How is Diwali celebrated outside India?
The growing cultural and ethnic diversity of the Hindus across the globe is spreading the fervour and enthusiasm of the Indian festivals all over the world. There are so many countries across the different continents, where an array of Indian festivals is celebrated, especially Diwali.
Diwali – One of the Biggest Hindu Festivals
Diwali, which is one of the most celebrated Hindu festivals is popularly known as the festival of lights. Countries like Mauritius, Indonesia, Nepal, Britain, Fiji, Australia, Soth Africa, Japan, Singapore, where there is a considerable umber of Indian population also celebrate Diwali apart from India. While the celebrations may not be the same as they are in India, but are quite similar.
Here is how Diwali is celebrated in these countries outside India:
Cleaning and Decorating Houses
Many people believe that on the day of Diwali, Goddess Laxmi comes to the house to bless the people with success, prosperity and wealth, but, if the house is not clean or is not being festooned with some colourful elements, Goddess Laxmi will not be pleased.
This is one of the reasons that why people thoroughly clean their houses on Diwali, clean the area surrounding the house and make colourful Rangoli on the front of the house to welcome the Goddess. Also, people decorate their houses with multi-coloured lights, put diyas (earthen lamps) around and in the house and follow the decorations by lighting the candles Goddess Laxmi is worshipped on this day and the worship is followed by distributing the prasad, often comprised by sweets such as jalebi. As the Diwali is celebrated on a no-moon night, all these well lit houses make a beautiful view.
Exchanging Gifts and Sweets
One of the Diwali traditions which is followed in the countries where this festival of lights is celebrated is the exchange of gifts and sweets with the near and dear ones. On the occasion of Diwali, people visit their friends and relatives while presenting them gifts such as home decoration items or electronics or other entities.
It is believed that Diwali brings the people closer and one of the ways of expressing the love in the relationships is to present the gifts. Also, in today’s stressful and busy life, people often don’t get time to meet each other and spend some quality time. But, the festival of Diwali brings the people closer.
Owing to the lesser population of the Hindu people in the other countries, the event organisers arrange Diwali parties for all the Indians. This gives the Indians a chance to meet the other native people from their country and celebrate the festival on a larger scale with great fervour. Also, this eliminates the feeling of homesickness as many Indian miss their homeland on the occasion of Diwali.
Diwali is often associated with card games, and one of the most common ways of celebrating Diwali outside India is that people gather for celebrating Diwali and play card games to enjoy the festive mood. There are various types f card games and Tambola games which are played on the occasion of Diwali.