Every year, during this season, my mum and I try to get innovative with the type of cookies we bake. The waft of freshly baked cookies surely brings the Deepavali mood into the home and gets us hungry too.

Watermelon-shaped cookies

There are many festivals (and public holidays) to look out for through the year, but my favourite has to be Deepavali.

Making murrukku, baking cookies, and shopping for new clothes, decorations and greeting cards. And many more things to do, look for, and buy before the actual day.

Where do we get started? At Little India of course! With the colourful lights around, and the shops blaring the latest movie songs, you know Deepavali is right around the corner.

The Deepavali light-up at Serangoon Road, Little India

The Deepavali bazaars also add to the excitement and buzz. These bazaars are where families like to head to for their festive buys. A kaleidoscope of colours is what you see with rows and rows of churidar suits and kurta suits (traditional Indian costumes for ladies and men) hanging in the stalls. Families often buy new clothes to wear on Deepavali and you could find ones that fit any budget there. In fact, many of my Chinese and Malay friends and colleagues take a trip to Little India to soak in the festive atmosphere – and also to buy a sari or two!

Buyers spolit for choice with the wide range of clothes and home accessories

Checking out the latest decorations and greeting cards is equally fun. Although my family reuses decorations from the previous years in an effort to be more green, we do try to see if there are any unique ones to buy each year. We look forward to decorating our home differently each Deepavali and everyone pitches in to help think of creative ideas.

Shimmery decorations welcome guests to our happy home

More decorations and greeting cards pretty up our wall

This year’s feature wall: Fairy lights in the shape of a lamp

Even though we live in an age whereby wishes are often conveyed through instant messaging or Facebook, we prefer the personal touch of choosing and sending out actual greeting cards to our loved ones. Call us old-school, but we’re sure there are many others who also feel the same as the greeting card vendors are still around!

In between these trips to the bazaar, we get our baking and making of murrukku done. Every year my mum and I try to get innovative with the type of cookies we bake. The waft of newly-baked cookies surely brings the Deepavali mood into the home and gets us hungry too.

Home-made cookies as colourful as Deepavali!

It’s the eve of Deepavali, many fellow Hindus would be knocking-off from work early to either head down to the bazaar for last minute buys or to home to do the final spring cleaning. Preparing for a festive celebration is as fun as the actual day when we spend the day with our family and friends. As with each year, we have invited our Chinese neighbours over to our home for lunch too. Looking forward to the day itself tomorrow.

Happy Deepavali to all and have a good time with your loved ones. For those of you not celebrating, have a good break!

PS: Don’t forget to play with the sparklers! =)

By the way…

Deepavali, commonly known as the festival of lights, marks the triumph of good over evil. Hindus celebrate this day by lighting oil lamps and bursting firecrackers (In Singapore this is replaced by sparklers and the like). Deepavali often falls around October or November, depending on the Hindu calendar. It is one of the most important festivals for Hindus, and families celebrate the day with a visit to the temple followed by having guests over at their homes. Everyone will be wearing their traditional Indian clothes when visiting relatives. The day is not complete without a feast and traditional sweets which are shared with families, friends and neighbours. The heartlands will be abuzz with the festivities too, as non-Indians are invited by their Hindu neighbours and friends to join in the feast and celebrations.

By Priya Shandhini
Nov 12, 2012

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