Travelling Abroad for Diwali?
Are you celebrating Diwali abroad this year? Make sure you are prepared before you travel!
When it comes to travelling abroad, preparation is everything, especially for Diwali. The more you plan and prepare increases the likelihood of a more enjoyable and stress-free journey. Plan for the area or event you are travelling to. Think about everything, from transport to medicines. Do the bulk of the work before you set off, as having that handy pack of paracetamol on you is easier than having to source it locally.
What Is The Diwali Festival About?
Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word Deepavali, meaning ‘row of lights’, and the reasons for the celebration varies between faiths.
For Sikhs, it marks the release from prison of Guru Hargobind, along with 52 other princes, in 1619. As for Hinduism, the festival signifies the victory of light (good) over darkness (evil), hence the emphasis on ‘the festival of lights’. For Jains, it marks the spiritual awakening of Bhagwan Mahavira, who was the twenty-fourth Tirthankara of Jainism.
Those celebrating Diwali also use this as a way to honour Laksmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. Many households in India will leave their windows and doors open to allow her to enter their homes. Some will say prayers to her in hope for prosperity in the year to come.
When Is Diwali?
This year, 2018, Diwali begins on the 7th of November in most parts of India, but begins a day earlier, on 6th November, in the South Indian states (Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu).
Diwali Travel Advice & Tips
Remember to check whether you need any vaccinations or anti-malarial tablets with a health care provider or online at a reliable site (such as Travelpharm). Do this as soon as possible as some vaccines require planning or multiple doses.
- Always be vigilant about hygiene and food preparation.
- Avoid insect bites as they can carry and transmit various diseases.
- Make sure you pack a good general first aid kit and if you take regular medication to have enough to cover your whole trip (plus a couple spare in case of any delays).
If you feel unwell on your trip or after you return, look out for any unusual symptoms and see your GP if concerned.
For more information on what symptoms to look out for, read the ABCD Approach to Malaria Prevention guide.
Also, take care of your personal safety alone and in crowds and check with the Foreign and Commonwealth office for any specific warnings or advice for the country you’re visiting.