Events & Activities

Experience The Magic Of the Festival Of Lights In Massachusetts 

The festival of lights in Massachusetts is a cherished tradition that illuminates towns and cities across the state with festive cheer during the holiday season. 

From dazzling light displays to cultural celebrations, this annual event brings communities together to celebrate diverse traditions, spread joy, and create lasting memories. 

As one of the year’s most anticipated events, the Festival of Lights showcases the rich cultural tapestry of Massachusetts and highlights the spirit of unity and togetherness that defines the state’s residents. 

In this introduction, we’ll explore the significance of the Festival of Lights in Massachusetts, examining its cultural, social, and economic impact on the region.

Where Is The Festival Of Lights In Massachusetts? 

The festival of lights, also known as Diwali, celebrates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. It is one of India’s most popular and widely celebrated festivals among the Indian diaspora worldwide. 

In Massachusetts, there are many places where you can enjoy the Festival of Lights with your family and friends. Here are 7 of them: 

Boston Common  

Boston Common 

The Boston Common is the oldest public park in the United States and a popular destination for locals and tourists. The park hosts a Diwali celebration with cultural performances, food stalls, and a spectacular fireworks display every year. The event is free and open to all.

Harvard Square  

Harvard Square  

Harvard Square is Cambridge’s historic and cultural center, home to Harvard University and many shops, restaurants, and cafes. During Diwali, the square is lit with colorful lanterns and candles featuring live music, dance, and art. 

You can also visit the nearby Harvard Art Museums and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology for more Diwali-themed exhibits and activities.

Worcester Art Museum  

Worcester Art Museum  

The Worcester Art Museum is one of New England’s largest and most respected art museums, with a collection of over 38,000 works of art from ancient to contemporary times. 

The museum organizes a yearly Diwali festival, with workshops, demonstrations, lectures, and performances related to Indian art and culture. 

You can also explore the museum’s galleries and see some of the finest examples of Indian paintings, sculptures, textiles, and jewelry.


Festival Of Lights In Salem

Salem is a historic city on the north shore of Massachusetts, famous for its witch trials, maritime heritage, and Halloween attractions.

During Diwali, the city transforms into a magical wonderland of lights, with thousands of lanterns, candles, and fairy lights decorating the streets, buildings, and parks. 

You can also enjoy various cultural events, such as a Bollywood dance party, a henna workshop, a yoga session, and a Diwali parade.


Festival Of Lights In Springfield  

Springfield is the third-largest city in Massachusetts and the birthplace of basketball, Dr. Seuss, and the Springfield Armory.

The town celebrates Diwali with a grand gala at the MassMutual Center, featuring a buffet dinner, a fashion show, a talent show, and a DJ night. 

You can also visit the Springfield Museums and the Basketball Hall of Fame for more fun and learning.


Festival Of Lights In Lowell 

Lowell is a city in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts, known for its industrial history, cultural diversity, and artistic vitality. 

The city hosts a Diwali Mela yearly at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium, with various stalls, games, rides, and entertainment. You can also enjoy a traditional Diwali puja, a musical concert, and a dance competition.



Amherst is a town in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, home to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst College, and Hampshire College. The city celebrates Diwali with a community potluck, a cultural program, and a candlelight vigil. 

You can also visit the Emily Dickinson Museum, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and the Yiddish Book Center for more literary and artistic inspiration.

Why Does Massachusetts Perform A Festival Of Lights? 

Massachusetts celebrates the festival of lights as a cherished tradition, illuminating towns and cities with festive cheer during the holiday season. The reasons behind this annual celebration are diverse, reflecting the state’s cultural, spiritual, and community values. 

Here are seven reasons why Massachusetts performs a festival of lights: 

Cultural Tradition  

The festival of lights honors cultural traditions and religious celebrations, such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Diwali, essential for diverse communities across Massachusetts. 

These events allow people to come together, celebrate their heritage, and share in the season’s joy.

Community Spirit  

Community Spirit  

The Festival of Lights fosters a sense of community spirit and togetherness, bringing neighbors, friends, and families together to enjoy festive activities and celebrations. 

