The Diwali Festival, also called the Festival of Lights, is a Hindu holiday that is celebrated throughout India, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Singapore, among other places. This unique tradition dates back to ancient times and has become one of the biggest fall festivals in Asia. It normally falls in the middle of October or November and the Festival of Lights is celebrated with friends and family, special treats, and more. To get a better idea of this holiday, let’s see how it is celebrated among different cultures.
- Hindus consider this holiday a celebration of good over evil, or light over darkness. It marks the return of Ram, who is known as the lord of virtue.
- For Buddhists, this day represents the time Emperor Ashoka gave up everything and adopted a path of peace.
- The Sikhs use Diwali to mark the anniversary of the release of Guru Hargobind from prison in 1619.
In most parts of the world, people celebrate by decorating their houses with candles and colorful lights. Firework displays are often a main source of attraction, along with music and the sharing of traditional sweets. Let’s take a look at some other ways this holiday is celebrated below.
- Many people light candles or earthen diyas, but today, fireworks are the most popular way to light up the celebration.
- Some people like to adorn their homes with colorful rangoli artworks.
- In Indian communities, many people celebrate Diwali by wearing new clothes.
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The Diwali Festival is celebrated over five days. Let’s take a look at each of them below.
- The first day is called Dhanteras. “Dhan” translates into “wealth”, and “teras” stands for the 13th day of the lunar fortnight on the Hindu calendar.
- The second day is called Naraka Chaturdasi, or “small Diwali”. It is said that on this day, the goddess Kali and Lord Krishna destroyed the demon Narakasura and freed more than 15,000 princesses that were held captive.
- The third day is known as Amavasya. Also called the new moon day, it is celebrated by lighting diyas and candles as well as shooting off fireworks.
- The fourth day is celebrated as the day Lord Krishna defeated Indra, the god of thunder and rain. In other places of the world, it is celebrated as New Years.
- The fifth and final day is called Bhai Duj, which is meant to celebrate sisters.
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