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7 Popular Activities To Do On Diwali Festival Days

Updated on October 18, 2016

Diwali is the festival of lights and Diwali celebrations are always very grand in India. Let us see the most common and popular things or activities people do on Diwali festival days. There are actually many legends behind this festival But it is basically the celebration of the victory of light over darkness, or you can describe it as the victory of good over the evil, knowledge over ignorance or so.

The celebrations may vary from place to place and they are mostly based on the lifestyle of people. However, Diwali is the time to celebrate with family and friends.In many places this is the time when everyone from the extended families gather for a lovely time together. So enjoy your holidays with your loved ones during the Diwali time!

Here you can read about the most common practices people do on Diwali days for fun and enjoyment.

The below picture is from Wikimedia Commons Image which shows a lighted oil lamp or Diya.

1. Lighting Diyas everywhere

As I mentioned above, Diwali festival is about the celebration of lights. You can see lights everywhere on a Diwali night. The celebration falls on a new moon day, so you can see how beautiful it looks with all the lighted lamps everywhere - in all homes and streets.

Traditionally lighted oil lamps are used for festivals. They are known as Diyas, which are usually made of clay and then decorated with paintings. The clay lamps are lighted using little sesame oil and a piece of twisted cloth threads.

Nowadays, you can also find diyas filled with wax so that you can use them also as candles!

Either way, people light diyas or even LED lights all over the streets, and also inside and outside their homes. So the cities will be literally sparkling on a Diwali night.

Photo of Diwali fireworks - Chakra : Image from Wikimedia Commons Image
Photo of Diwali fireworks - Chakra : Image from Wikimedia Commons Image

2. Fireworks

Using fireworks is a great part of the Diwali celebrations in India. Cultural programs are organized by communities everywhere and fireworks are carried out.

Fireworks are always beautiful, as they burst to produce colourful, sparkling lights all over the sky. And fireworks always denotes celebrations. Celebrating with major fireworks during the festival times are usually planned and organized by communities in different regions across the country.

Using firecrackers is very popular in India. However, the use of firecrackers is not very safe and not advisable since they are mostly done without following much regulations or guidelines.

Personally, I love lighted diyas and organized fireworks, but using firecrackers do not sound appealing to me. Just because of the safety issues they can cause.

In my childhood, we used to light up small fire displays which were really beautiful to see. They are not crackers, but they produce small fireworks which is spectacular to see.

The image shows a small firework or display using the 'Chakras', which is round in shape and when ignited, it will burn and produce sparks of lights and circulate all over the floor where it is placed. It is one of the beautiful things that can be used safely, if you are careful enough.

It is usually used in an open space like terrace or open grounds or floors, just make sure there is nothing which can catch fire.

3. Sharing Diwali Sweets And Snacks

Preparing desserts and savoury snacks for Diwali, is actually one of the most popular things people do on Diwali. The desserts are particularly known as Diwali sweets.

You can prepare your favourite desserts, enjoy with your family and friends and also share some snacks and sweets in your neighbourhood. If you don't want to make them yourself, you can easily buy Diwali sweets and snacks wrapped in gift wraps from Indian stores during the festival time.

Even if you don't prepare or buy any Diwali sweets, you will most probably receive some Diwali sweets from your neighbourhood, if you are staying in an Indian community during the Diwali time!

If you are concerned about all the sugary and fried things, which you usually prefer to avoid, you can go for dried fruits and nuts, which are also commonly bought and shared among people during Diwali. Try preparing your Diwali sweets using dried fruits like raisins and dates and also flavourful nuts like cashew nuts and peanuts. If you are using nuts and sharing them, just make sure that the people with whom you share the sweets do not have any nut allergy!

Laddus, Kheer, halwa etc. are few of the most popular Diwali sweets. Laddus are small sweet balls which are usually made of flour and sugar. But you can make them more healthier by using dried fruits. For example, Dates laddu is a much healthier option than flour laddus.

