The 12th of November will be the day of Diwali—an auspicious Hindu festival celebrated by over a billion people.

People celebrate Diwali to commemorate the victory of good over evil, the significance of new beginnings, and the importance of honoring one’s ancestors, among many other things. Often known as the “festival of lights”, Diwali takes place for five days, with meanings connected to multiple auspicious events in Hinduism. Some sects of Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism further celebrate the festival with deviations in ritual and meaning. For many people, Diwali marks the beginning of the new year according to the Hindu lunar calendar.

Diwali is a significant festival in Canada, with many public celebrations, notable events, and more to commemorate the celebration here. Keep reading to learn more.

Celebration of Diwali in Canada

Celebration of Diwali in Canada

All the staples of Diwali festivities are available in Canada—from shimmering oil lamps (or diyas) to colorful floor arrangements (or rangoli), the sharing of delicious food, the meeting of friends and family, singing, dancing, and more.

Everything that is the staple of Diwali is easily available in Canada, from Diyas (shimmering oil lamps) to rangoli (colorful floor arrangements), sharing of mouth-watering food, celebrating with family and friends, and much more.

Community organizations, often university student organizations, cultural groups, or temples, organize Diwali celebrations in Canada, apart from private celebrations. Municipal governments often collaborate and host larger community events at town centers. The celebrations feature music, dancing, marketplaces, traditional Indian food fairs, and fireworks.

Celebration of Diwali in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)

Diwali Festival of Lights

Arranged by the Global Arts, Culture, and Heritage Foundation, the Festival of Lights celebration is an event held annually that claims to be the largest Diwali celebration in North America.

Held on the 4th and 5th of November at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto—from 12-9 pm—the festival will feature numerous Diwali fixtures, like fireworks, music, and dance performances, and a vast marketplace with over 100 local vendors featured. The event is free of cost to attend and will take place at the same hours on both days.

Diwali Dhamaka 2023

Dream Media Agency and Cocktail International Group Inc. being the host, Diwali Dhamaka 2023 will be held at the Capitol Banquet Centre in Mississauga on the 5th and 11th of November, between 12-9 pm.

The event is free to attend and is a source of great entertainment for the entire family—including fun activities like face painting, dancing, music, henna (a paste made from the henna tree that stains the skin used for the application of temporary body art), Diwali markets, and more. The event also features prizes for attendees as well, like awards for the best dressed and raffle opportunities.

Celebration of Diwali in Canada

North York Diwali Fest—Festival of Lights

The North York Diwali Fest is an event organized by the Moksha Canada Foundation and will take place at Mel Lastman Square from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on November 11th. This event will offer a range of exciting activities, including musical performances, food, Diwali shopping fairs, and arts and crafts workshops. Attendees will also have the opportunity to showcase their creativity in a rangoli competition. Additionally, the event is free of charge, making it accessible to all interested in attending.

Diwali celebrations in Vancouver

The Vancouver area has a significant Indian population, and during the Diwali celebrations, there are many activities to participate in. However, a prominent event among these celebrations is Diwali Fest. 

Hosted by the Diwali Celebration Society, Diwali Fest is an annual festival that takes place throughout Vancouver and Surrey. The festival offers a range of events to attend with varying prices and activities. This year, the festival celebrates its 20th anniversary and will feature a wedding theme during the Diwali festivities. Some of this year’s events include:

In addition, one Diwali celebration experience unique to British Columbia is the annual Diwali boat celebrations (possibly because of the city’s coastal location). Vancouver Boat Parties organizes these gatherings. This year features two events:

Diwali celebrations in Montreal

Montreal having a smaller indian population than Vancouver and Toronto, still arranges Diwali celebrations for those who celebrate the festival.

One such interesting event is the Candle Making Workshop hosted by the Pierrefonds Public Library. The event offers a chance for a deeper understanding of the making and placement of diyas—as well as their religious and cultural significance during Diwali. The event is free to attend and takes place between 4:30 and 6 p.m. on Friday, November 10th.


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