Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Why Deepavali on November 2 and not 3?

I first discovered that Deepavali is mostly known as Diwali elsewhere when we were in Dubai. Now I learned that Diwali falls on November 3 but Deepavali here is on a Saturday, November 2. Not so good. Lots of Indians and Hindus would prefer a Sunday isn't it? Those who have to work Saturdays for half a day would too feel the same. Why did our Indian Heritage Board fix it on November 2?


  1. According to the Manpower ministry website, Deepavali date is set by a Hindu consultatitve committee based on their reading of the Hindu calendar. So presumably, the Govt takes its inputs from the "experts". The problem is that if the experts give a date in complete variance with the rest of the world, it does our Hindu community here no good. I've encountered a few FT Indians who sneered at how the local Indians here cannot even grasp the correct date for Diwali (they even sneer at us calling it Deepavali instead of Diwali). The perception is that the local Indians here have "lost touch" with their roots. Its a similar perception if over time, Singapore chinese celebrates CNY on a different date than the rest of the chinese community in HK, Taiwan or China. Bottomline : when Singapore was just an isolated island, we can kinda do what we do and nobody cares. But when Singapore is transformed from a country to essentially a Global City, we get eggs on our face when we get our "facts" wrong.