Just when you think the street lights can’t get any more dazzling, out come massive peacocks, lotus flowers and oil lamps beautifying Serangoon Road. You seriously can’t miss it – time to plan an evening stroll!
7. Indulge in a festive meal at top Indian restaurants
Fire up your tastebuds at curry houses or North and South Indian restaurants doling out everything from mountains of biryani to traditional plates to modern innovations. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, this is your chance to indulge! Check out our guide to iconic Indian sweets you can grab from Little India if you’re hooked. Alternatively, swirl a creative cocktail at an Indian-inspired bar.
8. Visit beautiful Hindu temples
The jewel of Little India’s crown is the awe-inspiring Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple on Serangoon Road. It’s dedicated to Kali, the Hindu Goddess of power, and you can spend all day taking in the intricate details. This temple was established in 1855, making it one of the oldest religious sites in Singapore.
When in Chinatown, stop by Singapore’s biggest and oldest temple, Sri Mariamman on South Bridge Road. It’s famous for breathtaking painted ceilings and for hosting the Fire Walking Ceremony (Theemithi). In the East? Head to Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple on Ceylon Road. With its five-tiered, 68 feet-high golden tower, it’s one of Katong’s gems. It’s over 120 years old and has a unique musical pillar that produces different notes when tapped!
9. Go on a walking tour of Little India
Little India is just as colourful during the day (and on any day of the year). Sure, everyone knows about Tekka Market and Banana Leaf Apolo, and it’s a rite of passage to get lost in Mustafa at least once in your lifetime. But if you want inside stories on the heritage ‘hood and tips on where to pick up masala dabba or copper kitchenware for a steal, our hot tip is to join a walking tour. You’ll discover everything from the best eyebrow threading spots to Tekka’s finest biryani stalls.
Go forth and celebrate Deepavali in Singapore. It’s gonna be lit!