Diwali: The Festival of Light

Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, the moment where each face turns into a blissful smile, the day when Indian culture becomes the reflection of our souls, the time when there is victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. 

So when is Diwali?

The festival typically takes place some time between October and November, with each year changing the date.

In 2020, Diwali starts on Thursday 12th of November and lasts for five days, with Saturday 14th of November as the main day of the festivities.

Where does the Diwali name come from?

The word Diwali is derived from the Sanskrit word deepavali, meaning “lighted lamp rows.” With small oil lamps called diyas, apartments, shops and public places are decorated prepossessingly.

What’s the festival about?

Each religion marks different historical events and stories. Hindus celebrate the return of deities Rama and Sita to Ayodhya after their 14-year exile in the forests. They also celebrate the day when God Ram devoured (metaphorically) the ten headed demon, Raavan. 

Sikhs particularly celebrate the release from prison of the sixth guru Hargobind Singh in 1619. But Sikhs celebrated the festival before this date. In fact, the foundation stone of the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the most holy place in the Sikh world, was laid on Diwali in 1577. The founder of Jainism is Lord Mahavira. During Diwali, Jains celebrate the moment he reaches a state called Moksha (nirvana, or eternal bliss).

 

Traditions

  • Many lights and oil lamps are lit on the streets and in houses
  • People visit their relatives and have feasts
  • Fireworks and festivities are an essential part of the occasion
  • Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, is worshipped as the bringer of blessings for the new year

–  Aadi and Armaan

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