Every year Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains around the world celebrate the Indian Festival of Lights called Diwali. This celebration lasts five days and takes place during the Hindu lunisolar month, Kartika. On the Gregorian calendar, the festival falls between October and November.
Diwali is the biggest holiday of the year in India. The festival symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness. Diwali also celebrates good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. The festival is associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity. Diwali is also linked to other Hindu gods, including Vishnu and Krishna.
Other faiths in India also celebrate their version of Diwali. For example, the Jains celebrate to mark the final liberation of Mahavira. He is an older contemporary of Gautama Buddha who preached Jainism in ancient India. The Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas, which coincides with Diwali. The event marks the release of Guru Hargobind from prison. Buddhists in India also celebrate this holiday.
Today, more countries than ever celebrate Diwali. The festival of lights is celebrated in Australia, Fiji, Nepal, Singapore, Britain, Indonesia, Japan, and Thailand.
HOW TO OBSERVE #Diwali
Many people in India celebrate by lighting clay lamps and putting them outside their homes. These lights represent the inner light that protects the home from spiritual darkness. The holiday is celebrated for five days. Each day has its own small celebration. These celebrations include:
First Day: People clean their homes or shop for gold to help bring good fortune.
Second Day: People create patterns called rangoli on their floor with colored sand.
Third Day: Families gather to pray to Goddess Lakshmi, which is followed by feasts and fireworks.
Fourth Day: Friends and relatives visit one another and exchange gifts.
Fifth Day: Brothers visit their married sisters, and enjoy a lavish meal together.
You can participate in this celebration by learning more about Diwali and the Indian culture. If you know someone from India, ask them how they celebrate Diwali. You can also spread awareness for this special day on social media with #Diwali.
Also known as Deepavali, this celebration of lights goes back 2,500 years. Because it’s such an ancient holiday, its exact origins are unknown. Most of the stories associated with Diwali are about the triumph of good over evil. One such story involves King Rama, one of the incarnations of the god, Vishnu. Other stories link Diwali to the Indian god, Krishna. Through the years, along with becoming a national holiday in India, it’s also considered a religious holiday for Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains throughout the world.
DATES DEWALI BEGINS
24 October 2022
12 November 2023
1 November 2024
21 October 2025
8 November 2026
29 October 2027
17 October 2028
5 November 2029
26 October 2030