Diwali is one of the major religious festivals in India, symbolizing the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. It is a perfect time to host a Diwali Party to teach family and friends the traditions of our culture. Our family hosted a party to celebrate this festival, so this post contains unique and beautiful Diwali party ideas to create a dazzling celebration for your guests.
What is Diwali and How is it Celebrated?
Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is India’s most loved and celebrated festival. During Diwali, homes are cleaned and decorated with rangoli, and elaborate designs are made of colored rice, sand, or flower petals. It is a time for visiting near and dear ones, exchanging gifts, wearing new clothes, feasting, setting off fireworks, and feeding the poor.
Hosting a Diwali party provides a wonderful opportunity to teach our children the traditions of our culture. For those of us no longer living in India, we have an even greater responsibility to pass down the beautiful traditions of our culture to the next generation.
The best way to teach our children about our practices and culture is through hands-on experience, so letting them help with party setup reinforces these traditions.
How do you Host a Diwali Party?
Diwali usually falls between mid-October to mid-November each year as per the lunar calendar. If you want ideas on how to plan and host a Diwali party, you will want to carefully consider the following items, all of which will help to create a memorable celebration your guests will love.
- Plan the décor and set up the party area.
- Build a guest list. This impacts the number of sitting areas needed and the size of the food menu.
- Plan your menu to highlight Diwali foods for your guests to enjoy.
- Consider what type of activities you'd like to entertain your guests.
- Decide if you want to have party favors.
- Determine your budget for the party.
Preparations for my Diwali celebration began months in advance with deep cleaning, cooking savory and sweet delicacies, and shopping for new clothes and other household items back home in India. I went all out to celebrate Diwali this year with my family and friends. I needed to decide on the items in the above list, with the food menu and home decor setup comprising a large part of my planning efforts for the party.
I decided our party would be an outdoor rather than an indoor party. I had a vision for my Diwali party, but I had help from Pinterest and Instagram on how to make my ideas a reality. These platforms helped me finalize my vision for the outdoor backyard area. I began making lists, thinking of what I needed, and arranging items for the party.
Ideas for Outside Party Lighting
If you want ideas for outside lighting for your party, I hope the lighting we used for our Diwali party will inspire you. We wanted to create dazzling lighting that really accentuated the the party area to make our guests well aware of the party zones. Our party was held in November in South Louisian, which is usually a perfect time for an outdoor setup. Diwali is the “Festival of Lights,” so we wanted to make a considerable effort to light up our backyard for the celebration.
A great idea for a Diwali party is to hang LED string lighting in your backyard to set the atmosphere and ambiance of the party. For our party, we also wrapped the tree trunks in the backyard with lights. Akhil decided to go with mesh/net lights instead of traditional Christmas string lights for the trunks of the Pine and other tall trees, and it beautifully accented the trees. Overall, the lighting created a beautiful ambiance and helped illuminate the backyard’s dark areas.
For in depth details on how to hang The LED string lighting and wrap the tree trunks with lights plus where to buy them, be sure to read Diwali Lights to Make Your Home Sparkle. This post will also provide more ideas for outside Diwali party lighting with beautiful photos for more inspiration.
Decorating the Food Tables
The idea I envisioned for the party food display and tables involved creating a beautiful and colorful backdrop for this area. To make this vision possible, we had to re-organize our backyard area and move our girl’s swing set to our neighbor’s backyard (with their permission, of course).
I used colorful tulle fabric to generate tulle curtains, adding more required color and further accentuating the ambiance I wanted to create. I repurposed the available tulle fabric I had from my Holi party décor. You can read my Holi post; you may find it interesting.
Next, we added lighting on the back of the tulle to illuminate the fabric, which created a stunning pattern when backlit during our Diwali party. For in-depth details on how to add lighting to the fabric plus where to buy it, be sure to read Diwali Lights to Make Your Home Sparkle.
Doesn't it look magical?
