One of the leading tourist destinations of Gujarat and a favorite center for the honeymooners and the nature lovers, Diu is a lively and vivacious union territory of India where people from different religious, geographical and cultural backgrounds reside harmoniously over the centuries. Held under the Portuguese reign till 1961, Diu culture presents a fine blend of Gujarati (Kathiawari) and Portuguese way of life. The residents of Diu are very friendly and hospitable and they believe in enjoying the life to the heart’s content. They cherish going for a stroll, watching movies and plays, playing cricket and spending time with near and dear ones.
Even though the predominant religion of the city is Hinduism, considerable Christian and Muslim population is also found here. The most spoken languages of Diu are Gujarati, Hindi, English and Portuguese. The social customs and traditions followed in Diu are quite similar to those of Gujarati people and the culture of Diu reflects Indian, European and tribal rudiments. Diu reveals a perfect amalgamation of ancient and modern, traditional and contemporary in its character. Most of the Diu region is urbanized and about 47% of the total population belongs to the well developed areas of the region.
All the festivals commonly celebrated in India are enjoyed with ultimate gusto and enthusiasm here. Dance and music play an integral part in the ethnicity of Diu. Navaratri Festival celebrated in the Ashwin month of Hindu calendar is one of the most adored festivals when both men and women dance for nine consecutive nights to the tunes of dhol and traditional and modern Garba songs. Other than that, Makarsankranti, Holi, Krishna Janmashtami, Rakhi, Diwali, Idd, Christmas, New Year etc festivals are also celebrated at Diu with equal pomp and gaiety.
The name of Diu is particularly reckoned for its annual ‘Diu Festival’ held in the month of December. This ten days public fair organized by the tourism department draws swarms of tourists to this land every year. Recently in December 2011 the Diu Festival celebrated its Golden Jubilee Year. Major events organized at the Diu Festival include a number of cultural programs, folk and other dances, Ras Garbas, various competitions such as Rangoli, musical chair, salad decoration, fancy dress, poster, etc, races, matches, exhibitions, workshops and so on.
Yet another feature of Diu culture is the Folk Dance Festival when along with assortments of dances one gets the fantastic opportunity to witness the live performances of Mando, Verdigao and Vira Folk Dances. To top all these enchantments, Diu is also a harbor of exciting and adventurous beach activities for instance; surfing, Para sailing and swimming as well as the leisurely activities like sunbathing, gallivanting and hiking around the tiny island of Diu.