Diwali special: Not just India, these countries also celebrate the festival
Diwali is India’s biggest festival and is celebrated with great enthusiasm around the country. But did you know, India isn’t the only place that celebrates the festival of lights.
Although Diwali is primarily an Indian festival, it is also widely observed in Malaysia, Singapore, Nepal, and Fiji. In fact, in some countries, Diwali is a national holiday.
Indonesia does not have a fair share of the Indian population, but the island of Bali is famous for celebrating the festival of Diwali. The majority of the population here are of Indian descent and follow the same rituals as India - where people burn crackers, release lanterns and perform other rituals.
Diwali is celebrated as a public holiday in Fiji. With a huge population of Hindus living in the country, the island country, which lies about 1,100 nautical miles northeast of New Zealand, celebrates the festival of light with the same passion and zeal as it is celebrated in India.
Celebrated all over the country, people enjoy its joyful and cultural aspects with traditional goodwill and rituals.
This multicultural island, has a large number of Hindus who along with non-Hindus celebrate the joyous festival of Diwali. It is observed as a public holiday here.
In Malaysia, Diwali is popularly called ‘Hari Diwali’ meaning ‘Green Diwali’ due to the ban on fireworks in the country. Though crackers are an integral part of the festivity, but, the brightly-lit diyas, lamps compensate for it and complete the missing piece.
Diwali in Malaysia is a public holiday and is the most prominently celebrated festival of the Hindus that constitute about 8% of its population. Although Islam is the official religion here.
Diwali is one of the prominent festivals in Sri Lanka. They celebrate Diwali for five days just like in India. The festival of lights is famously celebrated by the Hindu Tamilians communities residing in the country.
The celebrations include fireworks, the lighting of oil lamps, rituals, and the distribution of sweets.
In Nepal, Diwali is known as ‘Tihar’ and carries on for a period of 5 days. In this festival, people not only worship gods but the animals too.
Each year, on the second day of the five-day Diwali celebrations in Nepal, the country celebrates Kukur Tihar or "day of the dogs" by worshipping man's four-legged friend. On this day, dogs are worshipped early in the morning and adorned with flowers and vermillion tikka.
Deepavali, which means the festival of lights, is one of the most important Hindu festivals celebrated in Singapore. Ample of Hindus reside in the sovereign island city.
In fact, there is a region called ‘Little India’ where all people of Indian descent come together to celebrate the festival of lights, however, without crackers.