Activities to usher in the annual Deepavali festival have begun, with a street light-up ceremony in Little India last night officiated by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean. Deepavali, popularly known as the Festival of Lights, is the most important of all Hindu festivals and is celebrated by Hindus worldwide. It falls on Oct 18 this year. The light-up, which will end on Nov 12, sees Serangoon Road and Race Course Road adorned with at least 1.5 million bulbs. There are also two main archways - both 13m tall - and 54 smaller arches throughout the area. The Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association, which organised the light-up ceremony yesterday, also held the UTSAV Street Parade in Race Course Road, which saw 20 local and international arts groups performing. Other events include Theemithi, the walk across a fire pit, on Oct 8; and a Silver Chariot procession - Sept 23 at 7pm, and Oct 9 at 9pm - from the 185-year-old Sri Mariamman Temple in South Bridge Road to Little India.