When is Deepavali ?
The Festival of Lights is known as Deepavali (deep - lamp, vali - array) in Sinagpore.
Despite being mainly observed only by the Indian community, the festival of Deepavali is a gazetted public holiday.
Around nine percent of the population of Singapore can trace their roots to India. Most people came from Tamil Nadu, which is why the holiday has its Southern Indian name of Deepavali.
For Hindus around the world, the celebration revolves around the triumph of good over evil, purity over impurity, light over darkness. It is one of the most important Hindu festivals.
Deepavali marks the return of Lord Rama, who was the seventh incarnation of Vishnu, from a fourteen year exile.
The Festival of Lights takes place on the darkest night (first night of the new moon) in the month of Kartik in the Hindu calendar.
In their homes, people light small oil lamps called diyas. It is believed that deceased relatives come back to visit their families on Earth during this festival and the lights are a way to guide the spirits home. The sound of firecrackers exploding is common as the noise is said to drive away evil spirits.
Families, friends and business associates exchange gifts and sweets, settle old business deals and are encouraged to rid themselves of hate, anger and jealousy.
The festival is a time for rejoicing and renewal.
Deepavali is typically marked by a display of lights in the 'Little India' district, which is where the Indian community are mainly located.
Other activities such as bazaars, exhibitions, parades and concerts will also take place in Little India.