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Sparkle this Diwali 2022

Singapore is at its most colourful this time of year with Deepavali celebrations happening all over the island. And with an extra day off on 24 October (a Monday), we’re making dazzling plans to keep the family entertained over the long Deepavali weekend! So if you haven’t made a checklist of things to do with the kids just yet, then we’ve come to the rescue with 7 things around Little India and beyond that the whole family will want in on. First let's know what is this festival all about?

A 2,500 years old traditio, Diwali, is also known as the Festival of Lights. It is the most important national festival in India, celebrating the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. Diwali is even more special this year — both socially and spiritually. As the shadow cast by the coronavirus is gone.


What is Diwali and how is it celebrated?

Diwali festivities usually last for 5 days. Each day has a different name and rituals. In 2022, Diwali falls on October 24th - time to worship the Goddess Lakshmi (the god of wealth) and the time for a grand family feast.


For most Indians, this festival celebrates the birth of the goddess Lakshmi, who is said to have emerged from the ocean on a new moon night (the night of Diwali), which is the 15th day of the 8th month on the Indian calendar (roughly in the period October 17 to November 14).


There are many different traditions that surround the 5-day celebrations of this holiday. Overall, it is considered an important time for introspection, cleansing, decorating, gathering, and puja (worship).


Day 1: Cleaning and Shopping

Diwali is considered to be the start of a new year and use it as a time to get rid of the negativity of the past and perform rituals to bring luck and prosperity for the new year.

So, on the first day of Diwali, people clean their homes and go to Diwali markets and buy gold, silver, kitchenware, and other auspicious items to decorate their homes as well as new clothes to wear on the main day of celebrations.


Day 2: Home Decoration

Houses are decorated to welcome Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi and blessings of happiness, prosperity, and fame. Usually, people do their home decoration on the second day of Diwali (Choti Diwali). Diwali or Deepavali means ‘row of diyas (small clay oil lamps)’, so the main decorations for Diwali are diyas and candles. Torans (decorative ‘sacred gateways’) are hung on doors and rangoli (colorful designs made on the ground with powder) are created at the entrance of homes to please and attract Lakshmi.


Day 3 (The Main Day): Family Gatherings and Lakshmi Puja

Diwali is a large family celebration that often involves extended families coming together for a large meal and the exchange of presents. During the main day (the third day of the celebrations), families get together, and the cities fill with lights and fireworks. Everyone puts on their most beautiful traditional clothing and takes a cleansing bath in the morning. In the evening, extended families come together for large meals, the diyas are lit, and a ritual is performed for the goddess of wealth called Lakshmi Puja.


Day 4 and 5: Gift Exchanges

The fourth day of the festival is dedicated to celebrating the love between husband and wife. Men will often buy gifts for their wives on this day. On the fifth day, families gather together to celebrate the special bond between brothers and sisters in a beautiful ceremony. During the ritual, sisters perform prayers and wish for the well-being and success of their brothers while tying a special bracelet called a rakhi around each brother’s wrist. In return, brothers often give gifts and sweets to their sisters and promise to protect them.



Kid-friendly Deepavali Events & Activities

1. Deepavali light-up in Little India

This year’s vibrant Deepavali light-up in Little India is a music-themed one, and you’ll see various Indian classical instruments such as the veena, tabla and more. The multi-coloured lights will be visible all along Serangoon Road and Race Course Road.

When: 16 September – 13 November 2022, 7pm – midnight daily Where: Serangoon Road and Race Course Road How much: FREE



There is so much learn, experience and DIY at Indian Heritage centre.

Community LEGO Mural

Calling all LEGO fans! This unique take on rangoli-inspired Diwali decoration ought to get you super excited. Kit out the fam and head to the Indian Heritage Centre to participate in a Community LEGO mural-making activity. Put your creative hats on and choose from an array of colourful LEGO bricks to add to the two-metre by two-metre square mural board.

When: 1 October – 23 October 2022


Mini light-up installation at the Indian Heritage Centre

There’s no such thing as too many lights as far as the kids are concerned. So make sure you have the replica of the Little India Deepavali street light-up arch (along Campbell Lane) at the Indian Heritage Centre on your list when planning any Deepavali outings. The arch replica features oil lamps and peacock designs that light up the entrance stairway of IHC. The arched light-up continues along the rangoli sticker-covered staircase inside IHC, from levels one to two. We say this makes for attractive photo ops inside and outside of IHC. So grab your best Indian attire and strike a pose with the fam for the ‘gram! Hashtag your pics with #IHCDeepavali, and redeem limited-edition money packets from IHC! Yay!

When: Until 31 October


Deepavali Open House at The Indian Heritage Centre

It’s not just lights on offer at The Indian Heritage Centre; there’s a heap of free drop-in activities to keep all the fam entertained this Deepavali. Drop by for some crafty fun and try your hand at oil lamp decorating or make Ramayana shadow puppets that narrate the story of Deepavali.

When: 1 to 23 October


Guided tour of Little India Heritage Trail

Looking to dig a little deeper with a guided tour with the fam? The Little India Heritage Trail features the National Heritage Board’s Street Corner Heritage Galleries – Little India, featuring a collection of heritage businesses that have built up the precinct to what it is today. Best part? Travel back in time with anecdotes from the heritage business owners to truly understand the evolution of this quaint little town.

When: 1, 8, 15 & 22 October 2022, 10.30am – 12pm


Deepavali in Animal Land

How about an interactive storytelling sesh to capture the essence of Deepavali? This very entertaining pairing of musical performances and fun crafts will keep our little guests well immersed and entertained. Psst, they also get to experience the traditions and values of the festival in a fun way.

When: 22 October 2022, 11.30am, 2pm and 3.30pm


Clay Oil Lamp Mandala Painting Workshop

Put your creative hat on and head to the IHC for a fun oil-lamp mandala painting workshop to add more colour to your festivities. You will learn how to brighten up your very own clay lamp with vibrant colours using the patient technique of mandala painting. We say this sesh ought to be therapeutic for all you artsy peeps.

When: 15 & 16 October 2022, 2.00 – 3.30pm & 4 – 5.30pm



3. Diwali Craft

If you don’t fancy heading out, there’s still fun to be had at home to celebrate Deepavali. Check out these Deepavali craft activities to keep the kids busy. From making your paper diyas to upcycling projects with glass jars and even henna hands – there’s something to keep all ages entertained! Head to our home-based activities and recipes section in our members-only section of our NMSG website for more fun activities to do together at home. Have fun!


But in case you are low on arts and crafts supplies, head on over to Twiddly Fiddly SG, which has Deepavali covered with its crafting kits. The kit comes complete with themed Deepavali cutters, playdough, tea lights, pom-poms and more, so it’s good to go! It also makes a fab gift too!



4. Little India Trishaw Trails or Deepavali Big Bus Tour or by Foot

How about a ride along all the dazzling streets of Little India? Reserve your TGIF evenings for a relaxing 15-min ride in a trishaw to soak in all the sights, lights and buzz of this Indian precinct decked out in its Deepavali best.


Looking for a bird’s eye view of the precinct in all its dazzling glory? The Deepavali Big Bus Tour will be a winner with the fam as it offers an open-top bus tour with excellent photo opportunities from the top deck. So click away all you want as you catch the vibe of this bustling town while you enjoy the breeze on the top deck, all at the same time.

When: Trishaw Trails: 30 September, 7, 14 & 21 October 2022, 6 – 8pm Deepavali Big Bus Tour: 1, 8, 15, & 22 October 2022, 6 – 8pm

Cost: Trishaw Trails: $10 Deepavali Big Bus Tour: $10



5. Festive Deepavali Dishes What is Deepavali without a mouthwatering array of dishes to feast on? Look forward to a cooking session at Indian Heritage Centre with celebrity chefs – Devagi Sanmugam (Spice Queen) & Vasunthara Ramasamy (Masterchef SG S2) to learn some invaluable tips and techniques to prepare Deepavali festive meals. You’re sure to earn big brownie points from the fam with these newfound skills. And if thats not enough, walk the streets of Little India to explore and enjoy the aroma, spices and herbs.



6. Feast on Deepavali Delicacies or hampers and Mithai boxes from Shangri-La

A) Fine Dining

If you’re keen to dine out over the long weekend, how about heading over to The Line? Indulge in an impressive spread of traditional North-Indian dishes to truly experience the festival of Deepavali.

Where: Shangri-La Singapore, 22 Orange Grove Rd, Singapore 258350

Cost: Deepavali- Festival of Lights The Line Buffet Lunch, 24 October 2022, 12.30 to 2.30pm, $88++ per pax; Deepavali- Festival of Lights The Line Buffet Dinner, 23 October 2022, 6pm to 9.30pm, $98++ per pax


B) Diwali Hampers

Shangri-La Singapore has lots to offer during the festival season of Deepavali, and we simply love the hampers on offer. Both hampers include a mithai box (box of traditional Indian sweets), mixed spiced nuts, oatmeal raisin cookies, a selection of dried fruits, chocolate pralines and Australian wildflower honey. Delish! To catch that special Shangri-La Clarendelle Bordeaux, Deepavali Hamper – Euphoria is the hamper you need to get your hands on.

Have a sweet tooth? Don’t miss out on the Deepavali Mithai gift boxes, Reunite and Rejoice, packed with fifteen handmade traditional Indian sweets.

Cost: Deepavali Hamper – Euphoria $211.50, Deepavali Hamper – Bountiful $148.50 Deepavali Mithai gift boxes – Reunite – $52.20 Deepavali Mithai gift boxes – Rejoice – $52.20



7. Make a difference this Deepavali

As well as enjoying the festivities this Deepavali, you can also take the time to make a difference through a number of initiatives taking place to support migrant workers. Here’s inspo from last year’s Deepavali Festive Drive with Raining Raincoats where you could sponsor the delivery of pizzas, Diwali snacks and treats to migrant workers at their workplaces or to roadworkers. Keep your eyes peeled at Its Raining Raincoats for more details.


*Input credits to https://honeykidsasia.com/

 

Contributed by Nidhi Bhadani

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