SINGAPORE will hold its biggest Indian New Year celebration in the event's five-year history, with over 500 artists and 14 different Indian ethnic groups taking part. The eight-day festivities begin tomorrow and are organised by the Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association (Lisha) and Hindu Endowments Board.
Lisha chairman Rajakumar Chandra said: "The Indian New Year celebration first started in 2010 as a means to commemorate then Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's (first) visit to Little India in a very long time."
Back then, 11 Indian ethnic groups participated, but others joined in the following years.
There were 13 last year and Mr Rajakumar added: "We are very happy to welcome the Assam Association Singapore to join us for this year's celebrations.
"We have already put up a street light-up along Little India from April 10, since for most of the ethnic groups, Indian New Year falls around April 12 to 15."
The major festivals of the different ethnic groups will be represented, such as Deepavali and Pongal, a harvest festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu.
Students and tourists can look forward to interactive and educational journeys, including cultural songs and dances. Visitors can try traditional Indian games like parama patham, a version of snakes and ladders. There will be activities like henna design and cultural performances from a different ethnic group every day.
The celebrations will run until May 1, after which the Utsav Street Parade will be held in Race Course Road the next day. Utsav is usually held on Deepavali but will be brought forward this year in line with SG50.
Tickets to Utsav are free and available in shops in Little India or online at littleindia.com.sg
This article was first published on April 23, 2015.
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