Diwali

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Diwali / Deepavali
Diwali / Deepavali
Rangoli decorations, made using coloured powder, are popular during Diwali
Also called Deepavali
Observed by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists[1]
Type Indian, Cultural, Seasonal
Begins Dhanteras, 2 days before Diwali
Ends Bhai Dooj, 2 days after Diwali
Date Varies per Hindu Lunisolar calendar
2016 date

30 October (Sunday)-- North India

29 October (South India)
2017 date 19 October (Thursday)
2018 date 7 November
Celebrations Diya and lighting, home decoration, shopping, fireworks, puja (prayers), gifts, performing religious rituals, feast and sweets
Related to Kali Puja, Diwali (Jainism), Bandi Chhor Divas

Diwali or (Deepavali) is one of the India's biggest festivals. The word 'Diwali' means rows of lighted lamps. It is a festival of lights and Hindus celebrate it with joy. During this festival, people light up their houses and shops with Diyas (Small cup-shaped oil lamp made of baked clay). They worship the Lord Ganesha for good welfare and prosperity and Goddess Lakshmi for wealth and wisdom.

Diwali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius, Fiji, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and a school holiday in many states of the United States with a large Hindu population.

This festival is celebrated in the Hindu month of Kartika which falls sometime during October or November. It is celebrated to mark the return of Lord Rama from 14 years of Exile and his victory over the Demon Ravana. In many parts of India, Diwali is celebrated for five consecutive days and is one of the most popular festivals in India. Hindus regard it as a celebration of life and use the occasion to strengthen family and relationships. In some parts of India, it marks the beginning of the new year. It is celebrated not only in India but also abroad. The Hindus worship the Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi during Diwali.

Mandir (Temple) decorated with lights during Diwali

Hindus light up their homes and shops, to welcome the goddess Lakshmi, to give them good luck for the year ahead. A few days before Ravtegh, which is the day before Diwali, houses, buildings, shops and temples are thoroughly cleaned, whitewashed and decorated with pictures, toys and flowers. On the day of Diwali, people put on their best clothes and exchange greetings, gifts and sweets with their friends and family.

At night, buildings are illuminated with earthen lamps, candle-sticks and electric bulbs. Sweets and toy shops are decorated to attract the passers-by. The bazaars and-streets are overcrowded. People buy sweets for their own families and also send them as presents to their friends and relatives. At night, the goddess Lakshmi, is worshiped in the form of earthen images and silver rupee. Hindus believe that on this day, Lakshmi enters only the houses which are neat and tidy. People offer prayers for their own health, wealth and prosperity. They leave the light on in buildings believing that Lakshmi will find no difficulty in finding her way in.

References[change | change source]

  1. Charles M Townsend, The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199699308, page 440

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Dipaval at Wikimedia Commons