It’s that time of year again when Little India lights up in a kaleidoscope of glorious colours.
The entire population begins preparations for Deepavali, which takes place this year on 14 November. Yet, celebrations start as early as September, all in the name of celebrating the victory of light over darkness, and good over evil. The Festival of Lights also alludes to the spiritual discovery of one’s inner light as well.
In Singapore, folks decorate their houses with diyas (oil lamps) and rangolis (traditional floor paintings), before opening them up to visitors. Decked in traditional outfits — sarees and dhotis — we gather together, feast on fragrant dishes of curry, and laugh about the good times (pre-COVID-19). We may even bust out a few Bollywood moves.
Even though festivals and mega bazaars are cancelled this year due to COVID-19, most of the festivities and sales have (thankfully) gone online! What’s best, you don’t have to do the grunt work of finding the cheapest deals. We’ve done it for you and rounded up the top three places in Singapore, including online retailers, to do your Deepavali shopping.
Deepavali shopping guide 2020 in Singapore
|Shopping destination||Estimated prices|
|Mustafa Centre||$2 (for snacks) to $300 (for speakers)|
|Shopee||$9 for traditional handmade pom pom decoration and $18 (for punjabi suits)|
|Cbazaar||$5 (for jewellery) to $1,000 (for clothes)|
1. Mustafa Centre
This retailer is such an iconic landmark that it has a song written about it by local rapper Yung Raja. At Mustafa Centre, a 24-hour mega department store in Little India that spans six storeys, there’s just about every product imaginable, from jewellery to furniture to electronics to Indian ethnic wear. The snack aisle alone features varied treats from the UAE to the UK.
What many people don’t know is that it houses a rooftop restaurant as well, Kebabs ‘n Curries, whose menu of Indian classics should be awarded a Michelin star.
With the cheapest deals in town, Mustafa Centre has become a mecca for budget shoppers. For instance, a bottle of Coca Cola costs $1.75 at Mustafa and $2.25 at NTUC. And before you brush it off as just a mundane supermarket, get this: it has a section selling records and vinyl turntables, as well as old-school safety razors from Japan.
Just know that large bags aren’t allowed within the premise, so they have to be left at the bag counter. Also, it gets rather packed during the weekends, so it’s best to do your shopping early morning or late night.
Address: 145 Syed Alwi Road, Singapore 207704
Opening hours: 24 hours daily
Contact: +65 6295 5855
Price range: $2 (for snacks) to $300 (for speakers)
Whether or not it’s Deepavali, online shopping platform Shopee is constantly offering massive discounts and shopping deals. Thanks to its diverse catalogue of goods, thrifty buyers flock to the site for all sorts of products.
In celebration of the Hindu festival, many retailers are running Deepavali promotions through Shopee. For instance, if you’re looking for some new threads for Deepavali, Shopee has got you covered with glamorous, chic ethnic outfits going for as low as $18 for a full punjabi set.
Price range: $9 for traditional handmade pom pom decoration and $18 (for punjabi suits)
If you’re willing to splurge a little more for a regal look, online fashion retailer Cbazaar specialises in Indian garb that will make you look Bollywood-ready. Although the prices here are generally steeper, the site is currently offering a generous 70% discount on a wide range of sarees, lehengas and salwar kameez. Some products come with free shipping and stitching as well.
You’ll be spoilt for choice, browsing through its catalogue of Pakistani suits, abaya-style dresses and dhoti-style outfits in fabrics like silk and jacquard. Besides garments that cater to men, women and children, Cbazaar also features an array of head and hand jewellery, earrings, necklaces and bags.
Price range: $5 (for costume jewellery) to $1,000 (for clothes)
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