Diwali all over the globe

International Diwali

Cover Story

Diwali precisely means a “row of lamps”.  Diwali is the victory of good over evil and is maintained in over hundred nations worldwide by expat Indians. Have you ever wondered how the festival of diyas is celebrated outside India? Hindu communities all over the world celebrate the festival of light with equal zeal and zest, as they do in India at times with more solemnity and grandeur. Woman’s Era finds out how expats celebrate the festival of  lamps.

JAPAN – In the land of rising sun Deepavali is celebrated in an inimitable way which is not common in India, but closer to the Japanese tradition. The Japanese people go in the gardens and hang lanterns and paper mashie domes that hang from the branches of trees and light up the outdoors beautifully.  Dance and Music continues throughout the night. Like in India people put on new clothes and clean up their house. The places of worship are decorated with colourful wallpapers to bring the festive mood and auspicious fresh feeling related to festival that we in India get by color washing walls of our homes .

UNITED KINGDOM - Indian expat population is the largest segment amongst the foreign born population in the UK. The festival now finds acceptance in the broader British national consciousness as more non-Hindus become conscious and appreciate this festival and rejoice Hinduism on this occasion for a day.   DIWALI is celebrated in huge numbers around London, the nation’s capital with many Indians or non Indians participate in the festivities.  In Central London, Diwali festival is organized by the mayor of London in cooperation with the Diwali in Committee in Trafalgar Square. Here people enjoy the South East Asian Vegetarian cuisine and enjoy cultural performances and children’s activities, games, antakshari and so on.

New Zealand – In New Zealand Diwali is celebrated among South Asian Diaspora cultural group. The public festivals are observed mainly  in Auckland and Wellington. In Auckland, the festival of lights is a celebration of ethnic diversity and also experiences the traditional as well as contemporary Indian culture. This festival is free to attend, no alcohol and smoking is permitted  and it is promoted essentially as a friend and family friendly festival. People enjoy the dance, music, live concert, puppet shows, and workshops for kids, rides, and so on. This one is the Auckland’s largest vegetarian festival, where people enjoy the Indian street foods and love the flavors of Indian dishes.

NEPAL – Nepal is a multi- ethnic as well as multi- lingual society, but is the only Hindu kingdom of the world.  Diwali in Nepal is famous as the Tihar. Hindus celebrate this festival with lighting the lamps and diyas, fireworks, exchange of gifts, celebrated the honour of Goddess of wealth and prosperity lakshmi and Ganesha.

The festival of five days celebrates in Nepal in a significant way. First day of festival is dedicated to crow, it is known as Kaag Tihar. They believe that goddess lakshmi comes on a crow. Hindus cook rice and feed the cows. The second day of festival is for dogs as the Vahana of Bhairava it is known as kukur tihar. Here hindus especially make special food for dog. Third day is known as Goru Tihar, where cow decorated and fed. After that, people perform laxmi puja, this is the last day of the year according to Nepal Sambat (calendar)

The fourth day of the festival is celebrated as the New year. A  special ritual takes place in which the body is worshipped to keep it healthy and fit. The final and fifth day is also referred to as Bhaiya Dooj, and like in India it is a day when sisters ask for the longevity of brothers. In Nepal, people gather and perform a community play called Deusi and Bhailo, which is a kind of dancing and singing by forming a group.

SRI LANKA – Deepavali is celebrated by the Sri Lankan Tamil community. On this diwali, people take an oil bath in morning, greeting people, wearing new clothes, exchanging gifts, performing poosai (puja) visiting the koil ( Hindu temple). Sri Lankans mainly follow the customs of South Indians. 

Delhi Press Magazines

Woman's Era Aliv