Murugian Mohan, 47, says Diwali - or Deepavali - as it is known back in his home country in Malaysia, is a time when he often misses family.
"Back home, it is a time of family reunions and open homes and it is a public holiday," said Murugian, an asset manager.
"Of course there'll be food, lots of it, we'll be eating all day because at each home we visit, there'll be even more food waiting for us."
Colloquially known as the Festival of Lights, it originated as a Hindu festival but is today celebrated by non-Hindus and Indians from around the world.
"We light lamps and candles to symbolise the triumph of light over darkness, and good over evil," Murugian said.
He said Deepavali is regarded as one of the most important festivals for Hindus.
"Homes will be cleaned and we will shop for new clothes," Murugian said.
"Our houses will be brightly decorated, with colourful paper lanterns and kolam on the floor made from coloured rice and coloured powder."
Since moving to New Zealand with his family nine years ago, celebrations have been different and a little more quiet.
"It's a little more low key, but now friends have become family," he said.
"Our celebrations are still centred around food, usually it's pot luck, so we get to taste the best of each other's cooking."
Although the Auckland Diwali Festival is being held this weekend, the actual festival's dates are decided by the lunar calendar. This year it falls on Wednesday, November 7.
The festival signifies different things to different Indian groupings.
To Gujaratis, the festival honours Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, but Northern Indians celebrate the god Rama's homecoming to the kingdom of Ayodhya after a 14-year exile.