The festival of lights, same celebration, different traditions

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The Diwali or Festival of Lights is so popular that it is celebrated in different parts of the world. From India and Nepal to Thailand or Malaysia. One celebration, but different traditions. We tell you everything!


Diwali or the Festival of Lights (also called Divali or in Sanskrit, Deepavali or Deepawali) is one of the most awaited moments in Indian culture: the entrance of the new Indian year. It is held around mid-October and mid-November, depending on the lunar calendar. This year, it is happening right now and that is why at Moneytrans we want to pay tribute to this magical festival and all our friends who celebrate it with that special joy that characterizes them.


Diwali is the great festival of India, but it is also celebrated in different corners of the world. From Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Fiji or Trinidad and Tobago to Mauritius, Malaysia and Guyana, among others. The Diwali festival is so popular that all the countries of the world put it in the spotlight by sending their congratulations.

Diwali is celebrated according to different traditions, beliefs and customs in different places. Even the duration of the festival itself varies. Today we tell you about some of the most curious beliefs and customs in this shining festival.


1. One of the most visited places during this festival: India

The Festival of Lights in India is known by two names. Diwali is what the inhabitants of the north of the country call it, with a duration of five days. However, in the south of the country it is celebrated for four days and is known as Deepavali. Whatever it is called, for our friends in India it is the most important festival in the country and it is celebrated in the same way and with the same joy.

It’s all about the light. Numerous diyas (small oil lamps) illuminate the streets, balconies and windows. Firecrackers and fireworks light up the dark night sky.

In India it is believed that the origin of this festival is the victory of Rama over Ravana, the defeat of the devil. When this happened, the God returned home and the inhabitants illuminated the whole city with lights to help him in his return.

There they live with great spirituality. It is a representation of the triumph of good over evil, of joy over hardship, of light over darkness.


2. The Tihar Festival in Nepal

In the Himalayan country the Festival of Lights is known as Tihar. It lasts five days and nature is honored, so each day a creature of the animal world is venerated.

The first day is Raven’s Day, so offerings for these animals are left on the rooftops of the houses. This is believed to ward off bad omens.

The dogs are blessed on the second day of the Festival of Lights. They are decorated with flower necklaces and marked with pigmented powders. Funny, isn’t it?

On the third day, the cows are the main protagonists. They are washed and decorated with flowers and colours and are fed in a special way. Also on this day the goddess of health and fortune is venerated: Laxmi. Many lights are lit in her honour and the whole atmosphere is joyful with music.

There are different customs to celebrate the fourth day, depending on the region of the country. In some areas the ox is worshipped, while in others the Goverdhan mountain or the human body itself is honoured.

At the end of the festival, the love between brothers and sisters is celebrated. In some cities there are beautiful parades and it is common to see how the brothers are sprayed with water and oil. It is a feast of brotherly union.


3. Lights shining on Thailand’s sky

In the Southeast Asian country the festival of lights takes the name of Loi Krathong or Yee Peng. Its celebration lasts only one day, coinciding with the full moon.

Best wishes travel by air and water on this day. The whole sky is lit up by flying lamps that are thrown into the air. The rivers and lakes are lit up with small boats made from banana peels on which a candle is placed. A real spectacle, no doubt.


4. Malaysia: cultural diversity

In Malaysia the Festival of Lights is celebrated by everyone and the diyas illuminate every corner. It is celebrated in a single day, known as Hari Diwali.

During the celebration, the elders are especially honored and it is common for the doors of the houses to be opened to celebrate together, regardless of your origin or belief. The youngest of the house usually receive a purple envelope with money inside.


As you can see, it’s the same festival, but different traditions are born all over the world, yes! There is one great point in common and one element that does not fail and that is, without a doubt, light.  No matter where you are, Diwali is the festival of lights. That is why everything revolves around the magic of light and why candles and oil lamps are essential in all the countries where it is celebrated.

We cannot forget another point in common: the delicious recipes that are prepared for this long-awaited date. Each one special and typical of your area but always made with love to be enjoyed together with loved ones, but we will tell you about it in another post!


At Moneytrans we would love to hear how you celebrate this beautiful feast of lights.

Share your culture with us! 

Happy Diwali!



Celebrate the holidays of your country and send money to your loved ones. Moneytrans makes it easy for you with its new money transfer app, as well as being the most convenient, fast and secure way to send money.

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