The end of October marks the beginning of Diwali. The celebration is one of India’s most important festivals, recognizing the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil.
People across the Indian diaspora observe the five-day holiday with lights, prayer, fireworks, family gatherings, and feasts. Annually based on the Hindu lunar calendar, Diwali encompasses the time it takes the Moon to orbit the Earth. In-person celebrations made a huge comeback in 2021 following the pandemic cancellations of 2020, and this year promises to be even bigger in Space City with festivals, marketplaces, and food specials.
October 21, 6–8 p.m. | Sugar Land, Free with RSVP
The First Colony Community Association is hosting a lights celebration Friday, October 21, from 6 - 8 p.m. in the parking lot of the First Colony Aquatic Center. The one-night festival will feature henna art stations, live music, and Rangoli coloring pages. Those who attend will have the chance to win a Diwali luminary bag.
October 23, 6:30–9:30 p.m. | The Woodlands/Spring, reservations required
“Amrina” translates to “princess” in Arabic, so expect this north Houston restaurant to celebrate Diwali in excess. Amrina also doubles as a nightlife hotspot, so expect a DJ and live performances. Executive Chef Bindra has curated a spread of traditional Indian cuisine for the observance. However, if you want to up the ante, you can book a table for two or more people and receive a special dessert with sparklers, a designated server for your table, and your choice of libations to choose from: red or white wine or champagne.
October 24, 6–8:30 p.m. | Heights, Free
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) begins its Diwali Festival starting Monday, October 24, from 6 - 8:30 p.m. The celebration will include a candle-lighting ceremony, kirtan, a class, and a feast, all traditions to bring good health and fortune into the new year.
October 29, 3–10 p.m. | Missouri City, $10 and up
Reuniting Indians in Cultural and Social Activities (RIICAS) is hosting Diwali Masti at Willow Ridge High School on October 29. The all-encompassing commemoration will feature dance performances, a festival attire contest, and a fashion show. Be sure to block out your schedule, the event lasts from 3 - 10 p.m. And don’t fret if you get hungry. Event organizers will provide authentic Indian feast for dinner.
October 26, 6:30–10:30 p.m. | Sugar Land, Free
Sugar Land Town Center’s flagship Indian restaurant is Mahesh’s Kitchen is celebrating Diwali significantly this year. On October 22, Mahesh’s Kitchen will host a free, family-friendly event that immerses the entire community in Indian culture. Starting at 6:30 p.m. everyone is welcome to live music, Punjabi Dhol, Dandiya, Bhangra dancers, food, plus face painting and henna for kids.
November 12, 5 –9 p.m. | Richmond, Free
For a full-fledged Diwali experience, Harvest Green is the place to be on November 12. Organizers are transforming the landscape into a festive Diwali show. Throw on your finest threads, and enjoy a show that includes live music, authentic Indian food, and more.
November 8 thru November 12 | Museum District, Tickets start at $15
The Children’s Museum of Houston celebrates Diwali with a series of culturally rich activities and arts and crafts for kids during WonderWeek. Kids will be able to create their own mandalas, flame-free paper diyas and sparklers, and Rangolis.
October 27, 11:00 a.m. | The Woodlands, Admission is $7.50
In celebration of Diwali, the Woodlands Children’s Museum will host a special reading of The Diwali Gift on October 27 by Shweta Chopra and Shuchi Mehta. The children’s book tells the story of three curious monkeys highlighting Indian culture and the traditions and celebrations that are part of this holiday.
November 5, 6–10 p.m. | Galveston, Tickets start at $65 for kids, $95 for adults
Galveston is hosting a Diwali dinner cruise around the bay for the first time ever. The Diwali celebration sets sail at 6 p.m. on the Colonel Paddlewheel Boat. The boat ride will include a selfie booth and a fireworks display. A Desi vegetarian food dinner with desserts is included in the ticket price. A cashless bar and nonalcoholic beverages will also be on deck.