How To Celebrate Diwali In India: Our Extensive 5 Day Itinerary

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How To Celebrate Diwali In India: Our Extensive 5 Day Itinerary

Welcome, wanderers, to the land of vibrant colours, mesmerising lights, and joyous celebrations! The famous Festival of Lights — Diwali — is one of India’s most important and brightest holidays, celebrated fervently and with extreme joy throughout the country. For those eager to discover the culture of this incredible country, there’s no better time to visit India than during Diwali.

So, lace up your walking shoes, open your hearts to new experiences, and get ready to embark on a five-day journey through the heart of Diwali celebrations in India!

Day 1: Arrive & Welcome (Dhanteras)

Begin your Diwali celebration with a hug from India’s busy cities. Kick your adventure off in the capital – Delhi, Mumbai, or Kolkata — where the frenzy of Dhanteras, the primary day of Diwali, is on full display in the streets. On this day, locals throng markets such as Delhi’s Chandni Chowk or Mumbai’s Crawford Market to buy gold, silver, or kitchen utensils that are believed to attract luck and wealth. This is the perfect time to hit up these locations if you want to truly immerse yourself in Diwali.

When night falls, wander through streets aglow with the soft flicker of diyas (earthen lamps) and vibrant rangoli designs adorning doorsteps. Oh, and be sure to snap dozens of photos for your Diwali highlights cover for Instagram. This is the only time of the year when your eyes will be treated to intricate and colourful rangoli patterns, so you’ll want to immortalise every moment!

The most convenient way to experience Indian traditions is by joining a guided tour or homestay, as these will allow you to gain a deeper understanding and partake in the locals’ age-old customs. Engaging with local guides or hosts will also provide insights into the significance of each day of Diwali and the cultural nuances that make this festival so special.

Day 2: Embracing Tradition (Choti Diwali)

On Day 2 (aka Choti Diwali), lose yourself in culture and tradition. Walk through the narrow lanes of Jaipur’s Pink City or explore the ancient alleys of Varanasi’s neighbourhood, where rangolis adorn every doorstep and diyas light up the night. Light diyas and decorate homes with the locals, or watch a cultural program dedicated to the artistic talent of the region. For a truly authentic experience, travel to the rural villages of Pushkar or Udaipur, which celebrate Diwali with love and fervour.

As the sun sets, the cityscape evolves into an array of colours, light, and fireworks that fill the sky with laughter and cheer. Here, you will witness the anticipation of the main event tomorrow and get to snack on quintessential Indian Diwali sweets like gujiya and chakli, which are available on every corner. Take a moment to soak in the festivities, where every street is exploding with excitement, laughter, and the promise of an unforgettable celebration ahead.

Day 3: It’s Time To Feast & Party! (Main Diwali)

The third day of our journey is the pinnacle of Diwali celebrations, a day when the entire nation basks in the luminous glow of diyas, the merry resonance of laughter and music, and the explosive excitement of the fireworks. It’s a day of togetherness and unity, of sharing sweets and gifts with family and friends and offering prayers to Maa Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha for blessings and prosperity. The entire nation celebrates as one family to commemorate the triumph of light over darkness.

As dusk settles in, Diwali’s biggest celebration begins. Walk down the streets of Delhi’s Red Fort or Mumbai’s Marine Drive, where dazzling light displays and vibrant street performances captivate the senses. Stand in awe of the beautiful fireworks setting the sky ablaze with amazing colours. Join in on the exchanging of gifts and sweets (mithai) with newfound friends, forging bonds that transcend cultural boundaries. There are so many things to witness and participate in on Diwali night, so let your hair down and be carried away by the rhythm of the festivities!

Day 4: Reverence and Renewal (Govardhan Puja)

Harness the spiritual essence of the fourth day by celebrating the Govardhan Puja. This day is all about commemorating Baal Roop, the child form of Lord Shri Krishna. It’s a great time for tourists to visit one of India’s many temples, where devotees visit the Hindu gods to pray and seek blessings. Remember to dress appropriately and behave respectfully when visiting these sacred sites.

Alternatively, you may wish to travel to Varanasi or Haridwar, as the Ganges River plays a vital role in the Diwali celebrations.

All day, melodious hymns and chants fill the air, adding a spiritual essence to the vibrant surroundings. Wonder at extravagantly designed decorations and offerings, which demonstrate the believers’ devotion to their deities. This day is all about spiritualism and reflection, so take a quiet moment to reflect on the essence of Diwali — spiritual renewal, gratitude, and enlightenment.

Day 5: Sibling Bonds and Festive Feasts (Bhai Dooj)

Bhai Dooj is the last day of the celebration. It is a time when siblings come together to strengthen their bonds. Brothers visit their married sisters and receive blessings that symbolise love, respect and the eternal bond of family ties.

For tourists looking to join in on the festivities, there are tons of cultural activities and attractions to explore. Jaipur’s City Palace and Kolkata’s Victoria Memorial host Diwali exhibitions and cultural events, where visitors can take part in Diwali-themed activities ranging from learning the mehndi art to pottery. Don’t forget to visit nearby marketplaces and street vendors who offer a variety of delightful choices, from satisfying samosas to sweet jalebis.

For both experienced travellers and first-time tourists, Bhaj Dooj is a reminder of the eternal values of love, respect, and unity.


So there you have it: a detailed itinerary that lets you experience the magic of Diwali in India! From the lively streets of Delhi to the historic alleys of Varanasi, we’ve covered the traditions, rituals, and joy that make up this special festival.

So, book your tickets and get ready for a whirlwind adventure unlike any other. Happy Diwali, and may your journey ahead be filled with love, laughter, and endless blessings!

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