Excited to join in the festivities, The Mango Tree joins in the Diwali celebrations by embellishing our restaurant with beautiful fresh flower garlands and Indian decorations. Additionally, from 18th to 31st October 2019, we are giving complimentary Coconut Ladoos to our dine in customers. This Deepavali, dine in with us to experience the authentic taste of India. May the Festival of Lights bring you endless joy and bliss.
Deepavali or Diwali?
‘Deepavali’ is a sanskrit word that means ‘a row of lights’. ‘Deepavali’ and ‘Diwali’ are used interchangeably. However, South Indians usually use the word ‘Deepavali’ while North Indians say ‘Diwali’. Both terms refer to the same religious celebration.
When is Deepavali and who celebrates?
Deepavali takes place on the 15th day of Kartika, the holiest month of the Hindu Calendar. The commemoration typically lasts four to five days. This year, Diwali falls on 27th October 2019. Deepavali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is celebrated by Indians - in India and all across the world. It is also a religious festival celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists. An important thing to note is that Deepavali is not the Indian New Year; and there is a huge difference between Deepavali and Thaipusam.
Why is Deepavali commemorated?
Although there are varying mythologies and interpretations of the story of Deepavali, it ideologically revolves around a common belief - the victory of good over evil. During the Festival of Lights, believers remember that light will always illuminate the way and darkness will never prevail.
One well known story by the North Indians is the return of Lord Rama and how his people honoured his return by lighting thousands of lamps to welcome him and celebrate his victory over Ravana. Another version of the tale marks the triumphant battle of Lord Krishna against the evil king Naraka. Lord Krishna was honored for bringing light to darkness and saving the people who were ruled by the cruel king.
How is Deepavali celebrated?
During Deepavali, homes and public streets are adorned with bright colourful decorations. Diya (oil lamps), lights, fireworks, puja (prayers), gifts, feast and sweets are customary observances. Another common practice is to place brightly coloured rice powder along the entrances of homes and temples. These vibrant rice designs are called Kolam (in Tamil) or Rangoli (in Hindi). They welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, into homes to give her blessings.
On Deepavali, Hindus (the South Indians in particular) are up early to take their oil baths. Performing this act is deemed similar to having a bath in the sacred Ganges river. Then, prayers will take place at the family shrine and temples before visiting loved ones.
Indian love their sweet treats. These sweet delicacies are usually milk or ghee-based. Some Indian sweets include laadu or ladoo (sweet yellow dough rolled into a ball), jalebi (twisted strings of hardened orange flour and syrup), achu murukku and kesari (semolina pudding).
Fun facts about Deepavali in Singapore
Uniquely, in Singapore, we can see people of different religions and races joining in the festivities; visiting the homes of their Hindu friends and family.
One interesting fact is that Sri Mariamman Temple (the biggest Hindu temple in Singapore) is situated in Chinatown. Hence, every year during Deepavali, many Hindus congregate in Chinatown for religious prayers in the morning - a testament to how multicultural Singapore really is.
Where can I take part in the celebrations in Singapore?
There are many ways to take part in Deepavali festivities in Singapore. Swing by Tekka Lane to visit the first ever Deepavali Hipster Bazaar. With over 30 stalls serving mouthwatering Indian fusion food, it’s not one to be missed! Soak in the atmosphere, get lost in the vibrant colourful decorations and taste the yummy Indian delights!