3 Reasons this Deepavali Light-Up is a Must-See

Deepavali festivities in Singapore usually kick off with the annual street light up in early October, followed by a slew of activities all the way until early December. This year is no different! While many of the activities have gone digital, the street light up remains an on-site attraction to usher in the festive vibes and bring the Little India community together.

1. It’s a uniquely Singaporean favourite

No Singaporean Deepavali celebration is complete without our annual street light up! A beloved feature of our cultural festivals, the light up is one way that all Singaporeans can celebrate Deepavali together. The street light up is always a hit with families, with some parents considering it a yearly must-see with their kids. Fun fact: In the spirit of friendly competition, the 2009 Deepavali light up was so well-received that many visitors considered it more impressive than the 2008 Orchard Road Christmas light up!

The Deepavali light up is typically accompanied by activities like a countdown concert, heritage and craft exhibition, and a festival village, although these have been largely moved online this year. With COVID-19 scaling back physical festivities, this is one of the on-site attractions that everyone CAN still enjoy.

Deepavali Street Light-Up
When: 3 October – 6 December 2020
Where: Little India, Singapore

2. It will be launched from a special float

Last year’s Deepavali Light-Up Ceremony saw President Halima Yaacob, the Guest of Honour, making her way on a “horse-drawn” carriage to the Ceremony launch site. This year, the entire Ceremony will take place aboard a specially designed float, which the public will be able to view at Kinta Road from 4 October.

Gracing the Light-Up Ceremony as this year’s Guest of Honour is Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat. He will be accompanied by Minister for Communication and Information S Iswaran, Minister of State for MCCY and MTI Alvin Tan, and Central Singapore District Mayor Denise Phua. The Light-Up Ceremony will be broadcast live on MediaCorp’s Vasantham as well as other digital platforms.

Deepavali Light-Up Ceremony
When: 3 October 2020, 7:30pm
Where: Live broadcast on Vasantham and LiSHA’s Facebook page

3. It’s a beacon of light in a dark year

In a year that is sorely in need of Light and Hope, Deepavali is a particularly meaningful celebration for Singapore’s Indian community. COVID-19 has thrown the world as we know it into disarray, and many of our local and migrant friends haven’t met with their families and loved ones in months. Thus, it’s heartwarming to see Singapore persevere in celebrating these important occasions together, reinventing age-old traditions for a modern (and often virtual) context. The street light up is perhaps the most visually prominent symbol of these efforts.

By celebrating the Festival of Lights together, not just as a community but as an entire nation, we are sharing the spirit of Deepavali and the spirit of Singapore with all who currently call this little red dot their home.

Amidst the dazzle of the lights, let’s not lose sight of one important thing – if you’re heading down to Little India, do remember to observe social distancing and health safety measures for the safety of all!