Deepavali, Hari Diwali, Tihar – the names change, so do some customs and rituals – but at the heart and soul of it all, Diwali or Deepavali, the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. Of auspicious starts and worshiping goddess Lakshmi, and wealth. Here are five countries that celebrate the festival with a lot of pomp and piety.
Tihar is a five-day festival celebrated in Nepal. The rituals are unique with each of the five days dedicated to celebrating the crow, the dog, the cow and goddess Lakshmi, the oxen and the bonds between brothers and sisters. And on each of the days, there are special offerings that have to be made. But the one common factor for this festival is that the lamps will be lit well before evenings both outside and inside the house. And there is a festive spirit in the air. It is time for families to reunite and have a nice time.
The dates: 28 October to November 1
People shop for new clothes and other goodies during this festive time. And like in India, put rangolis and exchange gifts. Diwali bashes are in order and there is no curbs on the celebrations. Huge pandals are set up and even the roads are decked up with lights.
Hari Diwali, as it is known in Malaysia is a colorful affair. The streets are lit up, there will be a fireworks display and a huge rush of devotees at all the major temples in the country. Sweets are aplenty and so are the firecrackers. Head out to the areas which have an Indian origin population and you will feel as if you are in India.
For the Tamil population in Sri Lanka, Deepavali is a festive time. They celebrate it in a very traditional way – with the oil bath, loads of sweets and friendly visits. Evenings are for lighting the lamps and for song and dance.
With a large Indian diaspora settled in this beautiful country, Diwali is one of those festivals that is celebrated with much fervor here. It is an official holiday and commemorates the victory of Krishna over Narakasura. Earthen lamps are lit and rangolis are drawn outside the houses.