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Information on Diwali (Deepawali) – Festival of Lights

Diwali

Diwali (or Deepawali, Deepavali) is also termed as Festival of Lights. It is an ancient Hindu festival that is celebrated in autumn every year.

When is Diwali Celebrated?

Date and time: In the Gregorian calendar, Diwali falls between mid-October and mid-November. The festival doesn’t fall on any fixed date.

The position of moon determines the date on which Diwali festival wil be observed. According to the Hindu calendar, the no moon day, i.e., Amayasya is considered the perfect day to celebrate Diwali. Generally, it falls in the month of November or December of the English calender.

Who observe Diwali festival?

Diwali is the most sacred festival for the Hindus. India observe official holiday on this day. Besides India, Diwali festival is widely observed by across Sri Lanka, Singapore, Nepal, Malaysia and other countries with Hindu population.

What is the Significance of Diwali Festival?

This festival signifies that people who follow good path and doesn’t resort to injustice always win over the evil forces.

The lightening of candles also has a significance. Light refers to knowledge, wisdom and prosperity. Darkness refers to ignorance and evil-forces. This,  lightening of candlelights on during the Diwali festival signifies the prevalence of knowledge and wisdom over ignorance.

Why does people celebrate Diwali?

There are various mythological stories behind the celebration of Diwali and people follow according to their religious.

  1. Some celebrate it because of the marriage of Goddess Lakshmi with the Lord Vishnu.
  1. In Bengal, the Diwali festival is celebrated for the worship of Goddess Kali, the Goddess of Strength.
  1. In many Hindu homes, Lord Ganesha is also worshipped as the symbol of Wisdom.
  1. In Jainism, Diwali is celebrated as an event of Lord Mahavira attaining the nirvana, an eternal bliss.
  1. Many Hindus also celebrate Diwali in joy of return of Lord Rama along with his wife, Sita and with his brother Lakshman in Ayodha. Lord Rama returned to the capital of his Kingdom, Ayodhya, after spending 14 yrs in forest and defeating the demon King Ravana.
  1. In Sikhism, Diwali is celebrated as Bandi Chhor Divas.

How do People celebrate Diwali?

For Hindus, Diwali is the most important festival. The ritual and customs of Diwali varies from place to place.

Cleaning: For this occasion people clean, paint, decorate, and renovate their houses.

Litting of Dipak (diya): Every Hindu home, however lowly, is decorated on this day with twinkling dipak (clay lamps with oil) to welcome Godess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.

New dress: On the night of Diwali, people dress themselves in their best attire or outfit and take part in the family puja.

Worship: They worship Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi. Goddess Lakshmi is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. After the puja (worship) they sing a prayer collectively.

Hindu new year: The new commercial year of the Hindus begins with Diwali. The businessmen opens new account books on this day.

Burn crackers: Then they start burning the crackers and fireworks.

People should take utmost safety measures while dealing with fireworks.

Food: Finally, after all these events, the whole family take the dinner feast together which includes sweets and drinks.

Gifts: It is seen in the Hindu family that there is a custom of exchanging gifts between the loved ones.

Shopping: Diwali is the only festival which marks a major shopping period in the nation.

Rangoli: On Diwali, many rangoli designs and other creative art can be seen on floors, walkways and near doors of the house of the Hindus.

The range of designs and other creativite arts are generally  done by girls and women. The decorative lights and flowers are put by the boys. The fireworks are enjoyed  by every member of the family.

Also read: Short essay on Diwali Festival

What is the duration of Diwali festival?

Diwali festival is typically a 5 day long festival.

First day: On the first day, Diwali starts with Dhanteras which falls on the 18 day after the Dussehra.

Second day: On the second day, Naraka Chaturdasi is celebrated.

Third day: On the third day, Diwali, the main festival is celebrated.

Fourth day: After Diwali, i.e., on the fourth day, Diwali Padva is celebrated which dedicates the relationship between Husband & Wife.

Fifth day: Finally, the Diwali festival ends on the fifth day with Bhau-beej which dedicates the relationship between sister and brother, the bond between them, and the love between them.

Also read

  1. Major Festivals of India (National, Religious, Harvest and Seasonal)
  2. Wikipedia link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diwali
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