Diwali

Gift boxes of sweets are packaged for Diwali at Surati Farsan Mart restaurant in Artesia, CA. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times / October 19, 2012)

Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights, is the culture's most lavishly celebrated holiday.

Rather like Christmas and New Year's Eve rolled into one, the five-day fete is filled with parties, street festivals, fireworks, gift giving — and oh, yes, plenty of good food. Dictated by the Hindu calendar, this year Diwali falls on Nov. 13-17, but often restaurants arrange their celebrations to coincide with weekends.

• Tanzore's sixth annual Diwali celebration, Nov. 9-13, offers the chef's special three-course festival menus, vegetarian and non-vegetarian, along with a Bollywood dance show, henna artists, live tabla and sitar music with a DJ and dancing. $49 per person. Tanzore also hosts Family Diwali Day on Nov. 11, with children's performances by NamasteKidz & Karmagraphy, plus a fashion show, arts and crafts, jewelry sales, henna artists, live DJ and more. $10 for adults, $5 for children or free for kids younger than 5. 50, N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 652-3838, http://www.tanzore.com

• Chakra restaurants of Irvine and Beverly Hills host a special Diwali evening Champagne buffet of multi-regional and modern Indian dishes. Live tabla and traditional music at both venues. On Nov. 13 at 151 S. Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 246-3999, http://www.chakracuisine.com. On Nov. 17 at 4143 Campus Drive, Irvine, (949) 854-0009.

• Naya restaurant presents its annual L.A.-Mumbai Sister City Affiliation Diwali celebration beginning at 6 p.m. Nov. 4. Multi-course chef's feast, wines from Raymond Vineyards in Napa, Bollywood dancers, tarot readings, henna painting, gift bags and more. 3705 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 663-8268, http://www.nayasunset.com

• The Diwali Utsav dinner and gala musical and dance show takes place Oct. 27 at Scherr Forum, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Dinner at 5 p.m. Show is 7-10:30 p.m. Tickets are $35, or with preferred seating for $50. 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, http://www.hindutemplevc.com.

—Linda Burum