If you’ve always wondered what Diwali is, and how you can experience it in Ireland, we have you covered.
To begin with, Diwali is an Indian festival, popularly known as the festival of lights.
With Ireland playing home to people of different nationalities, including Indians, it is but natural that many international festivals are celebrated with great fervour in the Emerald Isle.
This year, Diwali falls on October 24th and traditionally, it is celebrated for five days, if not more.
A Hindu festival, it marks the onset of a new year, involves the worship of the goddess of wealth (Lakshmi), and is also a celebration of good over evil.
And like most festivals, there is an abundance of feasting, festive cheer, and meeting and greeting friends, family, colleagues and neighbours.
So where can you start? How can you be a part of the festivities?
While we have listed down events, and places where you can get a Diwali feel (these events are open for everyone), you can also light a few lamps or put up fairy lights outside your door.
It is believed, that on Diwali day, the goddess of wealth puts aside time to visit households, and if your door looks welcoming with lights, flower arrangements and patterns, she decides to pay you a visit! (Buy some fairy lights people, and a lottery ticket!)
A Diwali special menu
Ananda, a fine dining restaurant (listed in Michelin Guide) has put together a Diwali special tasting menu. Asheesh Dewan, Director – Jaipur Group, explains the thought behind the festive all-vegetarian menu: “It’s inspired from the various temple cities of India. Dwarka, Amritsar, Benares, Jagannath Puri, Naina Devi in Dev Bhumi Himachal and the holiest of all Indian cities Haridwar. Its origins lie in the philosophy of food that believes that – ‘A man is what he eats.’ This culinary legacy has influenced the development of a myriad of food cultures including one of the most creative vegetarian cuisines in the world.”
Of course, there’s ample non-vegetarian fare available on its ala carte menu, but if you want a taste of Diwali, you may want to take a look at the taster menu at Ananda.
It comprises of festive snacks like khandvi (steamed, savoury and sweet gram flour pasta), karara (celeriac & onion pakora), kadak (spinach & crème fraiche tart).
Guests will also be served dum aloo kadhi, a Gujarati delicacy which consists of tandoori stuffed baby potatoes in sweet and sour buttermilk. There’s also kaddu khasta khatta meetha (five spiced autumn butternut squash, traditional masala-infused puffed Indian pastry), Gucci paneer (smoked cottage cheese, sautéed morel and pulao rice).
And how can a Diwali feast be complete without indulging your sweet tooth? The menu offers jamun sorbet (java plum sorbet, toasted cumin), kaala jaam (black milk pearl, saffron cream with honeycomb wafer) and nariyal barfi-masala chai (coconut fudge, Himalayan tea).
Mr Dewan adds: “Representing so much that is dear to us, Diwali is celebrated with boundless passion here at Ananda. We’re thrilled at the chance to celebrate all that is good in the world and to look to the future with hope and excitement. In that spirit, we hope you will join us for a wonderful party to celebrate.”
Set your calendar for Diwali events
Diwali-Festival of Lights: A Civic Celebration – City Hall
In conjunction with Dublin City Council, Ireland India Council has organised a Diwali celebration at City Hall on Tuesday, October 18. The civic celebration of Diwali is a spectacular event in Ireland. It encompasses and invites members and peers from across communities to share the joys and wondrous Diwali celebration, and leading personalities from businesses, academics, and politics across Ireland will be present at the event, along with members of the Indian community.
Like many Diwali celebrations, the event will mark the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance.
The evening will feature a gala dinner as well as Irish-Indian music.
Ireland Biggest Diwali Celebration 2022 – Church of Scientology & Community Centre
This celebration, being held at the Church of Scientology & Community Centre of Dublin, Tallaght is being touted as ‘Ireland’s biggest Diwali Celebration.’ It promises an evening of performances, music and dance, and festive Indian food will be available to purchase at the event.
This celebration is on October 16th, and you can find more details here.
Vedic Hindu Cultural Centre Ireland (VHCCI)’s night of Diwali celebrations – National Basketball Arena Tymon Park
Taking place on October 30th, this night promises music, fireworks, food and dance. There’s a cultural programme from 2 to 6 pm, followed by aarti at 6.30 pm. At 7, there will be a fireworks display in the sky, and then the ground is open for dance and music with a DJ playing popular, peppy songs. And needless to mention that delicious food will be on sale at various stalls.
Find more details here.
Deepotsav – DLR Festival of Inclusion, Monkstown
This Diwali celebration, put together by the Utsav Community Group is being held on October 22nd, and is a part of DLR Festival of Inclusion. The Utsav Group is formed of six enterprising women and this event is all about celebrating friendship and togetherness with ‘lights of aspiration.’ There will be cultural performances, Bollywood dances, delicious Indian food and a special Bollywood DJ where you can dance the afternoon away!
Find more details here.
Kassi Group presents Diwali in Dundalk
On October 15th, the Kassi Group will bring together a night of aarti, performances, bingo, raffle, delicious Indian food, sparkles and DJ at the Kilcurry Resource centre in Dundalk.
Diwali in Cork by the Cork Indian Community
If you’re in Cork, you should save the date for this Diwali event brought to you by the Cork Indian Community and supported by the India Eire Cultural Association of Cork (IECACORK). The event takes place on October 22nd at Nemo Rangers, and there will be performances of dance and music, as well as plenty of festive spirit, food and fun.
We will update the list if there are more event listings available, but we hope that you have plenty of fun and feasting this Diwali.