How to celebrate Deepavali this year

The Straits Times

This article was originally published on the global travel search engine Skyscanner.

One of the best things about living in a multi-cultural society is that you get to experience and celebrate cultures that are not your own. As Deepavali, or the Festival of Lights, quickly approaches, Skyscanner shares some things you can do to get into the spirit of the holiday.

1. Learn how to draw Kolam

Kolam, which directly translates to "beauty", are drawings on the floor made of coloured flour and are both ornamental and ceremonial designs used as a sign for celebration during Hindu festivities.

Various motifs are drawn on the floor, ranging from lotuses, to lamps, animals and fruits.

2. Hit the street bazaar in Little India

If you love eating your way through the Chinese New Year and Hari Raya street bazaars, Little India's version will not disappoint.

From sweet snacks to savoury foods, your taste buds will be satiated. Your wallets will get a workout too, with rows of temptation ranging from home decor to clothing and accessories.

3. Learn how to cook Indian food

If you can't get enough of fish curry and tandoori, it's time to put your fingers to the work.

Skip the manicure because you'll be staining your fingers with turmeric and a vast array of spices, but the food will be worth it, we promise.

4. Find out more about the Hindu faith

Take time to understand the faith of your friends and neighbours and visit the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple in Little India. The temple is dedicated to the goddess and destroyer of evil, Sri Veeramakaliamman, or Kali.

The temple is the second oldest in Singapore, and holds more than just faith in its history - the temple was used as a bomb shelter during Japanese air raids in 1942.

5. Go shopping for a saree

There's nothing like donning a new style of clothing, and what better time to delve into realms of sparkly cloth than Deepavali?

Hit the second floor of Tekka Market for a myriad of mesmerising styles and colours. If you want convenience over tradition, request that a tailor sew the cloth into a ready-made skirt so you don't have to figure out the complex art of correctly tying all that cloth too.

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