Preparations for this year’s Deepavali festival, which will be themed Radha-Krishna, are on in full swing in Little India, with the light-up to be inaugurated at Birch Road by Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong on Sept 30 at 7.30pm.
Forty-five light frames have been installed on various roads, including Serangoon Road and Race Course Road. The lights will be up till Dec 3, lighting up the area from 7pm to midnight on weekdays and up to 1am on weekends.
Little India Shop Owners and Heritage Association (Lisha) has said that the focal point for this year’s Deepavali festival will be a golden chariot with four white horses at Birch Road.
A dozen events and activities will take place until Nov 19 to heighten the festive spirit.
An elephant mascot, Tekka Raja, was unveiled on Monday. The mascot will greet visitors on Serangoon Road on Oct 14, Oct 28, Nov 4 and Nov 11.
A Lisha executive committee member said: “Tekka Raja was picked to symbolise the removal of obstacles. It will be giving out special Deepavali money packets.”
The Deepavali Food Bazaar, with stalls selling food ranging from savoury snacks to sweet desserts, in the pasar malam style, will be open from Sept 25 to Nov 11 at Poli @ Clive Street.
For the first time, there will be a Big Bus Tour, on Oct 20, Oct 27, Nov 3 and Nov 11.
There will two 45-minute trips each day, happening at 7pm and 8pm. The guided tour will start at Orchard Hotel and end at Racecourse Road after passing through Little India.
The Deepavali Festival Village at Campbell Lane will be open from Sept 30 to Nov 11. There will be traditional clothes, food, handicrafts, festive decorations and other items on sale.
The Lisha Women’s Wing will host a free rangoli workshop on Oct 7 at Tekka Place’s Rooftop Pavilion.
The Deepavali Treasure Hunt will take place on Oct 14 and 28 at Poli @ Clive Street and Little India. With their focus on Indian traditions, 25 pairs of participants will be competing to solve the puzzles at eight stations.
The celebrations in Little India also include a fashion show, cultural performances, a cooking demonstration by Chef Arifin, competitions for migrant workers and a Gala Night.
“This year, we have new initiatives for the public. We expect to receive more than five million visitors,” said Lisha president Raghunath Siva.
For more information on the Deepavali celebrations, go to deepavali.sg