When you make savoury snacks for Diwali, try to bake them instead of deep frying if you are concerned about the use of oil.

Sharing food among loved ones is a wonderful thing to do, which can help you enjoy together during the festival times.

4. Decorate With Rangoli Designs

Rangoli is a pattern made on the floors, mainly using dried rice flour, turmeric and other natural colours. Today, people also use white chalk or pencils to draw the designs on the floor and then use coloured powders on dried flours to fill the designs. Other than dried flour, you can also use fine salt and stone powders or simply use the coloured powders you get from the stores.

Rangoli is not just a decoration, people believe that putting rangoli designs can bring good luck and prosperity to your home.

5. Dress Up In Your Best Outfits

On Diwali day, people try to get dressed up in their best outfits or they buy new clothes. This is the time of the year, mostly everyone in India purchases new clothes for their family and wear it for the celebrations.

6. Exchanging Gifts

People love to exchange gifts during the time of festival, especially everyone try to give gifts for kids and the elderly. Giving toys for kids, or giving clothes for anyone in the family is a nice thing to do. It is a tradition that everyone follows from years.

The below shown barbies doll dressed up in Indian outfits and jewels for Diwali celebrations makes the most perfect Diwali gift for girls who love dolls.

Collectible Barbie Dressed Up For Diwali - Cute, Unique Diwali Gift For Girls

7. Shopping

Last, but not the least! It is during the Diwali time that people in India shops the most in a year! You can see retailer shops everywhere across the streets, although nowadays many people prefer to go to the malls for shopping, or do online shopping.

Shopping during the festival times doesn't have to be break your budget, as you can always find products in great discounts during the holiday times and you can always choose something within your budget.

Do you celebrate Diwali?

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Floating Diyas and flowers in a vessel - A Diwali decoration
Floating Diyas and flowers in a vessel - A Diwali decoration | Source

Other than the above listed activities, you can also see rituals, worships and prayers in temples and also homes. There will be even special poojas or prayers for newly married couples in many places.

So now you have read about the most common and popular activities you can do on Diwali festival time. I have entered them based on my personal experience and knowledge about the festival, but if you have anything to add about the celebration, feel free to add them in the comment section!


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    • profile image

      tennielle rampersad 

      4 years ago

      Diwali is a fun time and this is why I enjoy learning more about it

    • VioletteRose profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks for reading pateluday! I agree, firecrackers have to be used with extreme care, if one decides to use them.

    • VioletteRose profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks so much for reading WeeCatCreations1!

    • VioletteRose profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks Faith Reaper :) Diwali is a wonderful festival!

    • VioletteRose profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks for reading DDE! I agree, fireworks, lights and sweets are the attractions of Diwali. I have actually lived in many places and shifted homes many times, so I too sometimes miss the way we celebrated it in our home. But I love celebrations, so we have the light and sweets even though fireworks in not an option always.

    • pateluday profile image

      Uday Patel 

      5 years ago from Jabalpur, MP, India

      Apart from all good one must burst crackers with care.

    • WeeCatCreations1 profile image

      Susan Caplan McCarthy 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you for explaining more about this festival of lights.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      What a wonderful festival of lights with so many fun activities and such! I loved reading about different cultures and Diwali.

      Thank you for sharing. Voted up ++++ tweeting and pinning


    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I miss this time of year being back home and I love this celebration. Lots of light and sweets. People get together to enjoy food, music and good company. The fireworks are amazing thanks for a helpful hub.

    • VioletteRose profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Chicago

      Thanks AliciaC :) I am glad you like this! That is really great to live and work in a multicultural society, where you could learn and experience difference cultures. I too live mostly in a multicultural environment, which helps me to understand about different celebrations and more.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I loved learning more about Diwali. I live in a multicultural area and teach in a multicultural school. I see some type of Diwali celebration every year. A festival including all the aspects that you describe would be wonderful!


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