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October 24, 2008

Deepavali, Festival of Lights

Photo: Decorations for Deepavali Festival of Lights.

Deepavali, Festival of Lights

Deepavali falls on a Monday, 27 October this year. Most calendars would have indicated 28 October 2008 as the calendars were printed before the final confirmation of date.

According to Infopedia, Deepavali is also known as Diwali, which means "row or garland of lights". In Singapore, we are used to calling it "The Festival of Lights".

Not many would know that there are many legends about Deepavali. To summarise all these legends into a tongue-in-cheek one-liner, good triumphed over evil in most of these legends resulting in the celebration known as Deepavali.

Another point to note, Deepavali is not the Hindu or Indian new year. The Tamil New Year falls on either 13 or 14 April each year.

I am no expert on the traditional festivities of Hindus during Deepavali. Some like feasting, visiting friends and relatives, offering of prayers, lighting of oil lamps in homes and children celebrating with sparklers are known to many of you.

For more details, check out the notes at the Hindu Endowments Board. http://www.heb.gov.sg/mainhindufestivals.html#deepavali

Have you visited Little India to take a peek into its customs and culture?

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