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 27 October. 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. We may even bust out a few Bollywood moves. But, most importantly, we shop.
As captivating as the lights are at Little India, there’s nothing more satisfying than getting in on those discounts that you’ve been waiting all year for. 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 five places in Singapore, including a couple of online retailers, to do your Deepavali shopping.
Deepavali Shopping Guide 2019 in Singapore
|Shopping Destination||Estimated Price Range|
|Mustafa Centre||$2 (for snacks) to $300 (for speakers)|
|Zak Salaam India Expo 2019||$15 (for dresses) to $3,000 (for large figurines)|
|Deepavali Festival Village||$5 (for lamps) to $30 (for small figurines)|
|Qoo10||$9.90 (for clothes) to $60 (for gift sets)|
|Cbazaar||$5 (for jewellery) to $800 (for clothes)|
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 $2.05 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)
Also known as The Mega Family Expo, this four-day discounts galore is like an IT Fair, except for Deepavali shopping. It celebrates Deepavali by taking over part of the Singapore Expo with endless booths of diverse retailers.
One day is not enough to cover the entire premise and marvel at the variety of trendy leather bags, ethnic dresses, copper goblets, ornate statuettes and other handicrafts available. Not to mention, a great deal of its vendors come from India, bringing the most authentic (and affordable) designs and brands to you. The free-entry event also includes a line-up of stage performances, games and cooking competitions.
Address: 1 Expo Drive, Hall 5B, Singapore 486150
Opening hours: 10am to 10pm
Date: 3 to 6 October 2019
Contact: +65 6298 3764
Price range: $15 (for dresses) to $3,000 (for large figurines)
The Deepavali Festival Village is a staple in Singapore, a long-standing annual bazaar that sets up shop along Campbell Lane in Little India. Organised by the Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association, it takes place this year in conjunction with the Deepavali Hipster Bazaar, which focuses more on food offerings.
Packed with rows and rows of vendors, it houses myriad festival-related decorations, intricate figurines and collectible curios, among other things. Don’t miss the seasonal snacks either. You can’t go wrong with gifting murukkus and mithai.
Address: Campbell Lane, Singapore 209922
Opening hours: 10am to 10pm
Date: 23 September to 26 October 2019
Price range: $5 (for lamps) to $30 (for small figurines)
Whether or not it’s Deepavali, online shopping platform Qoo10 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, certain retailers are running Deepavali promotions through Qoo10. For instance, if you’re looking for some new threads for Deepavali, Qoo10 has got you covered with glamorous, chic ethnic outfits going for as low as $9.90 a piece.
Price range: $9.90 (for clothes) to $60 (for gift sets)
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 runs a range of sales with “Buy 1 Get 2” offers and up to 60% discount deals. Some products come with free shipping 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 jewellery) to $800 (for clothes)
By Marie Cheng
Marie is a self-diagnosed cheapskate, who once went dumpster diving and returned with a luggage of free loot. Nothing excites her more than stumbling upon vintage gems with wholesale price tags at the flea market.
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