In Which Countries is Diwali a Holiday?

In Which Countries is Diwali a Holiday?


Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India and among the Indian diaspora worldwide. It is the festival of lights, symbolizing the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. While Diwali is primarily celebrated in India, it has transcended borders and gained recognition in several other countries. In this article, we will explore which countries officially recognize Diwali as a holiday and how it is celebrated in these diverse global settings.


Diwali is, of course, a national holiday in India. It is celebrated with immense enthusiasm and fervor across the country. The festival typically lasts for five days and involves various customs and traditions, including lighting oil lamps (diyas), exchanging gifts, decorating homes, and bursting fireworks.


Diwali is also celebrated as a major festival in Nepal. Known as Tihar, it is a five-day festival and is one of the most important celebrations in the country. Each day of Tihar is dedicated to honoring different animals and aspects of nature, including crows, dogs, cows, and oxen. The last day of Tihar is dedicated to the celebration of brothers and sisters, similar to the Indian tradition of Bhai Dooj.

Sri Lanka

Diwali is recognized as a public holiday in Sri Lanka, specifically in the Northern and Eastern provinces, where there is a significant Tamil population. The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm, and the lighting of oil lamps is a common tradition in these areas.

Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago, with its large Indo-Trinidadian and Tobagonian population, also observes Diwali as a public holiday. The festivities in the country include cultural events, performances, and the lighting of clay lamps. It is a time when people of all backgrounds come together to celebrate the festival.


In Mauritius, Diwali is a national holiday and is celebrated by the Hindu community with great enthusiasm. The celebration includes the lighting of oil lamps, decorating homes, and offering prayers at temples. It is also a time for family gatherings and the exchange of gifts and sweets.


Guyana, with its diverse population, recognizes Diwali as a national holiday. The celebrations are marked by the lighting of diyas, cultural performances, and traditional Indian sweets. It is a time when the entire nation comes together to commemorate the festival.


Diwali, known as Deepavali in Malaysia, is an official public holiday. The celebrations in the country are marked by the lighting of oil lamps, colorful kolam (rangoli) designs, and special prayers at Hindu temples. Malaysians of all backgrounds often join in the celebrations and partake in the festive spirit.


Singapore recognizes Diwali as a public holiday, known as Deepavali in the country. The streets are beautifully adorned with lights, and Little India comes alive with cultural events, traditional performances, and delicious Indian cuisine. It's a time when the diverse communities of Singapore unite to celebrate the festival.


While Diwali is most prominently celebrated in India, it is heartening to see that it has transcended national borders and is recognized as a holiday in several countries around the world. This global recognition reflects the rich cultural diversity of the Indian diaspora and the universal message of light, hope, and the victory of good over evil that Diwali represents. Regardless of where it is celebrated, Diwali continues to bring people together, fostering unity and a sense of belonging among communities across the globe.

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