Diwali is the five-day celebration of lights, celebrated by a large number of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains over the world. The celebration, which matches with the Hindu New Year, celebrates fresh starts and the triumph of good finished malicious and light finished haziness. The actual day of Diwali is traditionally celebrated on the festival’s third day, which this year falls on Thursday, October 23. The festival usually falls between the middle of October and the middle of November, although this is decided upon by the Hindu lunar calendar. While each faith has its own reason to celebrate the festival, one of the most popular stories told is the legend of Lord Rama and his wife Sita returning to their kingdom in northern India from exile after defeating the demon king Ravana in the 15th century BC.
How is Diwali celebrated?
The festival is marked by large firework displays, to remember the celebrations which, according to the legend, took place upon Rama’s return as locals set off their own version of fireworks. Those celebrating the festival also light traditional earthen diyas (candles) and decorate their houses with colourful rangoli artworks – patterns created on the floor using coloured rice or powder. During Diwali, families and friends share sweets and gifts and there is also a strong belief in giving food and goods to those in need. It is also traditional for homes to be cleaned and new clothes to be worn at the time of the festival.
10 Interesting Facts about Diwali.
1. Diwali is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the Hindu month of Kartika. Hinduism is a major religion of India, and is considered to be the oldest religion in the world.
2. More than 800 million people celebrate this festival in various ways.
3. It is celebrated in honor of Lakshmi – the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity.The festival also marks the return of
4. The festival also marks the return of the Lord Rama and Sita after completing fourteen years in exile.
5. Originating in India, Diwali is a celebration of lights. It is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘deepavali’ which means ‘row of lamps’ and represents the victory of good over evil. It also signifies the end of the harvest season and the onset of winter. The words ‘Shubh Diwali or Deepavali’ are exchanged as greetings during Diwali, which mean ‘Have an auspicious Diwali’.
6. The festival signifies the victory of light over darkness.
7. Diwali also plays a significant role in Sikhism. The foundation stone of the Golden Temple was laid on the day of Diwali in 1577. Sikhs also celebrate Diwali, as it marks the release of their gurji – Guru Hargobind Sahibji – and 52 other kings and princess of India that were made captives by the mogul emperor Shah Jahan.
8. The total cost of the firecrackers exploded in Diwali is estimated to be around one billion dollars. This is a significant amount of money.
9. Diwali is the 5 days Hindus festival, it is not celebrated in India only but also it is celebrated in Trinidad & Tobago, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Guyana, Surinam, Singapore, Malaysia and Fiji.
10. Playing card games during Diwali is believed to bring good luck and prosperity in the year ahead.