We also hung faux marigold garlands, white jasmine flowers, and fabric tassels to the curtains, which I sourced from India through different vendors on Etsy. Any Diwali celebration would be incomplete without these types of flowers and decorations.
Ideas for Enhancing Party Sitting Areas
I used antique white-washed wooden trunks as coffee tables for one of the sitting areas for the party. These trunks added so much character to the overall arrangement. To further enhance the look for Diwali, I placed small iron trays with cutout work on the sides to set with lamps, various clear cylindrical glass vases, wine glasses with floating candles, fresh flowers, candle votives, and petals on the antique trunks.
I placed an oval brass tray set on the middle trunk with colorful votive candle holders and fresh flower petals. I also placed tall lanterns on the sides of furniture groupings for added lighting and a warm ambiance.
Altogether, I had five groups of sitting areas, of which two had fire pits. That allowed a perfect flow of guests to move between the various backyard areas. I did not have to rent any chairs or tables for this event, but you can rent tables and chairs from a party rental store if you need additional seating for your guests.
Cool Weather the Day of the Party
Since our Diwali party was outdoors, I closely followed the weather forecast for the day. As per the forecast, the weather was expected to be chilly on the day of our celebration, so I arranged two seating areas with fire pits for guests to stay warm during the party. I also rented a heating lamp that morning from a party rental place to keep our guests warm. We also advised all guests to dress warmly for an outside party on a chilly night.
Designate a Spot for Pictures
Everyone loves to take pictures to capture memories of festivities. I created a spot where my guests could create lasting memories of this special event. We added colorful bright garlands of marigolds and cloth tassels to adorn the tree branches to create a festive backdrop. I also added a beautiful set of brass Urli pots with lotus cutout work on the edges of the pots containing rose petals, flowers, and floating candles. The lotus cutwork brass Urlis were beautiful accent pieces for the picturesque backdrop, and this corner added a different dimension to the whole setup.
Ideas for Diwali Party Food
Any Indian festival/party would be incomplete without food since food is an integral part of this celebration in India. When deciding on the menu for the Diwali party, I considered that almost half of my guests would be of non-Indian descent. I wanted to showcase how food is vital to Indian celebrations, so my focus was not just on what food to serve but also how to beautifully present it. For ideas on food to serve at your Diwali party, check out my Diwali Food post.
Where to Buy Party Decor
Below are direct Amazon links to some of the products discussed in this post. Alternatively, you may also visit my EYP Amazon shop to find all of these items in one place.
- Iron Lotus Urli With StandPot For Floating Flower/Candle Festive Decor Set of 13 Piece 14/12/10 Size with Stand and 7 Votives Small Bowl 3.5, Ethnic Home Decor. By JAIN ART VILLA., Multicolor
- SATVIK 5 Pc Artificial 52 Inch Orange Marigold Garland Indian/American Wedding Party Mantle Decoration, Faux Garlands Wedding Garland, Diwali Decoration, Spring Bush Floral
- Set of 3 Glass Cylinder Vases 8 Inch Tall - Multi-use: Pillar Candle, Floating Candles Holders or Flower Vase – Perfect as a Wedding Centerpiece. (Clear)
- Red Co. Antique Brass Hammered Metal Decorative Bar/Vanity/Serving Tray with Handles
- 36'' Fire Pit Outdoor Wood Burning Fire Pits Large Steel BBQ Grill Firepit Bowl for Outside with Spark Screen,Cooking Grate,Poker for Patio Backyard Garden Picnic Bonfire,Oil Rubbed Bronze
- Deco 79 Wood Nesting Trunk, Set of 2 31", 28"W, White
- Hand Blown Italian Style Crystal White or Red Wine Glasses - Gift Packaging for Any Occasion - Lead-Free Premium Crystal Clear Glass - Set of 4-18 Ounce
- Craft And Party, 54" by 40 Yards (120 ft) Fabric Tulle Bolt for Wedding and Decoration (White)
- Outdoor Patio Heater Propane Powder Coated 46000BTU Tall Standing Portable Electric Gas Heaters for Outdoor Use with Wheels