In this MultiConnexions blog, Graphic Designer Aman Gupta shares some cultural insights into what Diwali means for the South Asian community, and outlines a few of the major Diwali celebrations across Australia in 2018.
As many South Asians across the world will know, we are fast approaching Diwali. For most, Diwali is a time to spend with family and celebrate new beginnings. It’s quite common for the South Asian diaspora to go back to their home country during this auspicious time – either to be with family, for religious or spiritual travel, or just be part of the grand celebrations of Diwali across the Indian sub-continent.
Diwali is also a very auspicious festival for Indian business owners. For many, Diwali marks the start of their financial year. This is also a time when major purchase decisions are made which includes buying a house, car etc. In fact in India, Diwali is a marketer’s dream and many products and services are launched during this period. For Indians, Diwali is like Christmas and the festivities are endless.
Advertisements in India during Diwali
In India, it’s very common for the laneways and streets at the local markets to be filled with scores of people lining up to purchase fireworks. Some keep it simple with firecrackers, sparklers, or similar. Others look for the newest and biggest that money can buy. Usually the correlation is the bigger the fireworks, the more success they’ve had in the year that’s passed. People often celebrate with the fireworks that have the biggest boom to welcome the coming year, hoping to be blessed with better fortune from the Goddess of Prosperity – Lakshmi.
Streets are lit up with fairy lights, houses are brightened to welcome Lakshmi into homes, and shops are filled with Diwali sweets and gifts. The atmosphere is electric, and every heart is filled with joy and happiness.
But the reality is that flying home in the middle of November isn’t possible for a lot of the South Asian diaspora, and some of the amazing sights and happenings during Diwali are missed living so far from home.
Fortunately, in Australia the South Asian population has become a strong community across many of the capital cities, with festivals and community events happening in every major city. Tens of thousands of people attend Diwali melas (or festivals) in Australia, making it one of the largest celebrations in the world outside of India.
With exhilarating rides, enthralling performances, tasty food and much more on offer, the Diwali melas are often a day of fun and excitement for the whole family. Here’s a roundup of some of the upcoming festivals being held across the county this year to celebrate Diwali. Whether you’re Indian, South Asian or from any nation, the festivals have something for everyone and I’d encourage people to join in the festivities and attend these community events.
Victorian Festival of Diwali (Diwali at Fed Square)
Location: Federation Square, Melbourne
Date: Saturday 3 November 2018
Description: Indian art & dance forms, the multicultural culinary & craft bazaar; live-band, Indian henna, craft workshop for children, roving acts, Bollywood dance workshop and some vibrant collaborative dance performances with artists from the Chinese, Sudanese, Sri Lankan, Latin-American & Mauritian communities, Fireworks.
AIII – Diwali Mela 2018
Location: Springers Leisure Centre & Tatterson Park, Keysborough
Date: Sunday 4 November 2018
Description: 10 hours of non-stop entertainment, DJ music, dance performances, singing, stand-up comedy, lucky draws, fireworks at 8.30pm.
Location: Presidents Park, Wyndham Vale
Date: Saturday 3 November 2018
Description: Multicultural performances, youth activities, kids’ rides and fun, AFL, international cuisine, henna, jewellery, variety stalls and more.
Hindu Council of Australia’s Deepavali Festival of Lights
Location: Parramatta Park, Parramatta
Date: 3-4 November 2018
Description: Food, Fireworks, Entertainment, Rides, Ramlila and more.
Diwali Mela 2018
Location: Claremont Showground, Claremont
Date: 3-4 November 2018
Description: Food and market stalls, kids’ rides, cultural performances throughout the day, spectacular fireworks on both the days and much more.
Swan Festival of Lights
Location: Supreme Court Gardens, Perth
Date: 9-11 November 2018
Description: Vegetarian food & drink, dance & music performances, workshops and activities, arts & crafts, camel rides, nightly fireworks.
And here are some of the great events that ran over the past month to celebrate Diwali:
Blacktown Diwali Festival
Location: Blacktown Showgrounds
Date: Sunday 14 October 2018
Description: Featured 500+ dance and music performers, fireworks, art competition, henna tattoos, fashion & food stalls, face painting, giveaways and more.
tDate: Sunday 21 October 2018
Description: Amazing traditional performances, authentic cuisine & opportunities to immerse in the colours and sounds of India.
CIA – Little India Fair 2018
Location: Harris Park
Date: Saturday 27 October 2018
Description: Featured South Asian cuisine, cultural performances, lights and fireworks.
FIAN NSW Diwali Fair 2018
Location: Holroyd Gardens, Merrylands
Date: Sunday 28 October 2018
Description: This year featured food & non-food business stalls, kids’ entertainment, fireworks and presence of key political leaders.
Adelaide Diwali Mela
Location: Goyder Pavilion, Adelaide Showgrounds
Date: Saturday October 20 2018
Description: Jumping castle, face painting, competitions & other kids’ activities, food, music, all day multicultural performances.
Location: Redcliff Place (Brisbane Square)
Date: Friday 26 October 2018
Description: Featured cultural performances, stalls, souvenirs, entertainment, music, dancing, henna, arts and crafts, fireworks.
If your event isn’t listed above, please get in touch with us.
In a previous blog Brightening Australian brands during Diwali, we highlighted the opportunity to reach out to this market during Diwali festivities is huge.
Australia is home to many cultures and ethnicities, and the reasons to get involved in multicultural marketing have never been better. With more than half of Australians born overseas or having a parent who was born overseas according to Census, 2016, brands should go beyond mainstream and consider promoting their products and services to the multicultural communities around Australia.
For more information on how we can help make your brand more prominent among the South Asian community during Diwali, or during any other cultural festival or multicultural groups, contact MultiConnexions – your multicultural marketing partner.