Top Destinations For Celebrating Diwali Across The Globe


Every year India comes to life in a five-day extravaganza called Diwali, or the Festival of Lights. It is a deeply religious occasion, symbolising fresh starts and the triumph of light over the darkness and many locals treat Diwali as the starting point for harvest season or the beginning of a new year.

However, you don’t need to be Indian or even living in India to experience the magic and joy of Diwali. This is a festival that connects people around the world, from spreading festive cheer with an online Diwali greeting card maker to travelling far and wide to be with loved ones for this magical occasion.

Here are some of the most memorable places to celebrate Diwali and what makes them so unique and special:

1. Delhi, India

While expats and travellers can celebrate Diwali in almost any country in the world, Delhi in the heart of India is where they are going to get the most authentic experience. In fact, the party kicks off early here in Delhi with Dhanteras, a pre-Diwali celebration and an incredible shopping experience. If you want the hot tip, this is the day to get the most prized items from street vendors and market places. 

Food is obviously a huge part of any Indian celebration and Diwali is no different, with Langar (community food) at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib an experience that will not only feed your belly, but touch your soul. 

2. Leicester, United Kingdom

If you are travelling in the UK, you are in luck because Leicester is home to one of the largest Diwali celebrations in the world outside of India. The city's Golden Mile becomes a hub of activity with a spectacular display of over 6000 lights. The two-week-long festivities include music and dance performances, fireworks, and a variety of Indian street food stalls. It's a cultural extravaganza that beautifully blends tradition and multicultural British society.

3. Singapore

In Singapore, the festival transcends its traditional roots, offering a fusion of experiences that can only be found in this island nation. The celebration goes beyond just lights; Singapore infuses its distinctive flavour to illuminate the familiar, creating an exhilarating experience for both residents and tourists.

One such place is Little India, a vibrant and colourful neighbourhood in Singapore that gleams brighter during Diwali. Although Little India is a lively cultural hub throughout the year, it transforms into a tourist paradise during Diwali. At this time, Singapore bursts into life with grand displays, festive lights, and streets permeated with the scents of floral garlands and incense.

4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

They do everything big in Dubai and Diwali is no exception. If shopping is your passion, visiting the UAE during the Festival of Lights will present plenty of opportunities to score big during the popular shopping festival Diwali Utsav which offers fantastic deals on gold and electronics. Families can also take in the breathtaking firework displays at Dubai Creek and the stunning light show at Burj Khalifa which brings an already electric city to life.

5. Sydney, Australia

There is a strong Indian culture in Australia, with over 700,000 Indian-born people calling the Land Down Under home while there are thousands more of Indian descent. You will find Diwali celebrations of differing scales in cities and towns throughout Australia, but for the most authentic experience you should visit Parramatta Park in Sydney’s West for the Deepavali Fair. Here you can enjoy traditional music, Bollywood dance performances, and a range of Indian cuisines. 

6. New York, USA

The Big Apple celebrates Diwali in a big way, with Times Square coming to life during this famous Indian celebration including Bollywood dancers, Indian cuisine, craft exhibits, and a magnificent display of fireworks. The iconic Empire State Building also lights up in festive colours, adding to the city's Diwali charm.

7. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

There are about 1.5 million people of Indian descent living throughout Malaysia and about 1.78 million Malaysian residents are Hindus, which makes this one of the leading destinations in the world for celebrating Diwali outside of India itself. In fact, there is even a public holiday to mark the occasion and allow all locals the chance to let their hair down and honour their cultural and traditional roots.

There is so much to see and do in the Malaysian capital during this holiday period including street parades and performances, decorations, markets, Indian attire and delicacies and the traditional lighting of small clay lamps. 

You will find the whole city comes to life, with individual houses decorated in gorgeous, traditional colours and patterns that will mesmerise you and deeply connect you to the culture, even if this is your first time experiencing Diwali.

No matter which part of the world you call home, or what culture, religion or traditions you honour, it is definitely worth checking out Diwali celebrations in your local area. 

It has become one of the biggest cultural and traditional festivals in the world and you will be surprised to see which remote locations celebrate the occasion, even if only in a small way. 

Check out your local Diwali celebrations, enjoy the arts and performances and soak up the gourmet foods and delicacies at a celebration near you. You will be glad that you did.

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