Festivals in India – How to Celebrate Diwali in India

14 October 2016 - 10:56, by , in Living in India, No comments

Indian culture and religious celebrations are a joy to attend even for a non-resident. Some festivals are brightly lit while others are colorfully decorated. Diwali is one of both. As an expatriate you will experience the “Festival of Lights” in between October and November of each year.

Celebrating Diwali marks the significance of good versus evil. This is the day when the Hindu’s calendar year begins – the 15th day of month Ashwin. The formal celebrations are for 5 days with a national holiday. Living in India amid Diwali and not being a part of the celebrations could be torturous. So, get out of your homes, mention lack of entertainment to an Indian friend and get a Diwali invite right away.

Celebration Etiquettes of Diwali

Like any Indian festival, Diwali too has a set of social expectations which a foreign resident is better off with standing.

Know the Background:

Know what you are getting into by knowing the festival’s origin. Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. The Hindu’s origin of celebration begins with the belief that it was the day when King Rama defeated the evil rule of Ravana and rescued his queen Sita. Knowing the names of Indian lords would help in following conversation or understanding the basis of festivity.

Diwali Greeting:

Hindus celebrate Diwali with much enthusiasm by cleaning their houses, making new clothes and arranging a fine selection of sweets and snacks. Greeting everyone and anyone during these five days of celebrations should be the way to go. Simply say “happy Diwali” and the message will be loud and clear followed by a probable dinner invite.

Diwali Gifts:

Hindus adorn their houses with oil lamps and lights. Use of firecrackers is also common amongst children. While visiting an Indian household during Diwali, expect loudness and noise which is the usual part of any festival. Also, it is common courtesy to bring a box of sweets preferably traditional “Laddu” for an Indian host. Avoid bringing alcohol or meat based treats due to its non-religious affiliation.


Greeting in Hindi “Diwali ki shubh kamna” or “Diwali Mubarak ho app sabko” can win you hearts of locals. You can do so by revising it time and again.

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