This is the time of the year when the mood is cheery and every heart is beaming with festivity. The celebration of light is here. Diwali is around the corner!
Diwali is celebrated for ages and irrespective of religion or community most parts of India get involved in the festivity. The festival usually lasts for four-five days and also coincides with Hindu New year, signifying auspicious beginnings. Diwali, the festival of lights is native to Nepal and India but at present time, it is observed and celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains around the world.
Diwali is a celebration that marks the triumph of good over vice, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. Symbolically, during this festival, people light oil lamps which signify the return of Lord Ram after 14 years as described in Ramayana. Besides decorating houses with lamps and lights, people also exchange gifts, feast on scrumptious sweets and wear new clothes as per Indian tradition.
For the uninitiated, Diwali is celebrated across the globe with fervor and joy. Here are a few of the countries which celebrate Diwali other than India:
Diwali or Deepavali is a public holiday in Singapore. With a considerable Hindu population, the festival of Diwali is celebrated with enthusiasm in Singapore. If you visit Singapore during Diwali, you must visit ‘Little India’ and you are not going to miss India, we promise! The streets are illuminated with colorful lightings and flowers. You will find people decked up in traditional attires soaked in festivity.
The Indians are the second largest ethnic community in Britain. The Indian community here celebrates most of the festivals with passion. Diwali is normally celebrated with a customary visit to local temples to pray before goddess Lakshmi and putting up traditional ‘Rangoli’. Beside that Indians make traditional sweets, light their homes and surroundings. Leicester hosts one of the biggest Diwali celebrations in the world outside of India.
With long-standing ties to India, South Africa is home to one of the largest Indian populations across the world. Most Indians in the country are settled in the eastern part of the country and are of Hindu religion which means the celebration of Diwali is observed with much interest here. The celebration is more or less same to that in India.
Though Islam is the official religion of Malaysia, it is home to many Hindus as well. Being a multi-religious society, Diwali is a public holiday here. Especially, ‘Little India’ area in the capital city Kuala Lumpur is where many Hindu devotees team up to celebrate the festivity of Diwali. The celebration of Diwali in Malaysia is incomplete without ‘Kolam’ similar to ‘Rangoli’ in India which is a decorative art drawn on the floor with materials such as turmeric powder, rice grains and rice flour in vibrant colors.
Indians rank amongst one of the largest immigrant groups in the USA. Cities like New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Texas or California, usually observe Diwali festival nights with customary prayers, community dinners and much enthusiasm. Times Square is one of the best places to celebrate Diwali in New York. Diwali at Times Square is one of the grandest celebrations of Indian culture.
Home to a large Indian population in Australia, cities like Sydney and Melbourne see Diwali celebrated with lights and cheerfulness. Above is a picture of Diwali at Federation Square in Melbourne which is one of the largest celebrations in Australia. Indians with their Australian friends enjoy display of fireworks, live entertainment and art and cultural shows in this celebration.
Other than the above countries, Diwali is also celebrated in Mauritius, Indonesia, Nepal, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada, Japan, Suriname, Sri Lanka and many other countries.
It’s time to forget about differences and join in the celebration of this great festival of Indians across the globe. In the beautiful image below we can see how religious limits get wiped out during the festivity of Diwali.
9amstories.com wishes all our readers, a very happy Diwali.
Authored: 9amstories editorial
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