DeepavaliDeepavali

GUIDE TO DEEPAVALI IN SINGAPORE

COLONIAL ARCHITECTURE GUIDE
COLONIAL ARCHITECTURE GUIDE
SINGAPORE'S BEST MUSEUMS
SINGAPORE'S BEST MUSEUMS
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 15 Oct 2021  

 

Deepavali, also known as Diwali, is one of the brightest and biggest cultural events celebrated by Singapore’s Hindu community. Read on for the best places to go, foods to try, and things to do during the Festival of Lights.

 

Deepavali

 

What is Deepavali?

Deepavali is the celebration of the spiritual triumph of light over darkness. If you thought that the bright lights of Singapore couldn't get any more spectacular, you are in for a tremendous treat. Though some may be more familiar with Deepavali, which is celebrated in North India, the same festival is known as Diwali by people from South India.

In Singapore, Deepavali is one of the most dazzling and significant cultural touchstones on the Singaporean calendar. This important annual event gets its name from the row of Deepavali decorations (avali) of clay lamps (diya or deepa) many Indians place outside their homes. A practice that in part has led to the holiday being fondly referred to as the 'Festival of Lights.'

 

Deepavali

 

When is Deepavali?

Calendars in Singapore mark the day as 4 November this year. However, Deepavali is held over five days, with each one dedicated to a specific purpose. The first day is when families spring clean their homes and shop for gold to bring good luck.

Day two is all about Rangolis. These beautifully handcrafted artworks are made from different brightly coloured materials including, paper, sand, rice, and flower decorations. Often placed around hallways, floors, and outside people’s homes throughout the city, their unique circular pattern designs capture the attention of passersby and welcome good spirits to bless the household for the year ahead.

Day three is reserved for prayers (pooja) followed by music, fireworks displays, and families sharing Deepavali best wishes and greetings over a magnificent feast together. Day four marks the first day of the new year and a time for visiting relatives and exchanging gifts. Finally, on the fifth day of Deepavali, brothers and sisters gather to celebrate their special bond by enjoying a selection of their favourite dishes.

 

Punjab Grill

 

Delicious Discoveries

You can't have a Festival of Lights without food. With its diverse regional tastes and cooking techniques, Indian cuisine is its own mouthwatering festival. A rich celebration of aromatic flavours, spices, and indulgent sweets that perfectly compliment Deepavali, you can savour some of the very best dishes at Marina bay Sands.

 

Punjab Grill

 

Punjab Grill

Headed by the multi-award-winning Corporate Chef Javed Ahamad, Punjab Grill is your seat for the tantalising journey of gourmet Indian dining inspired by culinary metropolises such as Lahore, Peshawar, and Kabul, to name but a few. The menus here are a true melting pot of provisional intricacies and ingredients, no matter the time of day.

Pop in for lunch on Mondays to Fridays and take your pick from either the Weekday Power Lunch (S$55++) or the Executive Set Lunch Menu (S$70++). If you’re leaning towards the Power Lunch, the Chef Special Fish Kebab of the Day appetiser and the Murgh Tikka Lababadar main make for a delicious, hearty meal. The Pachratni Dal Tadka is tasty lentil earthy goodness. If you want to take things up a notch, the Murgh Makhani (Non-Vegetarian) or the Shahi Subs Makhani (Vegetarian) from the Executive Set Lunch Menu will quickly get you in the Deepavali spirit.

 

Punjab Grill

 

Of course, a seat for dinner is the ultimate way to treat yourself to Singapore’s premier Indian restaurant. Start things off with an appetite freshening Blueberry Lassi Aperitif (S$14++) and a golden crisp Punjabi Samosa (S$24++). Some of our favourite standouts from the varied a la carte menu include the Tandoori Smoked Pineapple Tikka (S$32++), the perfect balance of spicy and sour; the succulent Tandoori Lamb Chops (S$58++) and the decadent Tawa Mushroom and Asparagus Curry (S$38++). If you have trouble taking your pick from the extensive, mouthwatering menu, the Chef Special Course set courses (from S$75++) will allow you to sample a medley of dishes curated from across the menu.

If you’re celebrating Deepavali at home, the takeaway menu offers bites like Nalli Ghost (S$60) and the Coastal Prawn Curry (S$48), allowing you to enjoy an exceptional dining experience from the comfort of your own home. However you decide to dine, you can expect an unforgettable epicurean experience.

Punjab Grill is located at B1-01A, The Shoppes.

 

CELEBRATE DEEPAVALI AT MARINA BAY SANDS

Punjab Grill - Deepavali Sweets from S$70++

Gift the sweets of happiness to your loved ones during the Festival of Lights with Punjab Grill’s Deepavali sweets in special Mithai boxes, with mouth-watering varieties like Dark Chocolate and Saffron Anjeer Roulade, Hazelnut and Alphonso Mango delight, Macadamia Nuts and Pistachio surprise and more.

