Diwali – the ‘festival of lights’ is not only celebrated in India but is a global festival. It is celebrated with equal passion across the world. In most countries, along with fireworks other spiritual rituals are practiced with the same zeal.
Different countries have their own culture to welcome the festival of light but it is the joy of celebrations that connect us all. Well, if you are not in India and happen to be in these countries including Nepal, Singapore, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Guyana, Australia, Indonesia and Japan, you can enjoy the madness as well. After all, all festivals speak the common language of joy and happiness.
Let’s have a look how these countries celebrate Diwali
Diwali is popularly known as ‘Tihar’ in Nepal. It is celebrated over a period of five days and each day has a special significance. The first day is dedicated to cows, who are fed and prayed to. The second day is devoted to dogs. On the third day, lanterns and lamps are lit to honor the victory of Lord Rama. The fourth day is dedicated to the Lord of death, Yama and the final day celebrates the eternal bond between brothers and sisters called Bhaiya Dooj.
Ample of Hindus reside in Singapore. In fact, there is a region called ‘Little India’ where all Indian communities come together to celebrate Diwali, however, without crackers. The streets are decorated with colorful flowers, storefronts shine in hues of red and gold, and the warm aroma of flowers fills the air.
Mauritius is another place where 63% of the population is Indians. The day of Diwali also marks the destruction of the demon, Narakasuran, by the hands of Lord Krishna. Moreover, Diwali also symbolizes the arrival of the summer season in Mauritius. They, too, celebrate Diwali with earthen lamps, colorful rangolis, and crackers.
The festival of lights is famously celebrated by the Hindu Tamilians communities residing in Sri Lanka. The celebrations include fireworks, the lighting of oil lamps, performing spiritual rituals, and distribution of sweets.
Diwali is popularly called as ‘Hari Diwali’ in Malaysia. The festival is uniquely celebrated in a south Indian traditional way where oil bath precedes the festivities and prayers. Small lamps, made from clay and filled with coconut oil, lit up the festivities.
Guyana is located on the northeast coast of South America. To your surprise, Hindus constitute 33% of Guyana’s total population. Diwali is declared as a national holiday as per their official calendar. The tradition of celebrating the festival started back in 1853 and just as us, they celebrate by distributing sweets, illuminating their houses, and wearing new clothes. The sweets mainly include pera, barrfi, and kheer. Also, they believe that wearing new cloth is the symbol of a healthy soul.
Interestingly, Diwali at the Federation Square in Melbourne is known to be the largest celebration in Australia. It is marked with a grand display of fireworks, traditional dances of India, cultural shows, delicacies, and musical performances.
Being a culturally-rich country, Diwali in Thailand is observed on the full moon day of the 12th month. Besides fireworks, various boat parades and cultural performances are also organized. Interestingly, the diyas here are made from the banana leaves and they look spectacular floating in the river.
Unlike India where people light up their homes, people in Japan hang colorful lanterns in their gardens. Also, flying lanterns all over the sky is a breathtaking sight.