Diwali is one of the most important festivals that are celebrated in the country. What many are not aware is the fact that this grand festival is also celebrated in various parts of the globe. The passion and vigour with which the festival is celebrated in the country can be noticed everywhere. People are known to follow numerous traditions and customs, which are quite exclusive to this festival.
Almost every Hindu on Earth is known to participate in it, enjoy it thoroughly and make the festival all the more interesting and exciting with friends and family.
Diwali celebration in other countries of world
One could be wondering why Diwali is being given much preference over the other Hindu festivals. The reason for the same is that this festival signifies victory over the evil by good. Hence, for driving away all evils, this festival is being observed every year by the Hindus. It has been believed that evil spirits get destroyed completely by lighting up lamps, lights, and fireworks.
With the Indians spreading globally to seek better opportunities in business and jobs, the festival is being celebrated in more than ten countries with great pomp and grandeur.
Also read: Best way to make mata laxmi happy on diwali
Foreign countries where Diwali is celebrated with great fanfare
- The United Kingdom: Since there are plenty of expatriates in the U.K. who consider this place to be their second home, the celebration is observed with great vigour and zeal like that in India. The Hindus here clean themselves and their homes to get that feeling of austerity and piousness. They wear new clothes; decorate their homes using fancy decorative lights for celebrating the occasion. Leicester city is quite popular for holding Diwali extravaganza. The main highlight of the celebrations is stated to be the official switch-on ceremony. People in thousands gather to witness this ceremony.
- The U.S.A: The Hindus residing in this country have their houses decorate with beautiful, stylish earthen lamps; sparkling electronic lights also offer spectacular display, which is considered to be the highlight of this celebration. There is a magnificent display of colorful rangoli of various sizes and shapes at every household’s entrance. During the evenings, people gather at the local community hall to organize and participate in different cultural events. Firecrackers get burst while snacks and sweets are distributed among the members gathered, along with gifts.
- Australia: This country boasts of having an Indian population of about 100,000, with numbers increasing every year, with the majority being Hindus. Diwali celebrations here are carried out on a grand scale with various events like fairs, carnivals, etc. being held in cities like Melbourne and Sydney. The featured events are food stalls, fireworks display, offering delicacies and sweets, burning Ravana’s effigy and holding musical performances.
- New Zealand: The maximum fun fair of this celebration takes place in the city of Wellington and Auckland, which is generally overseen by the Asian New Zealand Foundation. Celebrations are generally held during weekends following the festival. Various types of programs are held where Indian artists and performers are flown from India, holding performances ranging from classical dances, puppet shows, and sand sculptures.
- Mauritius: About 63% of the population in this country is said to be of Indian origin, with 80% of them being Hindus. Hence, Diwali is, undoubtedly, an important festival celebrated here. Here, people light earthen lamps outside their homes similar to that of their Indian counterparts. They burst crackers for warding off evil spirits, and Goddess Lakshmi gets worshipped on this grand day.
- Nepal: In this country, Diwali is celebrated as ‘Tihar’ and for five days, during the month of October-November. Cows are worshipped on the first day of celebrations and provided with offerings. Dogs are revered on the second day of the festival and given special food. Much similar to the events in India, the third day is celebrated. Yama, the God of Death, is appeased and worshipped on the fourth day. Sisters and brothers meet on 5th and 6th day to exchange gifts with one another. It is in this manner that traditions and customs are observed in the country, and hence, somewhat different from that of the Diwali celebrations in India.
- Malaysia: Although this country has only around 8% of the population belonging to the Hindu community, this festival does have great importance here. Here, it is celebrated as Hari Diwali and a public holiday has been declared in the country. Oil bath, a traditional ritual is followed here, which begins the festival and prayers are held at temples and household altars. The temples are decorated with oil lamps and flowers while concerts and parades are held in major cities, but firecracker bursting is not allowed in the city as it is banned here.
- Indonesia: This country has derived its name from two popular Greek words, namely, ‘Indos,’ which stands for Indian and ‘Nesos’ for islands. The region has been enjoying the good connection with Indians and India for ages. Hindus comprise just about 2% of the total population here. Still, the festival is celebrated with much gaiety and pomp. The Island of Bali has been popular for Diwali celebrations since most of the Indians reside here, celebrating rituals, and considered native to India.
- Trinidad: The celebrations here are marked by a colourful fireworks display. The festival is being celebrated here with grand fanfare for nine days every year since 1966 and has culminated into a national holiday. There are held Indian classical music, devotional songs, dance shows and the like. People dress themselves in traditional Indian attire and enjoy thoroughly.
- Singapore: With plenty of Indians residing here, mostly being Hindus, this festival does get its share of importance with the others celebrated in the country. It is Serangoon Road that is popular for holding grand Diwali celebrations since the majority of the Indians reside here. The streets are filled up with Indian families, busy shopping much in advance for celebrating the festival in style and purified form. Archways of the houses are decorated with garlands and flowers, diyas are lit, and prayers offered to the altars both at home and the Hindu temples.
In short, visiting any of the countries during Diwali, the Indian is sure to feel himself at home and enjoy it thoroughly.