October 19th marked the beginning of the “Festival of Lights.” It is a Hindu celebration highlighted every autumn and spiritually signifies the history of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over importance, and hope over despair. Its celebration includes millions of lights shining on housetops, outside doors and windows, around temples and other buildings in the communities and countries where it is observed.
The holiday is officially observed in Fiji, Guyana, India, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Singapore.
Deepavali is a Sanskrit word meaning row of lamps. Diwali was derived from that and is referenced more in northern India. Conversely, you will hear Deepavali used more often in southern India, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Since Singapore is the ultimate melting pot of cultures, the country does a wonderful job of honoring various religious holidays. Some of our lovely Indian friends hosted a party a few weekends prior to the actual holiday. Josh was in Germany, but I bought the boys a traditional outfit and borrowed one from a friend for myself.
Ahhh, I just adore them!
I also learned the lovely dot in the middle of the forehead simply means you are married, so I happily donned the gorgeous, shiny, colorful symbol. That is until…Evan ripped it off. Owell!
I love that Jack has grown up with these beauties since he was a small babe and frequently hears their Italian, French, and Dutch languages.
This kid and his CHEEEEEEESE!
I tried to capture a photo of them by themselves, and this is what I got. Haha!
My sweet, Dutch friend who previously lived in India, let me borrow her beautiful anarkali suit. Notice I am not wearing the accompanying pants, though. Sorry, I just couldn’t do it…WAY too hot!
Love my condo family!
We had such a fun time with our friends, and let the children light sparklers once the sun set.
The kids had a party the following week at school, and they were able to show off their cutie outfits once more. Love my handsome little princes 🙂
Last year, we made it down to Little India one night to relish all the decorations and breathtaking lights.
We ran out of time this year to replicate this picture. I had to make a stop in one of the shops a couple of weeks ago and was able to snap some daylight photos. Still so very pretty, especially the massive elephants woven from fresh flowers.
The elephants were gorgeous up close– so many flowers!
Josh had the day off since Deepavali is an observed holiday, so we were thrilled when a couple of our friends invited us over for a BBQ.
Felt like Saturday during the middle of the work week. Win!
Living in a high-rise, we are not allowed to have a grill. Very few of our friends have living situations which allow them the perk of grilling in Singapore. Our friends, Chris and Justina not only have a grill but a Green Egg. Man oh man, how I miss a good smoky meat platter! Sausage, ribs, and brisket were on the menu for the day.
Forgot to snap a pic with baby Melody!
Not to mention the kids had an absolute blast! We frequently go swimming at our condo, but they’ve rarely had the opportunity to play with a water hose. Oh the simple joys of childhood…poor Evan. Haha!
A few of our neighbors had their doorsteps adorned with candles and also strung lights all over their balconies to honor the Hindu holiday. There is never a dull moment living in such a diverse country. Singapore nationally observes all of the major holidays surrounding Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity. It’s eye-opening to witness how others worship and live their lives. I may have surface commonalities with my friends over here, but observing and respecting each others’ cultural differences is an incredible thing.