Happy Diwali! Find out everything you should know about the amazing festival of lights.
Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is a hindu holiday and India’s biggest national holiday, holding great importance to them. The festival lasts for up to five days and is as important to Hindus as Christmas is to Christians, and it marks the start of a new financial year for Indian businesses worldwide. An unmissable event you need to attend at least once in your life, we’ll now let you know everything you need about this celebration of lights that is a true beckon of hope every year.
When is Diwali?
Diwali in 2018 will start on Tuesday, the 6th of November and will continue for 5 days until Saturday, the 10th of November. The Hindu festival of lights, is celebrated in late Ashwin (September–October) and ends in early Kartika (October–November). The main festival night of this holiday coincides with the darkest, new moon night of the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika in Bikram Sambat calendar. This festival symbolizes the victory of good over evil. The lamps are lit as a sign of celebration and hope.
The celebrations occur all over the world, as emigrants in other countries celebrate this important holiday as well, a part of themselves and their culture that is spread wherever they go. Many people make a special effort to clean their homes, yards, and workplaces before the festival and decorate them with tiny electric lights or small clay oil lamps. Bowls of water with candles and flowers floating on the surface are also popular decorations.
They wear new clothes and give sweets to their family members, close friends and even business associates. As it is such an important holiday, it’s no surprise they go all out and attempt to celebrate this festival of hope to the maximum.
Fireworks are a must and are set off in the evening in some areas of India. Melas (fairs) are also held in many towns and villages.
The Significance of Diwali or Deepavali
The religious significance of the festival of lights varies regionally within India. The festival is associated with a diversity of deities, traditions, and symbolism. One tradition links the festival to legends in the Hindu deity, Rama, the seventh avatar of the god Vishnu, where this is the day is the day Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman reached Ayodhya after a period in exile and Rama’s army of good defeated demon king Ravana’s army of evil.
“Diwali marks the homecoming of Lord Rama with his wife Sita and brother Laxmana to his kingdom Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. It is believed that when the news of Lord Ram returning to his homeland reached Ayodhya, the entire city was lit with thousands of oil lamps (diyas) and decorated with flowers and beautiful rangolis. Since then, it has been known as the festival of lights. In order to welcome, Lord Ram into their homes people decorate their houses with oil lamps, which is why the festival is also called ‘Deepavali’. The tradition of lighting oil lamps symbolizes the victory of good over evil. “
- Dhanteras: 5th November 2018
- Naraka Chaturdashi: 6th November 2018
- Diwali: 7th November 2018
- Govardhan Puja: 8th November 2018
- Bhai Dooj: 9th November 2018
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