Diwali, the festival of lights, may be an exclusive Indian festival but it is actually celebrated with equal zest in many countries across the globe, thanks to the ever increasing NRI population as well as the Indian tourists who prefer international tours! Diwali is one of the beloved festivals of tourists who want to enjoy and celebrate a different culture along with gaining new experiences of a new country. Don’t think that India is the only place where you can travel and find top Diwali vacation destinations to really enjoy Diwali on a magnificent scale! Many other countries too have Diwali celebrations and some of them even have famous events exclusive to the festival of lights. Here are some such International Diwali vacation spots that you may consider this Diwali or those coming in the later years!
Diwali in Mauritius
The island is literally lit up with small diyas during the Diwali festivities. Mauritius has a majority Indian population and amongst the locals, there is a large section that follows Hinduism as a religion. In front of every house and in every street in Mauritius, there is a diya and thus whole city is lit up with a warm hue similar to a little bulb of fire. In addition to the beautiful sights that Mauritius has to offer during this time, merchants across Mauritius celebrate this festival with the beginning of new accounts for a new year thus shopping is also a pleasant option during this season. Diwali also marks the beginning of summer in Mauritius which makes a stay there during Diwali really pleasant.
Diwali in Nepal
Nepal welcomes you to a Diwali marathon of sorts or as they celebrate the festival, known as Tihar in their local language, for 5 straight days. Nepal is a Hindu Kingdom where Diwali is celebrated with food, fun, festivities and loads of crackers. Along with the Himalayas giving breath taking views, tourists here get to take part in 5 days of beautiful celebrations. On the first day, cows are fed rice and other food items, the second day is dedicated to dogs where they are fed food items specially prepared for them, the third day brings in lights, crackers and diyas, the fourth day is dedicated to prayers for Yama the god of death and the final day called Bhaiya dooj is dedicated for brothers and their longevity. While celebrating Diwali in Nepal, you will actually feel at home due to the striking similarities in the ways of Diwali celebrations.
Diwali in Malaysia
If you wish to see the genuine spirit of Diwali in the form of camaraderie and brotherhood celebration then you must go to Malaysia. Malaysia celebrates Diwali in the form of Hari Diwali where the day is dedicated to welcoming neighbors and family members from all communities to one’s home. Crackers are banned in Malaysia so Diwali is celebrated with an oil bath in the morning and then the visits begin to local temples and to the homes of other members across the community. Diwali is a public holiday at Mauritius and you would get to see people bonding over fun and games during this time. This is really a special experience of brotherhood and community living that comes alive in Mauritius on Diwali.
Diwali in Indonesia
Indonesia has a majority population of Islam followers and only 2% Hindu followers yet Bali is the one of the biggest destinations for Diwali across the world. The beautiful island of Bali has most of the Hindu residents of Indonesia and thus it is the hub of Diwali celebrations there. Indonesia welcomes you to a plethora of activities including grand Diwali mela, fest and fairs, cultural programmes all in the midst of the beautiful island. The Island of Bali becomes a second India of sorts with 5 days of non-stop celebrations and lighting. All the 5 days have a unique meaning which adds more diversity to the festivities. One can learn a lot and enjoy a lot during those 5 days in the small island indeed.
Diwali in Myanmar
Myanmar is along the eastern side of India and has a good number of Hindus amongst its population. Diwali, known as ‘Deiwali nei’ in Burmese language, is a major festival here and is celebrated with full zest by all. Along with beautiful sights and scenes, one also gets to take part in the unique Diwali celebration that Myanmar has. The day begins with prayers and worshiping the god. After that delicious delicacies are prepared along with celebrations in the form of dances and local games. The beauty of Myanmar increases when the whole place is lit up with traditional lamps and lights to mark the festival of light and celebrate it in full glory.
