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
2015 date 11 November (Wednesday)
10 November (Tuesday) in South India[2]
2016 date

30 October (Sunday)-- North India

29 October (South India)
2017 date 21 October (Saturday)
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 (Deepavali or Deepawali or Dipawali) is one of the India's biggest festivals. Diwali means rows of lighted lamps. It is a festival of lights and every Indian celebrates it with joy. During this festival, people light up their houses and shops. They worship Lord Ganesha for good welfare and prosperity and Goddess Lakshmi for wealth and wisdom.

Deepawali is an official holiday in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Singapore.

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 Laxmi during Diwali.

Mandir (Temple) decorated with lights during Dipawali

Firecrackers, which use sulphur and paper, put sulphur dioxide and charcoal into the air so crackers are now forbidden in silent zones i.e. near hospitals, schools and courts.

Hindus light up their homes and shops, to welcome the goddess of wealth and fortune, Goddess Lakshmi to welcome her in 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, white-washed and decorated with pictures, toys and flowers. On the Diwali day, people put on rich clothes, exchanging greetings, gifts and sweets on this day.

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, Goddess Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, is worshiped in the form of earthen images and silver rupee. People believe that on this day, Hindu Goddess Laxmi enters only those houses which are neat and tidy. People offer prayers for their own health, wealth and prosperity. They leave the light on in buildings in their belief that Goddess Laxmi 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
  2. "Holiday calendar". National Portal of India. http://india.gov.in/calendar/2015-11. Retrieved 2015-10-30.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Dipavali at Wikimedia Commons