Diwali, the Festival of Lights: How is it celebrated in various countries?

No matter where you celebrate, it is a magical and enjoyable experience.

Diwali is tomorrow, and many Hindus would be doing their last-minute shopping at crowded markets! Let us look at how Diwali is celebrated by Hindus from all over the world.

What is Diwali?

Diwali (or Deepavali) refers to the rows (aavali) of clay lamps (deepam) that are lit up on the night of the Hindu originated festival. It also refers to the day when good won over evil. Making delicious traditional sweets, wearing new clothes, and lighting up the sky with fireworks are part of the tradition when celebrating Diwali. There are many beliefs when it comes to how Diwali was started, but the most popular one is about how Lord Krishna killed Narakasura, a demon who was torturing villagers.

Singapore

Only 5 percent of Singapore’s population are Indians. However, the Singapore government recognizes Indians by giving them a feel of their home country in little India. During Diwali, many markets and open-air concerts are put up for Indians to purchase essential Diwali items and to take a break by relaxing. Light arches are put up during the Diwali month as well! It is truly a sight to behold.

Light arches put up on the streets of Little India. Image Source: TimeOut Singapore

Mauritius

Diwali in Mauritius literally lights up the whole island. This is because 48.5% of the population in Mauritius are Indians. People here worship the Goddess Lakshmi and light up firecrackers to celebrate Diwali, apart from the usual routines of visiting friends and family and having poojas.

A house in Mauritius being lit up. Image source: Quora

United States

The USA has close to 2 million Hindus living there. Although Diwali is not a public holiday in the USA, celebrations are unique in its own way there. Instead of clay lamps, candles are lit up. Americans also take part in these celebrations along with Indians, to know more about their culture.

US President Donald Trump is celebrating Diwali at the White House this year. Image Source: Reuters

Fiji

All across the nation, Fijians are lighting candles and setting off fireworks to commemorate this important national holiday and, more importantly, spending time with their families and loved ones to reflect and celebrate the joy and goodness of life.

27.7% of Fiji’s population are Indians. This quote from Prime Minister Bainimarama in the Diwali message in 2017 explains pretty much what Fijians do to celebrate Diwali.

Diwali celebrations in Fiji. Image Source: Pinterest

India

Get this: Everywhere around you is eerily dark and, the oil lamps you light up are the only source of light. Fireworks are going off, lighting up the sky in a million colors every few seconds. The laughter and excitement reach you, and you are immediately excited too. This is exactly how the festival is experienced India. The celebrations last for a whole week. Diwali is the largest celebrated event in India. Every temple would be crowded, and the sound of hymns would be never-ending. Different types of fireworks would be set off as well. Diwali celebrations in India are definitely something that Indians always look forward to!

The Golden Temple in Amristar lit up by fireworks. Image Source: Pinterest

No matter where you celebrate, it is a magical and enjoyable experience. It brings up a sense of togetherness and makes us get rid of negative feelings like anger and jealousy. This Diwali let us do the same and so much more!

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Happy Diwali and safe Diwali to everyone celebrating, from News Landed!

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