For many local businesses in the Lower Mainland, Diwali actually brings in more success than other local festivals.
The Diwali season ironically occurs between two of the most commercialized and economically beneficial holidays of the year: Halloween and Christmas. However, for many local businesses in the Lower Mainland, Diwali may actually bring in more success than either.
Diwali is a beautiful festival, for whatever reason people may celebrate, religious or other, bringing together family and friends to appreciate a vibrant culture. Timeless traditions such as gifting sweets, new clothes or dining with family, root back centuries as a form of community bonding.
In the Lower Mainland, we have hundreds, perhaps thousands of sweet shops dedicated to Indian cuisine. And many of Diwali’s festivities center around food.
Pratap Sandhu from Prabu Foods notes that sales more than double around the holiday, to the point where there are thousands of transactions occurring on a daily basis. Popular selling items include barfi, rasgulla and gulab jamun – three trademark items of a gifted sweet box.
But not only are more customers coming in than usual, they also tend to buy more on average. To make sure they aren’t overwhelmed by this surge in popularity, Prabu Sweets, like a lot of sweet shops around this time of year, hire more staffing as well as do more pre-preparation so they can comfortably accommodate their customers.
Gary Bakshi of An Indian Affair Restaurant, which caters to a crowd composed of both South Asian and Caucasian members, employs similar tactics to deal with busy times. He adds that in a restaurant, around Diwali, the main change is that they are usually seating larger groups, such as extended families. These groups do not gravitate toward specific delicacies like in sweet shops, and rather tend to buy across the menu.
Surprisingly, clothing houses do not enjoy as much benefit as sweet shops and restaurants do from Diwali. While gifting and wearing new clothes is an integral part of the culture of Diwali, people do not care for it as much as they do in India.
A representative from a Surrey-based Fashion House says there is a big difference in the scale of how Diwali is celebrated in India and here. While the Lower Mainland celebrates reasonably well, in comparison to India where clothing shops and centers are ridiculously overrun with patrons on Diwali, it simply does not measure up. Nevertheless, holiday fashion trends here still shadow those in India.
Diwali at its very base is essentially a way for people to become closer and form communities. Whether it be through food or clothes, make sure to celebrate Diwali with your family, friends and community.