It strengthens social bonds and promotes a sense of belonging and unity among residents of Massachusetts.

Holiday Festivities  

The Festival of Lights marks the beginning of the holiday season in Massachusetts, setting the stage for a month-long celebration filled with festive decorations, holiday markets, and seasonal events. 

It creates a magical atmosphere that enhances the joy and excitement of the holidays for residents and visitors alike.

Tourism and Economic Boost  

The Festival of Lights attracts tourists from near and far, boosting local economies and supporting businesses in Massachusetts. 

Visitors flock to the state to experience the enchanting light displays, participate in holiday activities, and explore the festive atmosphere.

Spiritual Reflection  

For many people, the festival of lights is a time for spiritual reflection and renewal, offering moments of introspection and gratitude amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. 

It provides an opportunity to pause, connect with one’s faith or spirituality, and appreciate the blessings of life.

Seasonal Joy  

The festival of lights brings joy and cheer to residents of Massachusetts, brightening up the long winter nights with colorful light displays, festive decorations, and joyful celebrations. 

It instills a sense of wonder and excitement, creating lasting memories for people of all ages.

Symbolism of Hope and Resilience  

In times of adversity or uncertainty, the Festival of Lights symbolizes hope and resilience, reminding people of the power of light to overcome darkness.

It offers reassurance and inspiration, encouraging communities to unite and support each other during challenging times.

Overall, the festival of lights in Massachusetts is a cherished tradition that celebrates culture, community, and the spirit of the season, enriching the lives of all who participate.


When does the Festival of Lights take place in Massachusetts?

The festival of lights typically takes place during the holiday season, starting in late November or early December and continuing through the New Year. Exact dates vary depending on the events and celebrations organized by different towns and cities.

What can I expect to see at the Festival of Lights in Massachusetts?

At the festival of lights in Massachusetts, visitors can expect dazzling light displays adorning streets, parks, and landmarks, festive decorations, and cultural performances celebrating various traditions. 

Activities may include holiday markets, tree-lighting ceremonies, live music, and visits with Santa Claus.

Are there any admission fees for the Festival of Lights events in Massachusetts?

Admission fees for Festival of Lights events in Massachusetts vary depending on the specific activities and venues. Some events offer free admission, while others require tickets to particular attractions or activities. 

It’s recommended to check the event website or contact organizers for admission fees and ticketing information.

How can I participate in the Festival of Lights in Massachusetts?

Visitors can participate in the Festival of Lights in Massachusetts by attending events and activities organized by local towns, cities, and organizations. 

This may include attending light displays, cultural performances, holiday markets, and other festive celebrations. Many events are family-friendly and suitable for visitors of all ages.

Are any COVID-19 precautions in place for Massachusetts Festival of Lights events?

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, festival of Lights events in Massachusetts may have specific health and safety protocols to protect attendees. This may include mask mandates, social distancing measures, capacity limits, and enhanced sanitation procedures. 

Visitors are encouraged to check event websites or contact organizers for the latest information on COVID-19 precautions.


The festival of lights in Massachusetts is more than just a celebration of the holiday season – it symbolizes community, tradition, and resilience. 

As towns and cities across the state come alive with colorful light displays, festive decorations, and joyful celebrations, residents and visitors are reminded of the importance of unity, compassion, and hope. 

Whether honoring cultural traditions, fostering community spirit, or boosting local economies, the Festival of Lights in Massachusetts is a beacon of light and warmth during the darkest days of winter. 

As we gather with loved ones to revel in the season’s magic, let us embrace the spirit of the festival of lights and spread joy and goodwill to all.

Photo of author

Laura Chassaigne

After spending her early years in Boston, Laura moved abroad and has lived in Montreal, London, and Paris. She now shares a home with her husband and daughter at the top of Beacon Hill, and these days, she can often be found chasing her daughter in the Public Garden or downtown playgrounds. Laura has a background in art history and archaeology and is also a certified Kripalu yoga teacher. Connect with Laura on Twitter or Instagram.

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