  • Available till 4 Nov
  • From S$70++

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Punjab Grill - Deepavali Special Menu

Celebrate the Festival of Lights at Punjab Grill and soak in the festivities with your loved one with an exquisitely crafted 5-course set menu by Chef Javed.

  • Exclusively available on 4 Nov
  • S$110++ per pax
  • Vegetarian & Non-Vegetarian options are available

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Black Tap - Deepavali Special

Celebrate the Festival of Lights with us over a scrumptious plate of creamy Butter Chicken Wings, topped with crushed dukkah and served with a tangy lime cilantro yoghurt dip.

  • Available from 1 – 14 November
  • S$15++

View restaurant

Deepavali Family

 

Deepavali for all

The welcoming nature of Deepavali meant that the festival has grown to become one of the most anticipated events for anyone to participate in over the years. Not only for the Hindu, Jain, and Sikh communities in Singapore but also for people from the diverse cultural milieu. Read on as we take you on a tour of some of the most exciting and interesting activities to do during the Deepavali celebrations.


Little India

 

Little India

On most days, Little India is one of Singapore’s most happening spots, but visit during Deepavali, and the vibrant atmosphere becomes electrifying with excitement. Like the riff and rhythms of a seasoned jazz band, old-world streets and colonial buildings jam effortlessly with temples, gleaming mega malls, and Little India’s restaurants in an unlikely symphony that gives the area a pulse all its own.

You can use our guide to get to the good stuff quickly, but we think that the best way to experience it is to allow yourself to get lost. Wander the streets and alleys and let the mystery of what’s around a corner surprise you.

 

 

Indian Heritage Centre

As you begin exploring what’s around, it won’t be long before you discover the Indian Heritage Centre. Capturing the essence of the traditional and contemporary, this iconic four-storey building is an ideal place to begin immersing yourself in all the Deepavali celebrations. The Centre is home to five permanent galleries and seasonal exhibitions that celebrate the history of Indian culture in Singapore.

For Deepavali, the centre has an array of free programmes and activities including Paper Lamp Crafting, Little India Trishaw Trails as well as Paper Garland and Rangoli workshops.

Indian Heritage Centre is located at 5 Campbell Lane. 

 

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

 

A trio of temples

Singapore has over 35 Hindu temples, with many located at the heart of Little India. Here’s three that are well worth a visit for Deepavali.

 

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

A distinctive expression of a vivid past, Sri Veeramakaliamman is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Singapore and is a must-visit. Built by early Indian settlers in 1881, its beautiful design is flush with exquisite details. The roof is packed with majestic statues of Hindu Gods, while the ceiling inside is a canvas for intricate paintings and illustrations. As a popular place of worship for many people, you might catch one of the many customary rituals that take place throughout the day when you visit.

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is located at 141 Serangoon Road.

 

Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman

 

Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple

Believed to have been founded in 1830 with one female worshipper, Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman impresses with its kaleidoscopic architecture. Located in one of the city's most scenic Hindu spots, the temple features an astonishing dome with beautiful carvings and a series of small alcoves with powerful depictions of Hindu gods and deities.

Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple is located at 555 Serangoon Road.

 

Sri Mariamman Temple

 

Sri Mariamman Temple 

Established in 1827, Sri Mariamman is Singapore's oldest Hindu temple, though its colourful and detailed facade provides a timeless and vibrant atmosphere. Recognised as a national monument, the temple is popular among locals and tourists alike throughout the year. Visitors will surely be amazed by the towering display at the entrance (gopuram), which features sculptures of deities and mythological figures.

Sri Mariamman Temple is located at 244 South Bridge Road.

 

Little India Shopping

 

Shopping Escapades

Finally, to wrap up this guide to Deepavali, here are some popular shopping spots in Little India to pick up gifts as souvenirs for loved ones or mementos for yourself.

 

Tekka Place

Welcoming you at the gateway to Little India, Tekka Place is your first opportunity to get your shop on. Relatively compact in size compared to other outlets, this elegant mall has a varied selection of stores with everything from supermarkets and household wares to health and wellness and fashion.

 

Little India Shopping

 

Little India Arcade

The splashes of colour on the facade of the Little India Arcade building is a big hint to what awaits you inside. You can spend hours browsing the handicrafts, fabulous silks, souvenirs, and jewellery. Don’t forget to pick up some Indian sweets and confectionery; they make an excellent gift for anyone who has a sweet tooth.

 

Mustafa Centre

Over 300,000 different items, 400,000 square feet, and open 24-hours, this mega shopping complex has got it all—clothing stores, gadgets, household items, jewellery, knick-knacks, footwear, and souvenirs. After a long day of exploring Little India, top-up your energy with a bite at the sprawling food court.

 

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