Friday, October 29, 2010

Deepavali at Little India, Singapore

PD Photos: Deepavali at Little India, Singapore, photos taken in Oct 2006 by Sengkang.

Generally, one month before Deepavali (or Diwali), The Festival of Lights, the Little India Heritage District are decorated and illuminated with lights, colorfully and creatively, as you see in the sample photos above. Streets are festooned with ornamental lights, often depicting Indian motifs, such as elephants, peacocks and oil lamps.

Deepavali Bazaars are held in different parts of the district, mainly at Little India Arcade, and opposite the Mustafa Centre. These busy markets have stalls selling Deepavali Greeting Cards, traditional foods and drinks, India-themed decoration items for homes, traditional Indian costumes and modern clothing, Indian music and video discs, sparklers and toys, oil lamps, incense, idols of Hindu deities, etc. Both Hindus and non-Hindus residents and tourists visit the area for shopping and enjoying the festive atmosphere.

Little India neighborhood in Singapore is well-known for its Tamil cultural elements. Little India is located to east of the Singapore River - across from Chinatown, located west of the river - and north of Kampong Glam.

Little India has several Hindu temples, the Central Sikh Gurdwara, Mosques, the Buddhist Sakyamuni Buddha Gaya Temple, Foochow Methodist Church, Kampong Kapor Methodist Church, Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, Angullia Mosque, Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple, Jalan Mosque, and the Leong San See Temple dedicated to Guanyin, the Chinese Boddhisattva of Mercy.

Some of the major Hindu festivals celebrated every year in Little India include Deepavali, Thaipusam, Pongal/ Tamil New Year, the Fire Walking festival, Holi and various Hindu Chariot processions.

No comments: