Day off for Diwali/Deepavali in Singapore
Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is a significant and widely celebrated festival in Singapore. Deepavali, which translates to "row of lamps" in Sanskrit, is a Hindu festival observed to mark the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. In Singapore, it is a gazetted public holiday, allowing people to take a day off to indulge in the festivities.
The date of Diwali varies each year, as it is determined by the lunar calendar. It typically falls between mid-October and mid-November. In Singapore, the date is announced by the government, taking into account the Hindu lunar calendar and local customs.
Singapore, with its diverse population, has been celebrating Diwali since the early days of its establishment as a trade hub. The festival has its roots in ancient India, and the Hindu community in Singapore brought the tradition with them when they migrated to the country. Over time, Diwali has become an integral part of Singapore's multicultural society, with people of different ethnicities and religions coming together to partake in the celebrations.
National customs for Diwali in Singapore
In Singapore, Diwali is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor. The national customs include the lighting of oil lamps, also known as diyas, and decorating homes with colorful rangoli (intricate patterns made of colored rice, flour, or flower petals). People also visit temples to offer prayers and seek blessings from the Hindu gods and goddesses.
Another important aspect of Diwali in Singapore is the sharing of sweets and other delicacies with family and friends. This symbolizes the sweetening of relationships and the spreading of joy and happiness. Fireworks and sparklers, which are an essential part of Diwali celebrations in India, are not permitted for individual use in Singapore due to safety regulations. However, community events and gatherings often include firework displays.
Local customs for Diwali in Singapore
One of the most prominent local customs for Diwali in Singapore is the festive transformation of Little India, a neighborhood known for its vibrant Indian community. The streets of Little India are adorned with stunning light displays, colorful decorations, and bustling bazaars during the weeks leading up to Diwali. Visitors can experience a taste of Indian culture, indulge in traditional sweets and savories, and shop for festive items such as diyas, rangoli materials, and traditional clothing.
In recent years, the Deepavali Festival Village, an annual bazaar held in Little India, has become a major attraction for both locals and tourists. This bazaar showcases a wide variety of goods, including traditional Indian wear, jewelry, handicrafts, and an array of mouth-watering Indian delicacies.
Diwali in Singapore is a truly multicultural affair, with people from different backgrounds coming together to celebrate the festival of lights. It is a testament to Singapore's rich cultural diversity and its ability to embrace and integrate various traditions from around the world. With its vibrant customs and festivities, Diwali is a much-awaited event in Singapore, as it brings joy, happiness, and a sense of unity among its people.