The annual festival of Diwali is an Indian celebration of the victory of light over dark, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.
A five day festival held before and after the darkest day of the year, Diwali is celebrated across India by practitioners of the Hindu, Jain, and Sikh religions with varying themes. Families prepare for the celebration by cleaning their homes, dressing in new clothes, preparing special foods and sweets, and lighting candles and lanterns to invite good fortune from the gods.
The holiday spills into the streets of cities across India with performances by acrobats, musicians, and plays. Fireworks light the night sky in colorful blossoms, and the spark and pop of firecrackers thrown from the hands of children and adults illuminate the streets across the Indian subcontinent. Families and friends exchange gifts, and share elaborate meals and desserts together.
The lights, smells, tastes, and sounds of this jubilant festival draw travelers from across the globe for luxury tours of India. The holiday dates are selected using the Hindu lunar calendar, and fall annually sometime between October and November.
A busy time for the local populace and travelers alike, advance planning for trips during this holiday season is recommended. Diwali is celebrated across the subcontinent from the smallest villages to bustling cities like Delhi and Mumbai.
Cultural enthusiasts on tours in India relish experiencing one of India’s largest and most festive holidays. The sights, smells, and flavors of this ecstatic holiday remain fresh in memory long after the fireworks have faded from the night sky of India.
Most Indian families dress in their very best for the holidays, but western wear is fine for travelers unless they plan to attend any activities at temples, shrines, or other holy sites where modest clothing covering shoulders, arms, and legs is recommended.