With a kaleidoscope of colors, delicious food, and the magic of fireworks and twinkling lights, Diwali is a truly magical holiday.
Diwali – or Deepavali as it’s sometimes known – means “row of lights” in the ancient Indian language Sanskrit. The full celebration lasts five days, usually in October or November. The date is determined by the position of the moon so it changes each year.
“Shubh Deepavali,” meaning “have an auspicious Diwali” is the customary greeting during the festival.
Celebrating Diwali in Australia
With more than 700,000 people with Indian ancestry in Australia¹, well over half a million people will be celebrating Diwali across the nation in 2022! Each year, there are plenty of events across the country to help you celebrate.
This year, in 2022, Western Union sponsors one of Australia’s biggest Diwali events – Sydney’s Deepavali Festival in Parramatta. We’re proud to stand behind their message of hope – that “the festival of lights really stands for a reaffirmation of hope, a renewed commitment to friendship, religious tolerance, spreading the word of peace and harmony, and above all, celebration of ‘simple joys of life’.”
Sydney’s cultural extravaganza includes a special Ramayan presentation, ravan and fireworks, along with exciting rides and dancing – including a special troupe from India. Of course, there will also be a variety of delicious foods to try. Plus, entry is completely free!
Diwali celebrations will take place across Australia, including the following: Melbourne’s Federation Square usually holds a grand celebration, the Victorian Festival of Diwali. In Blacktown, New South Wales, Blacktown Showground is putting on a Diwali Mela; and in Brunswick East, you can celebrate at a Diwali Family Ball or even join a Diwali cruise from Docklands.
It’s also a wonderful time to connect with your local community. You may find there are exciting Diwali activities planned at your temple or within your neighborhood – or you could even set up a celebration yourself!
Sharing Diwali with Family – Wherever They Are
Diwali is a wonderful occasion for friends and family to come together, with many traditions focusing on solidarity and unity.
There’s nothing like sharing the good times with those you love most, and holidays can make you miss far-off family members more than usual. So here are some ideas to help you celebrate Diwali with your loved ones, no matter how far apart you are.
During Diwali, it’s traditional to exchange special gifts like Lakshmi Ganesh coins, dried fruits and idols as a symbol of the good wishes, respect and love you have for the recipient.
If you’re sending gifts, you may worry that these precious items could be lost in the post, especially if they’re heading overseas. So you might prefer to send money to India or loved ones elsewhere in the world, whether for a gift or as a contribution to help them make their celebrations extra special. Of course, if your family is one of the many that particularly honors Lakshmi at this time of year, a gift of wealth may feel especially appropriate!
Western Union makes it so simple to send money to India – or anywhere in the world – using our money transfer app that makes sending money quick and convenient. And with our legacy of over 170 years of service and global reach, you can trust that any money you send will reliably reach your loved ones abroad.
Diwali Activities to Bring Your Far-Apart Family Together
1. Get cooking
Set up a video chat with food-loving family members across the globe and cook your Diwali dishes together, even though you’re apart. You could even prepare – and build excitement – by signing up to an online cookery masterclass together.
2. Show off some Bollywood Magic
If you’re not a huge cookery fan, maybe you would like to try a dance class instead. For example if you’re in Sydney, you could get into the Diwali groove with this Bollywood class from Nupur Dance Academy. Then show off your new skills for your family with an exclusive festival performance over video chat!
3. Rangoli (or House Cleaning) Contest
take photos to share with the whole family.
Another idea is to make the most of the Diwali tradition of home cleaning. If your family includes any children who need an extra nudge when it comes to tidying up, this is the perfect time to encourage them to get their room in order. You could even make it into a family-wide contest for best transformation!