Deepavali is the festival of light that is celebrated in every part of India. This year Deepavali falls on Thursday, 4th November 2021. 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.

DayDatesNorth IndiaSouth India
Day 1 2nd November 2021Dhanteras
Day 23rd November 2021Choti Diwali

Narak Chaturdashi

Deepavali/ Naraka Chaturdashi
Day 34th November 2021Diwali / Lakshmi PujaLakshmi Puja
Day 45th November 2021Govardhan Puja/ Annakut/ Diwali Padwa Gujarati New YearKartik Shudda Padyami / Bali Pratipada
Day 56th November 2021Bhai 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 Chaturdashi. The first day of Diwali is known as Naraka Chaturdasi and it is Dhanteras 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 were 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 the North and in the South people celebrate BaliPadyami 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, the 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 Dwitiya. 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.

Final Thoughts

Wrapping up, on Diwali, people light diyas, decorate home with flowers, prepare tasty dishes, firecrackers, enjoy with friends and family members. We tend to forget that bursting crackers may lead to excess air and noise pollution. The reports from CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) say that the NO2, PM10, and PM2.5 levels in 2020 are higher than in 2019. We suggest you go for an environmentally-friendly Diwali.

So what are your thoughts on the Diwali celebration in northern and southern parts of India? How are you going to celebrate Deepavali 2021? Please do share your creative and fun-loving ideas with us in the comment section given below. We are eagerly waiting to hear from you.


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