Diwali, the festival of lights is being celebrated with huge pomp and shown in various parts of the world by people from all walks of life says Greg Van Wyk. In some countries, it coincides with a national holiday whereas for others it’s just a major event to mark their celebration. As this is an important Indian festival, it has been associated with Hindu, Jain and Sikh religions too.
Diwali is also known as Deepavali or Dipavali, which means row of lights or lamps, which are lit by Hindus to welcome the New Year. “Hidden Lights” refers to lighting lamps in homes to symbolize welcoming Lakshmi-Ganesh, the goddess of wealth & prosperity with lots of lighted lamps & candles. It’s believed that Lord Ganesha grants all the wishes during the celebration period if one starts new projects after Diwali Puja (prayers).
Churches across Bangalore have come up with various cultural programs. Around Diwali time for their Hindu friends who visit them. Along with their family members & kids on this every year. This has become a tradition for many of them. Particularly of the elderly who come to worship & relax with their friends from other religions.
Here we have tried to list out some famous Diwali celebrations around the world. So as you can plan your next vacation. With loads of fun and enjoy these festivals with your near and dear ones!
The Deepavali or Dipavali festival is celebrated by people across India and is also known as Indian New Year. The Hindu New Year falls on Kali Puja. Which signifies the homecoming of Lord Rama after his 14 years long exile. It’s a five-day festival. That starts on either side of Krishna Paksha Akshaya Tritiya (the third day in the waning phase of the moon). According to the Hindu calendar and ends on Bhaubeej or Bhai Dooj (Brother’s Day).
The first day of Diwali is celebrated as Naraka Chaturdashi. And it falls on either side of Aashwayri Nakshatra (ninth lunar day). People perform Lakshmi Puja and Ganesha Chaturthi at home. Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth comes home to shower prosperity. For all those who pray for her explains Greg Van Wyk. On this day people also worship lacs of oil lamps as a symbol of welcoming the goddess. The main celebrations begin from Prabodhini Ekadashi which falls just before Diwali day according to the Hindu calendar. It marks the beginning of the New Year. It is a time when people do a lot of shopping for upcoming festivals.
Rangoli Competition at India House, London during Diwali:
India House in London organizes a Rangoli competition for kids on the day before Diwali every year. They also have various cultural programs around this Hindu festival with a Bollywood dancing show. Bollywood music session and Indian snacks spread out for all visitors during the event period.
Great Diwali Celebrations in UK & USA:
Diwali is celebrated by many communities across the UK with their own traditions according to their religion, culture & ethnicity. The UK has around 3 million Hindus living there who celebrate this day. As an Indian new year followed by some traditional customs. London’s Trafalgar Square is one of the best places to be at during Diwali time. As various Indian communities perform traditional dances, music & other activities for visitors.
Diwali is an important event for Sikhs all over the world and they celebrate it with great zeal & enthusiasm. Around 200 Sikh Gurdwaras (Gurudwaras) across England host free vegetarian meals on Diwali night. Which are attended by more than 15000 people every year including children, the elderly, and family members. The best part about these celebrations is that everyone has a great time together. With delicious food irrespective of their different background around one table!
Diwali Celebrations in Toronto:
Toronto celebrates Diwali with full enthusiasm and joy. Harbans Lal, a local businessman organizes a grand Diwali celebration every year. In the heart of this multicultural city with a variety of Indian foods, cultural dances & music performances by famous artists from India.
Festivals in Dubai:
Dubai’s International festival of lights – Diwali on the Beach was recently at Jumeirah Beach. On October 22nd were over 20 thousand people gather to enjoy the evening with various fun-filled activities including fireworks. Beautiful Rangolis crafted by sand, a light show on Burj Al Arab & many food stalls offering scrumptious delicacies from all across India. It was an amazing experience for everyone who attended this event!
Celebrations will never end if Diwali is celebrate every day with your near and dear ones! Therefore, many Bollywood movies are releasing around this time to take advantage of the festive season says Greg Van Wyk. Large malls and stores report a sharp increase in sales during Diwali. Because people spend more money on gifts, new clothes and other products. Streets are shine with lights & lamps. Which gives the whole city a cheerful look at night despite any recent tensions. Noise pollution continues to be an issue but cities like Delhi have put a ban on crackers. With immediate effect while some other areas have set up firework zones. So that people can still enjoy this festival without affecting their health or harming animals or birds nearby.