Diwali in Singapore
Singapore is an example of Diwali’s true power of uniting people irrespective of where they come from. During Diwali, people and children would be seen celebrating all over the place but the celebrations take another life in the place called Little India, a Singaporean neighborhood east of the Singapore River. The Diwali celebrations in Singapore begin with the ‘Switch-On Ceremony’ in Little India. You can make yourself amazed with canopy of lights and bustling bazaars that just mark the beginning of grand festivities here. Lights, garlands and other decorative materials light up the whole street and along with that people celebrate with dances, food and sparklers. Deepawali craft exhibitions, Diwali festival villages, extravagant cultural performance are just a few things that can be enjoyed here in Singapore during Diwali. To avoid noise population, Singapore has banned crackers but Sparklers are allowed and children all across Singapore go to open spaces to sparkle the day of Diwali.
Diwali in Sri Lanka
At the other extreme (South) side of India is Sri Lanka and it is a world famous place for Diwali tourism. Sri Lanka lights up for Diwali in an unusual way and also has a lot of foods, crackers and dancing to accompany the celebrations but what steals its show is the little toys and special Misiri that is made during this time. Sweets made with crystal sugar also called Misiri are very famous especially during this season. In addition to that the uniqueness of Sri Lanka’s celebration of Diwali is in its large feasts that are traditional in nature.
Diwali in Thailand
Thailand has a lot of diverse religions and cultures intermingling during Diwali and certainly it has its own unique way of celebrating the festival of lights. Diwali is known as Lam Kriyongh in Thaliand, accompanied with the usual food and dancing. Along with the usual comes the unusual in the form of banana leaf diyas and other forms of decorations that light up Thailand during this festival. People then set afloat the banana leaf diya along with a coin and incense stick on a river together with many others making it a sight worth capturing. Later the people celebrate together to enjoy the festival of lights and fill their lives with happiness and hope.
Diwali in Japan
Japan is a big time celebrator of Diwali. The day of Diwali is earmarked for progress, happiness and propriety in Japan and is celebrated in a very unique fashion indeed. Orchards and Gardens in Japan are lit up with paper lamps and other lights during the festival and in addition to that, place of worships are painted or beautified specially for this day. The people of Japan take out their best clothes for celebrations and dance to music throughout the night. Another thing that’s common during the festivities is the cleaning of houses. Soak in this new form of Diwali along with many other traditional activities only in Japan.
Diwali in South Africa
South Africa has a concentrated Hindu Indian population who celebrate the festival of light with equal zest and elan that reflects India. Food, fun, celebrations, dancing, music and lights along with worshipping are the norm for celebrations during this season. It is indeed a huge celebration along with a climate full of natural wonders and the sight is breathtaking to say the least. Along with the usual is also the mix of African culture which makes its way into the celebrations thereby diversifying it in its own way.
Diwali in Australia
Australia has a large section of Indians amongst them and with them Australia celebrates Diwali too. The festival of light brings along with it a lot of lightning in the form of diyas. Celebrations are common with a mix of food, dancing and music but along with that the Australian culture has mixed to give a modern touch to the whole festival. Many unique games along with fest are celebrated especially during the days of Diwali.
Diwali in Fiji
Fiji is a favorite destination for many tourists especially during the season of Diwali. Fiji is a multi-religion and multi- lingual country. Festival such as Diwali is the perfect time for everybody to unite and celebrate together here in Fiji. Along with diyas and candles, Diwali has a unifying effect over the whole populace. Celebrations are done throughout the country and with it there are also many fests which have games and events exclusive to Diwali. Beautiful gifts, rangolis and colours are common during the celebrations and Fiji is a sight to see during these times indeed.
There are many other countries too that are known for the way they celebrate Diwali and each of them have their own unique way of celebrating it. Diwali is known for a lot of things happiness, prosperity, unity, truth and justice. The celebrations are international indeed and it is recommended that people travel to as many places as possible for this festival. Each place would give its own experience but it would be easy to see the same principle of spreading happiness, joy and prosperity being celebrated across the world. It would also be a beautiful sight to see people unifying over a festival, eating delicacies from other cultures and dancing to tunes from another language and more importantly it would be an out of the world experience to do all this with them. Diwali is known for a lot more and it is recommended to learn and experience as much as possible with it. Have a safe and happy Diwali as you go for International celebrations!