India’s most celebrated holiday, DIWALI, is on Sunday, November 12th of this year.
Also referred to as the Festival of Lights, Diwali commemorates the spiritual triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. For many, this marks a new calendar year and a path for new beginnings.
Families celebrate Diwali for five days in their own fashion while keeping its historical significance close to heart. Kids and adults alike enjoy dynamic festivities including fireworks, lighting diyas (clay lamps), rangoli (decorations with colored powder, rice, and flowers), family gatherings, exchanging gifts and blessings, and plenty of food and sweets.
Diwali Events for Families
However you choose to celebrate or learn about Diwali this year, cheers to a new beginning!
Bay Area Diwali Festival, Cupertino
When: Saturday, October 14 (11 am-6 pm)
Where: Memorial Park, 21121 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino
What’s great for families: This FREE Diwali event features a feast of food that appeals to all senses, cultural activities that include performances and rangoli display, arts & crafts booth, and a kids zone.
More Information >
Diwali Fireworks Bay Area, Pleasanton
When: Saturday, October 21 (noon-11 pm)
Where: Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Avenue, Pleasanton
What’s great for families: Families get an entire day of food and fun that ends with a display of fireworks at this AIA-hosted event. The Kids Zone attraction features pony rides, train rides, a petting zoo, and face painting. (Kids under 5 are FREE.)
View complete event details >
Festival of India & Diwali Mela, Milpitas
When: Saturday, October 28 (10:30am-8 pm)
Where: India Community Center, 525 Los Coches St, Milpitas
What’s great for families: Festival of Globe (FOG) is celebrating Diwali with arts & crafts, diya painting, dance performances, and more!
Find out more on Facebook >
Diwali Festival, Sunnyvale
When: Saturday, October 21 (10 am-4 pm)
Where: Sunnyvale Community Center, 550 E Remington Dr, Sunnyvale
What’s great for families: South Asian Cultural Association of Sunnyvale (SACAS) is hosting a FREE family event that features diya lighting, dances, food trucks, a kids zone, henna, and much more.
Learn more >
City Center Bishop Ranch Diwali Celebration, San Ramon
When: Sunday, November 5 (5 -6:30 pm)
Where: City Center Bishop Ranch, 6000 Bollinger Canyon Rd, Suite 2650, San Ramon (event located in Alexander Square)
What’s great for families: This Diwali celebration will feature live music and Bollywood dances, henna tattoos, a selfie station, and a rangoli art experience all amidst the bustling City Center full of shops and dining.
Learn more >
Diwali: Festival of Lights, San Jose
When: Saturday, November 11 (9:30 am-12:30 pm & 1:30-4:30 pm)
Where: Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, 180 Woz Way, San Jose
What’s great for families: Learn about the grand traditions of Diwali with dance, music, and activities that bring the Festival of Lights to life. As part of the museum’s Cultural Celebration Series, it is included with Museum admission. Members do not need to purchase tickets in advance.
Find out more >
Diwali: The Festival of Lights with Non-Stop Bhangra, Alameda
When: Saturday, November 18 (3-5 pm)
Where: 2513 Blanding Avenue, Alameda
What’s great for families: This one-of-a-kind, highly energetic celebration by Rhythmix Cultural Works features an evening of dance lessons, a live DJ, henna, a photo booth, food, drinks, arts & crafts for kids, and so much more. Before the event, practice your dancing and bhangra!
Ticket & Event Information >
Crafts and Art at Home
In addition to Bay Area Diwali events, kids can enjoy creative ways to honor Diwali right at home.
- Make your own rangoli powder and use stencils to create designs.
- Print out Diwali coloring sheets.
- Make these very cute paper diyas.
- Hang lights and decorate.
Diwali Food and Sweets
No celebration is complete without food and lots of traditional Diwali sweets. Here are some of our favorite places to shop for Diwali and grab a bite.
Favorite Diwali Grocery Stops
- Viks Chaat (Berkeley): Vik’s is the one-stop-shop to grab a delectable lunch or dinner while picking up your Indian groceries. They also have a nice selection of Diwali gifts and, of course, sweets! The gulab jamun here is our favorite!
- Bombay Spice House (Berkeley): Pick up all your groceries, shop for Diwali, and grab some samosas to-go.
- New India Supermarket (El Cerrito): A one stop shop for all of your Diwali (and everyday) staples.
- Milan Sweet Center (Milpitas): If you’re going to venture out of the 510, this is the place to go! You can choose from an array of sweets and indulge in one-of-a-kind vegetarian food options. You will be hooked!
Favorite Indian Cuisines
If we’re not cooking at home, our team enjoys these places for delicious Indian food around the East Bay.
- Annapurna (Oakland): an Oakland staple of Nepalese & Indian classics.
- Udupi Palace (Berkeley): the idli sambar is one of the best in the East Bay.
- India Palace (Alameda): flavorful curries with meat or vegetarian dishes.
- Chaat Bhavan (Fremont): choose from a variety of tasty Indian street food.
- India Garden (Pleasanton): an abundance of delicious flavors and selections.
- ID Company (Newark): dosa lovers can get their dosa fix right here.
- Amber (San Francisco): if you’re really looking to feel fancy for the night!
Navratri events for families
This time of year also includes festivities encompassing Diwali that celebrate good over evil. The nine nights of Navratri is the most renowned. This year there are plenty of events to join the circle (literally) of raas garba (folk dance), live music, prayer, colorful attire, and social gathering while honoring the powerful goddess Durga.
Navratri 2023 officially begins on Sunday, October 15, and ends on Tuesday, October 24 (event dates vary).
Gujarati Cultural Association (GCA) Bay Area Raas Garba, Fremont
Dates: Friday, Oct.13; Saturday, Oct.14; Friday, Oct.20, Saturday, Oct.21; Friday, Oct.27, Saturday, Oct.28
Time: 7:30 pm-11:30 pm
Where: Washington High School, 38442 Boulevard, Fremont
Website to RSVP >
SEF Dandia 2022, Santa Clara
When: Friday, Oct.20 & Saturday, Oct. 21
Time: 7:00 pm-midnight
Where: Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara
Kids 5 & under, FREE
Find out more >
Jingle Garba for the Entire Family, Fremont
When: Sunday, October 15th
Where: Centerville Junior High School, 37720 Fremont Blvd, Fremont
More information >
Discovery Dandiya Night, San Ramon
When: Saturday, November 4th
Time: 6:30 pm
Where: Dougherty Valley High School, 10550 Albion Rd., San Ramon
Ticket Information >
Did we miss one? Send us any events happening in your community.