Deepavalli - or Deewali as it is popularly referred to is celebrated in Singapore by the Indian community. "Deepa" means small lamp and it is the time for people to light these lamps and place them outside their homes on the occasion. Nowadays, small electric lamps are more in use though you can choose to buy the traditional earthen lamp and use wicks with oil. The festival is also the time for lots of purchasing of new items for the household, new clothes and in general to create a sense of joy and fulfilment for all members at home. In Singapore fire crackers are not set off as is the case back home in India though it is common to see people using sparklers and such items on the festive occasion. The main street of Little India where most of the Indian community congregate on such festive occasions is decorated for a long stretch of the road where the shops are and this section can get very crowded with shoppers doing their last minute purchases for the festival. The festival is also a time for eating of Indian sweets and it is common for families to exchange boxes of sweets as part of the festivities. Ladies can be seen having henna applied with intricate patterns being created on the palms of their hands. Decorations on the road carry the Indian hallmark of intricate detail using electric lamps depicting dance and joy which is the essence of the festival.
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