The Festival of Lights is one of the most popular Indian festivals, celebrated across the world by Hindu families symbolising light winning over darkness, and of good winning over evil. It’s the start of the Hindu New Year, and is known as “Deepavali”, meaning “row of lights” in some areas. It’s also celebrated by Jains, Sikhs, some Buddhists, and some folk religions. During the five-day festive occasion, families and friends dress up in their best outfits, illuminate their homes with Diwali decorations, and exchange traditional gifts.

Diwali celebrations

Though there are many different stories about the origins of Diwali, one of the most popular is that the festival is held to honour Lord Rama’s triumphant return home to Ayodhya with his wife Sita after she had been kidnapped by the demon king. In the stories, Lord Rama defeats the demon king Ravana by shooting him with a magic arrow, and he and Sita travel home, their path lit by millions of lamps.

In most regions five nights are celebrated, but the peak of the festival is on the third night. Each night is dedicated to a different deity, but Diwali night also corresponds to the darkest night of the lunar month. On this night, the goddess Lakshmi is said to visit every home, so families light candles and lamps to show her the way. Lakshmi’s visit is said to bring prosperity, fertility, and good fortune. To honour her, there are firework displays on the third night, and rangoli decorate the floors to welcome her in.

As one of the biggest festivals of the year, it’s also a time for gifting! Through the week, family and friends come together to celebrate, eat, and exchange presents. Here at WorldRemit, we’ve come up with a list of Diwali gift ideas to inspire you, though if you are away from home this Diwali, you can easily send money as a gift with WorldRemit. In most cases, your money transfer takes just minutes, making it perfect for on the day delivery.

hands holding indian sweets for diwali gift ideas

Finding the best Diwali gift for your significant other

Perhaps you’re making the most of spending the festive occasion together, or visiting your families and friends during the celebrations. After five days of feasts and sweet treats, you might choose to invest in some Diwali fitness items together. On the other hand, maybe you would rather join in, and give gifts of chocolates, sweets, or pooja thali.

It’s also traditional to exchange gifts of new clothes, so a Diwali gift for girlfriend or Diwali gift for wife could be an outfit to wear during the celebrations, or jewellery to finish off their festive dress.  Equally, a Diwali gift for boyfriend or Diwali gift for husband might be the chance to get the man in your life something new to wear. Online shopping means gifts can be sent from wherever you are, so if you’re not together for Diwali this year, your thoughtful gift can still be sent to them.

Two days before Diwali is Dhanteras, traditionally a day for buying gold and jewellery, so perhaps your other half might get their present a little bit early!

However you’re celebrating Diwali, you can always use WorldRemit for fast, easy money transfer. Our brand new mobile app and website are available all day, every day, even during festive occasions, so you can be sure that you’ll be able to send money whenever you want to.

a night sky with lights celebrating diwali

Diwali gifts for family

Bringing gifts for everyone is an important part of the Diwali celebration. If you have lots of people to buy for in your family, Diwali gift hampers are a great option, as these can contain more traditional gifts such as Indian sweets, but can also include extra items such as silver plated photo frames or bouquets of flowers. They can easily be personalised and can also be arranged from afar, so if you’re not able to visit this year, your gifts can be delivered.

For children in your family, other Diwali gifts might include some new Diwali decorations, Lakshmi or Ganesha idols, or wall hangings. New clothes for children are a good gift, especially if they’ve outgrown their wardrobe since the last Diwali celebrations. With an arty gift, children can join in with the traditions around the celebrations by using coloured rice, sand or flour to make their own rangoli for Diwali night, welcoming the gods and goddesses into the family home.

 colourful diwali candlers placed on a table

Diwali gift ideas for friends

Though visiting family at Diwali is important, celebrating Diwali isn’t just for families. It’s just as significant to include celebrations of the festival with friends, and to enjoy Diwali together. There are five full days of celebrating, after all!

For Diwali gifts for your friends, you might choose to give useful Diwali gifts. Though trinkets make for a thoughtful gift, giving something the recipient can use is always appreciated. Kitchen utensils, tableware, or glassware are great gifts for a festival with food at the centre of its celebrations.

As Diwali is the festival of light,  candle holders are a great choice of gift for this special occasion and can help to light up the festivities! A gift set of Diwali lamps or diyas could also make an excellent and appropriate gift. Eco-friendly firecrackers are a welcome replacement to the traditional kind, which are not good for the environment, and have been advised against in previous years. With the eco variety, you can still have the bright display without the smoke.

Gifting Indian sweets including Kaju Katli, Gulab Jamun, and Motichoor Laddoo is a traditional exchange. A feast is also traditional, so make sure you bring enough sweets for everyone! Diwali is a chance for everyone to get together to celebrate.

Wishing you a bright and happy Diwali!

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