While the most spectacular—and massive—Diwali festivities happen in communities across India, other nations have developed their own unique ways of celebrating the festival of lights. From North America to Indonesia, Diwali is celebrated with parades, fireworks, and gatherings—each with their own unique twist. Here are our picks for some of the most amazing Diwali events from around the world, all perfect places to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
This picturesque island in the Indian Sea is predominantly Hindu and most of the population, regardless of religion or ethnicity, acknowledges Diwali. The nation’s most striking celebration happens in the village of Triolet where all residents take part in the festivities, visiting friends and family, bursting crackers, and admiring all the homes lit up by electric lights.
The city-state’s Little India turns into a fantasy land full of decorative lights and colourful arches during Deepavali. Each Hindu home in the city has a decorated doorway covered with stunning, brightly coloured pictures created out of flour, rice, and flower petals. These “rangoli” are made to usher deities into homes, and are stunning to see. A special bazaar opens for the duration of the festival, full of delicious treats, and there are open-air concerts throughout the area.
This small South American country has been celebrating Diwali since 1853. Beyond the traditional sharing of sweets, visiting friend and family, and illuminating homes with diyas or electric lights, the country also holds celebratory motorcades in several cities. Vehicles are decked out in lights and decorations, and drive in long parades, which are attended by thousands.
The celebrations in this mid-sized city in England’s East Midlands are some of the biggest outside of India. Up to 35,000 people attend the switch-on of the festival lights on the main road—called the “Golden Mile” during the festival. Even more show up for daytime festivities, which include dancing, workshops, and a 110-foot “wheel of light” ride.
There are Diwali celebrations across Ontario from mid October to November, but the Diwali Fest in Brampton is the biggest celebration of its kind in Canada. The three day festival is held in Bramalea City Centre from November 6-8 and will feature dance competitions, delicious meals, and a massive food drive. You can also expect lots of fireworks throughout the city on November 10 and 11.