Diwali- A Cultural Kaleidoscope

Diwali is a dazzling celebration woven across homes and hearts, spanning boundaries and cultures, like a cosmic tapestry of festivity. Deepavali, the Festival of Lights, is a charming symphony of custom and celebration shown to the globe with multicolored light. The holiday of Diwali originated in the heartlands of India, where the glow of a million diyas dances in joyful celebration, turning roadways into rivers of light. The crackle of firecrackers fills the air, illuminating the night sky with hues of optimism and pleasure. Diwali is more than just a celebration; it’s a heavenly show, a cosmic promise that light will always triumph over darkness. Outside the Indian subcontinent, the lights of Diwali adorn far-off coasts. Cities in the United States throb with the colorful vitality of various communities together, while streets in the United Kingdom shine with the multicultural brightness of shared delight. Diwali ignites the flame of oneness, reflecting the ageless truth that, regardless of our origins, we are all bathed in the same heavenly light, from the mountainous regions of Nepal to the tropics of Thailand. Diwali is a celebration of the triumph of goodness over evil and the global resonance of light and love, as seen by the diaspora of diyas lighting up homes and hearts throughout the world.

How is diwali celebrated around the world - Sheet1
Dev Diwali in Varanasi by Saurabh Chatterjee SIA Photography Workshops and Tours- www.siaphotography.in, My FB Page – www.facebook.com/siaphotogs, Travel Blog – www.siaphotography.in/blog

Diwali- India

Starting the celebration with a thorough cleaning symbolizes the embracing of wealth and the eradication of pollutants. Doorways are adorned with rangoli, colorful and detailed designs made with powdered color that lend an artistic element to the celebratory atmosphere. Traditional oil lamps called “diyas” flicker around, providing a soft glow that represents the victory of light over darkness. The essence of Diwali is found in the unity of the community and family ties. Gathering for lavish feasts, families share customary desserts and savory treats. Joyful noises such as gift-giving and firework explosions signify the triumph of good over evil. Flowers are used to decorate temples, and prayers are spoken to ask for the blessings of the gods, especially Goddess Lakshmi, who is considered to be the bringer of riches and prosperity. However, Diwali is not limited to individual homes; it permeates the streets and communities that comprise India’s richly varied fabric. The event brings people together in a communal celebration of light, representing the enduring optimism that virtue will always triumph, from a busy metropolis to a peaceful countryside. In India, Diwali is more than simply a holiday; it’s a colorful display of harmony, joy, and the eternal spirit of custom. 

Diali by the ghat _© Saurabh Chatterji

Tihar- Nepal

The five-day Tihar festival, which blends Hindu rituals with Nepal’s diverse culture, is a unique interpretation of Diwali set against the picturesque backdrop of the country. Tihar emphasizes the interdependence of existence while illuminating it with a deep feeling of thankfulness. On the first day of the celebration, crows are honored as a symbol of their duty as messengers to the deity of death, Yama. On the second day, dogs are decorated with garlands and other symbols of respect in honor of their loyalty. Third day: Bright lamps and beautiful rangoli greet Goddess Laxmi, who is invoked by prayers and offerings to bring wealth and prosperity. On the fourth day of Tihar, the importance of oxen in agriculture is acknowledged. By painting their plowing implements and asking for blessings for a bountiful crop, farmers show their appreciation. On the last day, brothers get garlands and tika from their sisters as a way of celebrating the closeness between siblings. Nepal comes alive with vibrant processions, traditional music, and cultural events during Tihar. Oil lights cast a warm glow on homes and public areas, and the sharing of presents and candies heightens the feeling of happiness and peace among people.

Day two of Tihar- Kukur Tihar_© TibetTravel

Deepavali- Guyana

Diwali creates a festive tapestry in Guyana’s tropical embrace that embraces the nation’s distinct cultural blend while displaying the impact of Indian customs. The Indo-Guyanese community celebrates this holiday, which exudes a unique energy that echoes solidarity and devotion. Despite having its roots in Indian traditions, the festival in Guyana has a unique personality. The blending of Indian flavors with regional culinary influences is visible in the creation of classic meals like curry and roti. Families and communities get together to enjoy celebratory meals and sweets, regardless of their religious background, which intensifies the atmosphere of solidarity. Guyanese festivities are private and community-focused, in contrast to the grandiosity of Diwali in India. The event creates a special and touching celebration that speaks to both tradition and adaptability by acting as a bridge, bringing the diaspora back to their roots and embracing the multicultural nature of Guyana.

How is diwali celebrated around the world - Sheet4
Deepavali parade in Guyana_© GuyanaSouthtAmerica

Loy Krathong- Thailand

The Loy Krathong festival takes place in the enchanted country of Thailand and is a magnificent celebration of lights, water, and spiritual rebirth. Every year, in November, on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month, Loy Krathong enthralls both residents and tourists with its captivating customs. The floating of krathongs, which are little lotus-shaped rafts decorated with candles, incense, and offerings, is the focal point of the celebration. The Thais believe that these glowing vessels bring good luck and drive away negativity when they are carried away by the gentle currents of rivers and other bodies of water. The krathongs that float over streams turn them into shimmering light tapestries, bringing a calm and enchanting ambiance. Beyond the krathong floating, colorful parades, cultural shows, and traditional dances are also part of the Loy Krathong celebrations. When locals dress traditionally, the festivities take on a vibrant flair. Lights from fireworks fill the night sky, adding to the festive atmosphere. Many people use Loy Krathong as an opportunity to give thanks or make wishes, in addition to its traditional significance. As a result of the festival’s masterful blending of Thai beliefs, communal spirit, and a strong bond with nature, Loy Krathong is a beloved custom that embodies the nation’s rich cultural legacy.

How is diwali celebrated around the world - Sheet5
Loy Krathong_© Wallpaper Cave



Arryan Siingh is currently a fifth year architecture student studying in Balwant Sheth School of Architecture, Mumbai. Poetry and prose became a way for him to internalize his thoughts as well as channel them to pragmatize the intangible ideas of architecture and search deeper to uncover the field’s essence.