Deepavali is the festival of light which is celebrated in every part of India. However, there are differences in the celebration of North India and South India. Do you know the differences?

Different Diwali Celebration Style

Difference in the name

Most North Indians call the festival, Diwali. On the other hand, South Indians call it Deepavali. Though both are correct and mean series or rows of diyas.

Difference in number of days

In North India Diwali is celebrated for 5 days, whereas in South India it is celebrated only for 4 days. Would you like to enhance your knowledge about the days? Read the table below.

DayNorth IndiaSouth India
Day 1Dhanteras
Day 2Choti Diwali
Narak Chaturdashi
Deepavali/ Naraka Chaturdashi
Day 3Diwali / Lakshmi PujaLakshmi Puja
Day 4Govardhan Puja/ Annakut/ Diwali Padwa Gujarati New YearKartik Shudda Padyami / Bali Pratipada
Day 5Bhai DoojYama Dwitiya

No Dhanteras

In North India Diwali starts with Dhanteras (as you can see in the above table and people buy gold on that day. While South Indians do not celebrate Dhanteras and the festival commences on Ashwin Krishna Paksha Chaturdasi. The first day of Diwali is known as Naraka Chaturdasi and it is Dhantaras in the Northern part of India.

Significance of Diwali

Diwali in North India marks the return of Lord Rama from exile after 14 years. He returned home with his wife and brother from exile and the roads of Ayodhya was lit with lights. Hence, North Indians light lamps on Diwali to signify the return of the son.

On the other hand, South Indians celebrate this occasion to commemorate the victory of Lord Krishna over demon Naraka. Moreover, this day is generally one day before Diwali in North India.

Day after Diwali

The day after Diwali Govardhan Puja is performed in North and in South people celebrate Bali Padyami and it is believed that King Mahabali returns to earth on this day to visit his subjects.

Time of celebration
Usually in the north of India, Diwali is celebrated during the night times by lighting fireworks. Whereas in the South of India, bursting of loud crackers is also carried out during the day in many households to rejoice in the spirit.

Tradition or not
Deepavali is not a traditional festival in all of South India. Kerala does not celebrate Diwali on account of mythological beliefs about King Bali and a few other reasons. Whereas, in North India, Diwali is celebrated more of a tradition.

The Similarity

Despite differences there is one similarity in the celebration. That is the brother-sister bonding. The last day of the festival is known as Bhai Dhooj in North India and in South India it is the Yama Dvitiya. The significance is almost the same. Sisters invite brothers to their place and pray for their long lives.

And yes, irrespective of it being North or South of India, people shop alike. So that you can shop without any reservations, use the Diwali offers and discounts. These can help you save more without having to think much about breaking the budget!

Quick facts about Diwali

  • In Tamil Nadu, Diwali is followed by Kedhari Gowri Viradham which is a 21 day fasting ritual that was introduced by Parvathi, wife of Lord Shiva.
  • Diwali is considered to be an auspicious time to start a new business, sign a contract or a new deal.
  • Karthikai Deepam is another festival of lights celebrated in Tamil Nadu and some parts of Karnataka which is observed a few days after Deepavali.


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