SINGAPORE - Visitors to Little India will be greeted by bright lights and colours for the next few weeks after the annual Deepavali light-up kicked off on Friday night.
Showcasing Indian classical musical instruments, the multi-hued lights strung across Serangoon and Race Course roads will be turned on nightly till Nov 13.
Deepavali, popularly known as the Festival of Lights, is the most important Hindu festival and is celebrated worldwide. It falls on Oct 24 this year.
This year's light-up ceremony is the first in-person one after more than two years of low-key Deepavali celebrations, with no bustling bazaars and open-air concerts in Little India due to Covid-19 restrictions.
On Friday, about 500 spectators there were treated to performances that included renditions of popular Tamil songs and a fusion musical by the Singapore Indian Orchestra and Choir.
Ringing in the festivities was Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who was accompanied by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Indranee Rajah and Central Singapore District Mayor Denise Phua.
DPM Heng said that this year's Deepavali is a chance to reflect on the end of muted celebrations of the last two years.
Noting that Deepavali signifies the triumph of good over evil, light over dark, he added: "Covid-19 has been a dark and difficult two years. But we have finally emerged into the light.
"The pandemic has turned endemic. It has not fully blown over, but we are learning to live with the virus. We are resuming normal activities, including coming together physically in large groups with minimal restrictions, like today.
"So, this year's Deepavali light-up has added meaning as we reflect on our journey over the last two years."