Diwali – the festival of lights, the festival of joy, is beyond just a festival this year in 2021. It is a celebration that we need desperately; post the deadly pandemic that broke out due to the Covid 10 virus. Diwali is one of the most awaited festivals in India, as it has been a part of our tradition and culture since human civilization came into existence! The best part about Diwali is, it has a different significance in every culture and every state in India.


Diwali has a different significance in different cultures. While some celebrate it as the homecoming of Lord Rama after his exile and victory over Ravana, some celebrate it as a festival of victory of brightness over darkness. Although Diwali or Deepawali is primarily the festival of lighting diyas by Hindus, however, it is celebrated with equal pomp and happiness by other religions as well! Indians just need a festival… not a religion o celebrate!


No matter what the age, Diwali is important for everyone! Needless to say, people throng the markets to buy the supplies for puja, while kids love to shop for firecrackers and their favorite decorations. Diwali is beyond just a festival…. Today, it is more like a season! Diwali is that one festival on which every house just reverberates with the excitement, music, fragrance of good food; especially the homemade sweets! Students and families staying away, also make it a point to visit home during Diwali.


But if you think Diwali is limited to India – you are sadly mistaken! Today Diwali is a festival that is synonymous with Indians staying anywhere across the globe! The global citizens of India celebrate the festival with equal enthusiasm in zeal!


In this article, we will take a look at how and where Diwali is celebrated all over the world.


Indonesia

Diwali is a very important festival in Indonesia that is celebrated with a spirit similar to that in India. So much so, that Diwali has officially been granted the status of official public holiday in Indonesia. Although the volumes in terms of numbers of Indians are not very high in Indonesia, yet this festival enjoys the status of a public holiday. People visit their loved ones, light diyas, and lamps and enjoy the festival of lights with happiness and delight!


Mauritius

Interestingly, Hindus make up almost half the Mauritian population. This means that Diwali is a festival that is celebrated with much fervor and excitement. The beauty of Diwali is, Mauritius looks like a small little fairyland, all lit up and shining. With a public holiday to celebrate Diwali, kids and adults participate equally by lighting diyas and a great firecrackers show! The night skies, sparkling with the firecrackers, area sight to watch!


Fiji

Fiji is an island that is small in size, but large when it comes to the Indian population residing there. Needless to say, the Indians staying there celebrate Diwali with positivity, happiness, and enthusiasm. The festive spirit of Diwali is awe-inspiring! Since it is a public holiday in Fiji on the occasion of Diwali, people are in a party mood by cooking aromatic and tasty Indian Mithais and other namkeens and snacks and visiting their fellow friends and loved ones for exchanging gifts and other pleasantries.


Nepal

Diwali is also known as Tihar in Nepal. Again, Nepal being the neighboring country of India, has a huge population of Hindus over there, which makes Diwali a very significant festival in Nepal. People in Nepal decorate their houses with lights and worship Goddess Lakshmi. People exchange gifts, sweets, and good wishes throughout the day to mark the celebration of this auspicious festival.


Malaysia

With a ban on the bursting of crackers, Diwali in Malaysia is celebrated as a green Diwali or Hari Diwali. The rituals of Diwali in Malaysia are a bit different from those in India. The people who celebrate Diwali in Malaysia, begin their day taking an oil bath and then heading to the temple to offer their prayers to the Gods and take their blessings. People decorate their houses and keep exchanging gifts and sweets throughout the day!


Sri Lanka

Sri Lankans also celebrate Diwali with a lot of positive spirit and elation! Of course, with a massive Hindu population, Sri Lanka and Diwali go hand in hand, since it is a very important place in the Hindu Mythology of Ramayana. Hence, Diwali is an equally auspicious festival for the Sri Lankans as well! People light small earthen diyas on this public holiday to ward off any evil spirits and welcome the year ahead with positivity and prosperity! Diwali is one of the most important festivals in Sri Lanka.


Canada

Of course! Canada – a country which is maybe more Indian than India itself! Even though Diwali is not a nationwide holiday in Canada, but that does not make it any lesser as a festival for celebration!  Celebrated across the different towns and cities, Diwali is one festival that people look forward to celebrating. Owing to the high influx of Punjabis, Canada is also called, ‘Mini Punjab'! Therefore, the excitement running around for Diwali is palpable!  Diwali is a very big deal over here and it is celebrated with equal zeal, enthusiasm, and excitement as in India!


Singapore

Singapore – a country that resonates with the festive spirit during Diwali! Singapore lights itself a few days ahead of Diwali, giving you that warm, cozy Diwali-at-home kind of feeling! The country replicates our emotions associated with the festival of Diwali with a display of vivid rangolis and beautiful decorations! Such is their enthusiasm, that you will get the feel of Diwali more in Singapore than in your own home country! Singapore during Diwali is a feast for the eyes!


United Kingdom

Diwali is celebrated with great fervor and zeal in a few prominent cities in the United Kingdom like Leichester and Birmingham. Wherever the Indian communities are settled in the United Kingdom, Diwali is celebrated in a grand manner over there. Candles, diyas, sweets, decorations, gifts, and most importantly – rituals; you name it and they celebrate it!

 

Thailand

The festival of Diwali is called Lam Kriyongh in Thailand. The festival is not the same but quite similar to Diwali as per the Indian traditions. Thailand looks mesmerizing with the beautiful fireworks that lit up the night skies during the celebration of the festival.


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Trinidad And Tobago

Known for their participation in trades, the Caribbean islands of Trinidad And Tobago are very famous for their Diwali celebrations. There are plays and theatrical depictions of scenes enacted from the Ramayana.


The list of countries that celebrate Diwali is a long one! However, the above-mentioned countries celebrate the festival as a whole. Countries like the USA, South Africa, Australia, Abu Dhabi, also celebrate Diwali but it is usually celebrated by the Indian communities settled in different cities and states spanning across the country! The bottom line is – no matter which country it is, where there are Indians – there is Diwali!

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