Street food fiesta, treasure hunts: Little India gears up for Deepavali with more physical events

A file photo of Little India during Deepavali in 2021. This year's festivities will involve more physical events than in the past two years. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
A Deepavali performance preview during the Deepavali 2022 activities press conference on Sept 7, 2022. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

SINGAPORE - Fans of street food are in for a finger-licking treat on Saturday with a fiesta featuring more than 100 types of finger foods as Little India gears up to celebrate Deepavali.

The food at the afternoon event in Birch Road, provided by restaurants and organisations such as the Turkish Embassy, is free.

The fiesta is one of many events, both physical and virtual, lined up this year by the Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association (Lisha) to celebrate the festival of lights, which will fall on Oct 24.

The streets of Little India will be lit for the celebrations from Sept 16 till Nov 13, featuring colourful lights and decorations revolving around the theme of dancing and music.

With eased Covid-19 restrictions, the association expects people to make a total of about five million visits to Little India during this period.

At a media preview on Wednesday, general manager of Lisha, Mr Abdul Raoof, expressed excitement that this year's festivities will involve more physical events than in the past two years.

"About 80 per cent of our events this year will be physical... We expect an influx of visitors and tourists coming in, but we're not going to compromise on safety. We have safety officers that will control the crowd, and ensure that everyone remains safe."

A series of 12 events will be held from Oct 1 to 22, including a cultural showcase featuring song and dance performances to be held on Oct 8 and 22 at Poli @ Clive Street. The first show will involve a Tamil rap competition, which will be judged by local rapper Yung Raja.

Under a collaboration between Lisha and SMRT, Deepavali designs will line the sides and floors of public trains and buses for six weeks, starting from Oct 3.

A corner for rangoli, a traditional Indian art form where coloured rice powder and mostly edible materials are used to create auspicious designs outside the front doors of homes, will also be set up at Little India MRT station. The public can learn more about the art form and try their hand at it on Saturdays.

A treasure hunt aimed at promoting Indian traditions will also be held on Oct 8 and 15. It will see participants visiting 10 different stations spread across Little India.

More details can be found at the Deepavali 2022 website.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.