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Unlocking New Cultures: Top Festivals and Traditions International Indian Students in the UK Should Experience

18 Jan 2024

Did you know that 370 thousand Indians reside and work in the UK? With such a vibrant community in the foreign land, these Indians never forget to pay tribute to their Indian heritage through celebrating festivals. They also help their loved ones back home during festivals and send money to India from UK. 

In the UK, diverse cultures join together to celebrate India's numerous festivals. The beauty and color of Indian festivities erupted across the nation, including in London's temples and streets under a greyer sky. Are you planning to celebrate any Indian holidays this year, such as Diwali or Holi? Here is your complete guide. 

Top Indian Festivals Celebrated in the UK 

Here are some of the most famous festivals that are celebrated in the UK for the Indian expat community. 


In practically every region of India, people celebrate Holi as a time to let go and embrace happiness. The festival's most well-known tradition is based on a tale involving the Hindu deity Krishna. Young Krishna, embarrassed by his dark skin, feared that his beloved Radha would not embrace him. Krishna's mother advised him to joyfully dye Radha's face any hue he pleased, so he started the vibrant festival of Holi. Despite differences in origin legends, the essence of Holi always remains the same, which unites people. with the honor of Radha and Krishna's love, everyone, regardless of age or social standing, is covered with colorful gulals.

Holi’s Duration

This year's festivities, which lasted for a day and a night, took place on March 20 and 21, the first full moon between the end of February and the middle of March. Religious rites are carried out on what is known as Holika Dahan, the first night. To commemorate the triumph of good over evil, bonfires are lighted and prayers are said asking that any evils inside you be eliminated.

Holi’s Celebration

Holi, also known as Rangwali Holi, is celebrated the day after. On this day, water balloons and water cannons shoot out of the multicolored clouds into the streets, covering everyone in colored powder. The Festive of Colours, which combines the vibrant colors of Holi with a festive atmosphere, brings the Holi Festival to London. Similar programming, including DJs, dance music, and a massive countdown to the colors being thrown in the air, is offered by the Holi One celebration at Wembley. Manchester and several other cities also celebrate Holi.


During Diwali, people decorate their homes with lights as a symbol of the triumph of good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. It is a celebration that, for many Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists, embodies the idea of unity within diversity. The celebrations take place on Sunday, October 27 this year.

Diwali’s Celebration

Some of the best and largest celebrations take place in Leicester, with a cultural event program that begins on the Golden Mile and spreads out across the city. Diwali celebrations may also be seen in the heart of London, notably Trafalgar Square, where tens of thousands of people flock to participate. You can send money online to India from the UK through ACE during the festive season.

Family Event

The Electric Woods on the Isle of Wight also offers an immersive family event experience. To commemorate the day of light, the forest is lighted with Indian colors, and workshops centered on the other four days of Diwali are held throughout your stay.

Navratri and Dussehra

In the UK, the celebration of Navratri brings together people from Indian communities for nine nights of dancing and festivities. Locations like Leicester and London buzz with events where people do traditional Garba and Dandiya dances. After Navratri, Dussehra is a time for plays and processions that tell the story of the Ramayana. The highlight is the burning of the demon king Ravana's effigy, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. These events create a mini India in the UK, with vibrant colors, music, and engaging performances.


Onam, a popular harvest festival from the southern Indian state of Kerala, is celebrated with joy by the Malayali community in the UK. The festival includes the creation of flower arrangements called Pookalam and a special feast known as Onasadya that many enjoy. Cultural performances that showcase traditional music and dance, like Kathakali, are also part of the festivities. The festival is a beautiful exhibition of Kerala's culture and is a way for the Malayali community in the UK to connect with their roots.

How to Transfer Remittances to India from the UK During Festivals?

Festivals are a time of joy and generosity, and it's a tradition for many to support their loved ones back home in India during these celebrations. Sending remittances can be a considerable aspect of this generosity. If you're looking to send money to India from UK during the festive seasons, ACE Money Transfer provides a secure and efficient solution to ensure your loved ones receive your gifts promptly. Moreover, you also get fee-free transfers to India. Here's how you can make smooth transactions with ACE Money Transfer.

Choose the Right Service Provider

When it comes to sending money internationally, selecting a reliable and trustworthy service can make all the difference. ACE Money Transfer is recognized for its robust security, competitive exchange rates, and low transfer fees, making it an excellent choice for those wishing to send money to India. The user-friendly platform greatly simplifies the remittance process.

Register and Create an Account

To begin with ACE Money Transfer, you'll need to register and create an account. The sign-up process is very simple. Just visit the website or download the app, and provide the necessary personal details to set up your account. Make sure you have valid identification and your UK address on hand to ensure a smooth account verification process.

Enter Transaction Details

Once your account is verified, you’re ready to send money. Log in, and enter the amount you wish to send to India. The app will display the current exchange rate, the fee for your transaction, and the final amount your recipient will receive. This transparency helps you manage your finances effectively, especially during festival times when every penny counts.

Provide Recipient Information

The next step is to provide your recipient's details. You'll need their full name, address, and banking information if you're opting for a bank transfer. ACE Money Transfer also allows cash pickups at designated locations in India, which is a convenient option for recipients who may not have easy access to banking services.

Choose Payment Method and Confirm Transaction

Select a payment method. ACE Money Transfer accepts a variety of payment options, including bank transfers, debits, and credit cards. Once you've chosen a method, review all the details of your transaction to ensure everything is correct, and then confirm the payment. Your money is now on its way!

Bottom Line

During festive times, when spirits are high and the desire to connect with loved ones is even stronger, ACE Money Transfer ensures that distance is no barrier to spreading happiness. With their streamlined service, sending remittances to India is as simple and joyous as the festivals themselves. Sign up on ACE Money Transfer today to enjoy your first free money transfer from UK to India. 


Which UK festivals should Indian students not miss out on?  

International students should experience the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Notting Hill Carnival, and Bonfire Night.

How can Indian students participate in local UK festivals?

Students can join festival events, volunteer, or attend with local friends and university societies.

What's the best way to learn about UK traditions?

Engaging in community events and exploring museums and cultural centers are great ways.

Where can students find information about festival dates and activities?  

University boards, social media, and local council websites are reliable sources.

Will joining UK festivals help with homesickness?

Participating in celebrations can create a sense of community and alleviate homesickness.

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