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Diwali 2023

10 Oct 2023

Diwali is a festival of lights and one of the major religious festivals in Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism. Observances of Diwali differ depending on region and tradition.

The festival usually lasts 5 days and is celebrated during the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika (between mid-October and mid-November). In 2023, the 5 days of Diwali commence on 10 November.  The main festivities for Diwali are held in India, but it is also celebrated in many other countries around the world.  Many people will travel abroad to visit friends and relatives at this time.

Advice for travellers

The potential risks to your health will vary depending on your pre-existing general health and what activities you are planning whilst abroad.  If you are planning on travelling to India to celebrate Diwali, you consider the following.

Before Travel

  • Be aware that international travel guidance and event guidance may change at short notice.
  • Review the latest FCDO foreign travel advice for India including entry requirements, quarantine restrictions and any challenges related to the climate (such as unusually high temperatures). 
  • Ensure you have valid travel insurance in place.

Check that you are up to date with vaccines for day to day life in the UK. In the past large gatherings of people in close contact, have been responsible for the transmission of highly infectious diseases such as measles and flu.

Review the India country page for information on health risks and information on disease outbreaks in the alerts section.

During Travel

Mosquitoes can spread disease that include malaria,  denguechikungunya and zika virus: know how to protect yourself against mosquito bites.

Always take care with respiratory hygiene and hand hygiene, and take safe food and water precautions at all times to reduce your risk of illness.

Excessive use of alcohol and/or illegal drugs can lead to an increase in risk-taking behaviours which may lead to accidents or injuries occurring.

The temperatures in India can exceed 30’C.

  • Make sure you keep well hydrated and seek shade during the hottest hours of the day, and consider wearing a hat / head covering.
  • Practice sun safety to help reduce the risk of sunstroke and other heat disorders in warm weather, as well as skin cancer.

For further information on disease risks, other health risks and vaccination advice, see the India country page.

After Travel

If you become unwell in the weeks/months after travel, particularly with a high temperature (fever), flu-like symptoms, confusion, rash and/or diarrhoea, you should seek prompt medical advice, and ensure you mention your travel history to the health professional.