'Elephants' to guard Serangoon Road for Deepavali

Two four-storey-tall elephants will stand guard in Serangoon Road next month for the Little India light-up and Deepavali celebrations.

The Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association has focused this year's theme on the royalty of India.

The symbolic and regal elephant will replace the glamorous peacock motifs of last year.

The elephants, measuring 12m tall by 8m long and 5m wide, will be adorned with 50,000 flowers and stand on either side of Serangoon Road, near Tekka Centre.

Two other 2.4m-tall mechanised elephants will be stationed in Kinta Road.

From Sept 2 to Nov 12, Serangoon Road and Race Course Road will be adorned with at least 1.5 million bulbs for the light-up display. There will also be two main archways, both 13m tall, and 54 smaller arches throughout the area.

Known as the festival of lights, Deepavali (or Diwali) is an ancient Hindu festival and major cultural event in Singapore.

It is celebrated by Hindus worldwide, and signifies the victory of light over darkness.

The Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association has been heavily involved in the organisation of the celebration for 16 years now and, since 2012, has been the leading organiser.

The light-up ceremony on Sept 2 will be held in conjunction with a biannual street parade in Race Course Road, which will see 20 local and international arts groups performing.

Other events include Theemithi (Oct 8), the ritualistic 4km walk across fire, as well as 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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 18, 2017, with the headline ''Elephants' to guard Serangoon Road for Deepavali'. Print Edition | Subscribe