Diwali must be the most heard word right now, agreed? Every time Diwali is approaching, people start going gaga over the upcoming day and start their celebration at least a month ago. They begin shopping for Diwali gifts. And why wouldn’t we? We have all the reasons to go crazy because Diwali is indeed the most important festival in India. We wait for this festival all year long and never get tired of celebrating it year after year. We Indians leave no stone unturned to make this festival an awesome one.
But what if I tell you that India is not the only country where this auspicious festival is celebrated. Yes, not kidding, Diwali is a famous festival that is celebrated across the world. Countries like Indonesia, Guyana, Malaysia, Nepal, Japan, Mauritius, Tobago, Myanmar, Singapore, Srilanka, Fiji, Trinidad, and Britain, Thailand, Africa, and Australia celebrate this Hindu festival with full enthusiasm. Ever thought Diwali would be so famous when you were wandering in market places looking for Diwali gifts.
Now that you know that Diwali is not limited to India only, but is happily celebrated around the world, let me tell you how the festival is celebrated in other countries.
Let’s begin the list with our neighboring country- Nepal. Nepal is a sandwiched country that lies in the foothills of Himalayas. Nepal is a multilingual society where Diwali is celebrated along with other Hindu festivities and rituals. Though Diwali in Nepal is called ‘Tihar’, the celebration is almost the same as in India. Just like in India, they also pray goddess of wealth- Laxmi and Lord Ganesha on this auspicious day. It is celebrated on the same day as in India. The festival continues for five days. Each day has a different and special significance. Fireworks, lamps, diyas, and Diwali sweets are an important part of the celebration.
Who isn’t aware of this beautiful island situated in the Indian Ocean? It is a paradise for honeymooners. More Indians live in Mauritius than you would have imagined. Sixty-three percent of the population is Indian, and out of which, 80 percent follow Hinduism. Since a large number of humans live there, Diwali is automatically an important festival in Mauritius. Hindus, along with other non-Hindus, celebrate this joyous festival together. Mauritius is an island of multi-cultures, and thus, they celebrate festivals of various religions. So, they celebrate Diwali as well. It is a five days celebration, and the main Diwali day is declared as a national holiday.
Malaysia is known for its fascinating diversity and has many charms and attractions. Though Islam is the official religion, Malaysia is a multi-religious society, and it promises a colorful blend of cultures and traditions. The Hindu population consists of 8 percent of its total population, and the community celebrates Diwali with full enthusiasm. It is celebrated as a victory of good over evil. It is named as Hari Diwali by Malaysian people. It is a national holiday in Malaysia on this day. All the celebrations are situated in the capital Kuala Lumpur, which is also called little India. Here the celebration also includes the south Indian tradition of the oil bath.
Well, Diwali celebrated in the USA as well. What can I say more about the popularity of this festival? Asians are marked in the largest immigrant group and out of which Indians are maximum in number. Thus, the areas where the Hindu population is higher, like Texas, New Jersey, and California, Diwali is celebrated with full enthusiasm. Temples in these areas organize a Diwali night. It includes priests, performing customary prayers followed by a full vegetarian communal dinner. There is even a parade held in some of the bigger cities.
Another country that has a large Indian population is Australia. This makes it obvious that Diwali is a much-celebrated festival here as well. Several pocket communities in Sydney and Melbourne celebrate Diwali. The entertainment includes traditional Indian dances and art shows followed by a grand firework display.
So this Diwali, ditch collecting Diwali gifts for friends and family, instead, have a trip around these places and witness the essence of Diwali in other countries.