Be it Diwali in India, the 4th of July in America or any other festival across the world, firecrackers and sweets are mandatory!
Diwali is undoubtedly the most popular of all festivals in India. The celebration of Diwali is not only in India but in almost every part of the world where Indians reside. Even internationally, people who are not Indians look forward to Diwali and the celebrations. But, there are many global festivals whose culture and celebration methods resonate with the way Diwali is celebrated in India. Let’s get to know them!
The greatest Indian festival
Celebrated on the Amavasya of the Kartik month as per the Hindu calendar, Diwali is the festival of love and light. Every part of the nation is decorated with earthen lamps (Diya) and rangolis. Diwali is a five-day long festival with the main day being the 3rd one popularly known as Lakshmi Poojan. Families reunite and worship Goddess Lakshmi for prosperity and happiness. Markets and temples are decorated, firecrackers are lit up, and family and friends share sweets and hugs and happiness with each other. All in all, the 5-day long festival is worth the wait for the other 360 days amongst Indians!
The craze of Diwali outside India
As they say, Indians are found in almost every corner of the globe. Non-resident Indians and Indians who reside out of the nation are equally excited to celebrate the festival of lights. Canada, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, Mauritius, and Nepal are some of those countries where the population has a great number of Indians and hence Diwali in these nations is celebrated with utter extravagance and glamour.
Leicester in England is known for celebrating the greatest Diwali outside India. The five-day rituals are all followed and even non-Indians take part in the festivities with great enthusiasm.
Apart from all these nations, Indians in different parts of the world do not fail to show glimpses of the dazzling Indian culture by celebrating Diwali with great pomp and show.
7 international festivals like Diwali
There are many festivals around the world where the celebrations, glam and few customs are similar to that of Diwali in India-
1. The Loy Krathong Festival, Thailand
Thailand is rich in culture and festivals just like India and the Thai festival of Loy Krathong is proof of the same. Celebrated on the full moon night of November, Thai people celebrate this festival with immense joy and luxury. Lotus-shaped rafts and boats called Krathong in the local dialect are floated down in the rivers. These boats are generally hand-made and the Thai never fail in making the most beautifully-decorated Krathongs with sheer dedication towards their culture. Lit-up candles and shimmering boats are truly Thailand’s heaven on Earth at this festival.
2. The Festival Of Lights, France
As suggested by the name, the festival of lights in France is one of the most looked upon festivals by not only The French but also other communities around the world. Celebrated in the remembrance of Lyon and his heritage to the French community, the city is attractively decorated. Fireworks and lanterns enlighten the French sky on the festival of lights. France in itself is one of the most beautiful nations and adding the cultural festivities, it’s nothing less than a dream!
3. Bala Chaturdashi, Nepal
In the infamous Pashupatinath Temple in the capital city of Nepal – Kathmandu, the Bala Chaturdashi festival is celebrated every year around late November or early December. People from various places in Nepal and Hindus from other South Asian countries gather at the Pashupatinath temple. In the most sacred temple of lord Shiva situated at the bank of the holy Bagmati River in Kathmandu, earthen lamps are floated and the sight of the festivities and beauty is purely mesmerising.
4. Day Of The Dead, Mexico
Though it’s a day to celebrate the dead ones and ancestors, the Mexicans look forward to this day all year long. The celebrations continued for two days. Families gather and reunite and head to the graveyards. The graveyards are decorated with flowers and candles and prayers are made for the peace of the departed souls. Skull mascots are designed and rallies and chariots move around the Mexican streets. Though it may sound a bit peculiar, yes, the Mexicans celebrate death with this level of pomp and show!
5. The Lantern Festival, China
On the day of 15th January, every year the Chinese celebrate the world-famous lantern festival with glory and pride. Dated as per the Chinese lunar calendar, the lantern festival is also known as the “Shangyuan Festival” in the local dialect. Eye-catching sights are everywhere in Chinese towns and cities with beautiful lanterns shimmering in the evening sky. Clowns, mascots, chariots, music parades and whatnot! The Chinese do not fail in making the last day of their Spring Festival the most happening day of the year. World-famous Chinese Lion and Dragon dances make the festival even more exciting not only in China but also internationally.
6. The Venice Carnival, Italy
Recognised internationally and looked forward to by lakhs of people around the globe is none other than The Venice Carnival. On this occasion, the beautiful city of rivers is even more beautifully decorated. The small ships, rafts and boats that are used as transport are ladened with flowers and lanterns and candles. The Venetians worship Liliana Patyono on the last day of the carnival. Masks and costumes play a major role in the Venetian Carnival. The carnival is celebrated for the victory of the Venetian Republic over their enemies and since then, the festival has been the best time of the year for the Italians.
7. The Obon Festival, Japan
In memory of their ancestors, Japan and the Japanese celebrate the infamous Obon festival. It is generally celebrated in the month of August. Just as families unite in India, the Japanese too come together with their families and offer prayers to their ancestors. Thousands of lanterns and candles are lit up in their commemoration. The lanterns are then floated down in the river and act as an epitome to maintain the healthy and happy living of the departed souls.
Culture and festivals are what make us feel truly alive. Living in a diverse huge world with many religions and customs, we often miss out on the things that go around the world. Just like Diwali is the heart of Indian mythology and culture, people from different religions and different nations have their way of celebrating their culture and heritage. Love and light to all!