World celebrates Diwali in style
We all know Festival of Lights is the biggest celebration in India. But Diwali is celebrated with equal zeal around the world. As Indians are spread across the globe, this festival too has travelled far and wide. While the US, the UK, New Zealand, Australia and other European countries have imbibed the festival in their own way, other nations still follow the age-old Indian traditions. People make rangolis, cook special meals, wear new clothes and burn fireworks. But let’s see what special celebrations happen in these countries…
Deepavali in Singapore is a sight to enjoy. The country has a large number of Indian population and hence Diwali is celebrated with same fervour as in India. The streets are transformed by colourful flowers, bunting and lights. Storefronts are decorated, people roam around on the streets with their families for shopping. They cook delicious meals and visit their friends.
Diwali is known as Tihar in Nepal. It is a 5-day festival full of lights and firecrackers. The unique feature of Diwali in Nepal is that on the first day the crows and ravens are worshipped because it is believed that the cawing of these birds brings in bad luck and feeding and worshipping them will avert the bad luck; on the second day dogs are worshipped to cherish the relationship of love, trust, and loyalty that they share with human beings. On the third day, people celebrate the festival with lights, lamps and social activities. On the fourth day of celebration, Yama, the Lord of Death, is worshipped and appeased. Whereas on the fifth and final day of the celebration, brothers and sisters meet and exchange gifts. Thus the customs and traditions observed in Nepal are quite dissimilar with that of India.
Though the majority of Indonesia population follows Islam, Diwali is equally popular in the country. The day of Diwali is a national holiday and Hindus celebrate it with same enthusiasm as in India. The island of Bali is mainly famous for the celebrations of Diwali, as the majority of the Indians are concentrated there. They celebrate the festival by following rituals that are native to India. The celebrations in the country are hence similar to that of India.
Trinidad has a vast Indian population. Diwali celebrations there are marked by the colourful display of fireworks. Since 1966, the festival is celebrated for nine days and ends with a national holiday. Indian classical music performances, Hindu devotional song renditions, dance shows are organized during the festival. People wear new clothes, distribute sweets and visit friends during Diwali.
The small South American country of Guyana has been celebrating Diwali since 1853 with the traditional exchange of sweets, visiting family and friends, illuminating the homes with colourful lights. The unique part of the celebrations in Guyana includes the celebratory motorcades in different cities where vehicles decked in lights are taken out in a procession. Thousands of people gather to watch the motorcades.