Everything To Know About Diwali – Festival Of Lights
May 09, 2022
Every year in autumn (October or November), millions of Hindus, Sikhs celebrate Diwali, a five-day festival that marks one of the most important holidays of the year in India. This religious celebration, which is also referred to as the Festival of Lights, is an auspicious occasion that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and hope over despair.
What is Diwali?
Diwali, or Dipawali, is India’s biggest and most significant holiday of the year. The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects them from spiritual darkness. This festival is as important to Hindus as the Christmas holiday is to Christians.
Over the centuries, Diwali has become a national festival that’s also enjoyed by non-Hindu communities. For instance, in Jainism, Diwali marks the nirvana, or spiritual awakening, of Lord Mahavira on October 15, 527 B.C.; in Sikhism, it honors the day that Guru Hargobind Ji, the Sixth Sikh Guru, was freed from imprisonment. Buddhists in India celebrate Diwali as well.
When is Diwali 2022?
Diwali is a five-day religious festival. The main festival day falls on a different date each autumn, timed to the Hindu lunar calendar, but it usually falls in October or November. In 2022, Diwali falls on the 24th of October.
How is Diwali celebrated?
While Holi is known as the “festival of colors,” Diwali is known as the “festival of lights” thanks to the practice of lighting oil lamps and decorating homes and cities with strings of twinkling lights to symbolize the victory of light over darkness.
The Diwali festival takes place over five days.
Day 1: Dhanteras, is for celebrating Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity, youth and beauty. On this first day, people buy new items such as jewelry, clothing and utensils and light lamps to welcome Lakshmi, according to India Today.
Day 2: The second day, known as Chhoti Diwali, Naraka Chaturdasi or Kali Chaudas, focuses on a story from Hindu mythology about the god Krishna and his defeat of the demon god Narakasura. On this day, some people put up twinkling lights to celebrate his victory.
Day 3: The third day, known as Diwali, Deepawali, or Lakshmi Puja, is the most important day of the Diwali festival. On this day, people visit family and friends to feast and exchange sweets and gifts. People also continue to light lamps and candles to welcome light and prosperity from the goddess Lakshmi.
Day 4: On the fourth day, known as Govardhan Puja or Padva, some people in northern India build small piles of cow dung as a symbol of how Krishna defeated the king of the Hindu gods, Indra, by lifting up a mountain.
Day 5: The final day, known as Bhai Dooj or Yama Dwitiva, is a day for brothers and sisters to honor one another. Siblings perform a ceremony called tilak and pray for one another.
On the last day of Diwali, many people also set off fireworks. In 2017, India’s supreme court banned the sale of fireworks for Diwali in the capital, Delhi, citing concerns about pollution and air quality,
What to Expect
Throughout the festival, local families decorate their homes with candles and beautiful small oil lanterns made from clay, lit to honor the Goddess Lakshmi. Families and friends get together to play cards and gamble, exchange gifts and share food. All the candlelight creates a magical atmosphere. This is the season for dinner parties, outdoor food festivals, and craft fairs, all of which help build up excitement ahead of the main Diwali celebration.
It is an exceptional chance to experience the excitement and the contagious positive vibe of the locals. Savor the yummy sweets prepared in every nook and corner. Marvel at the grandeur with which temples and localities are decorated.
What is the meaning of Diwali?
Diwali has ties to multiple religious stories across several faiths, so the meanings that people associate with Diwali may vary. In broad terms, it often represents the triumph of light over darkness.
In parts of northern India, many people associate Diwali with the ancient story of King Rama, an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu, according to History.com. According to the legend, Rama rescued his wife, Sita, from the evil king, Lanka, by building a bridge from India to Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, in Gujarat, a state in western India, the fourth day of Diwali coincides with New Year’s Day according to a Hindu calendar observed in that region. People celebrate by decorating their homes with lights and flowers,
What do people eat during Diwali?
Diwali is a time for feasting with family and enjoying plenty of sweet treats. One popular delicacy is kaju katli, a fudge-like sweet made with ground cashews and sugar, and sometimes flavored with a touch of rose water. Another popular treat in northern India is besan burfi, another kind of fudge-like bar made from flour, sugar and cardamom and sprinkled with almonds or pistachios. Jalebi, a kind of sweet fried bread, is also a popular choice. Basically, it isn’t Diwali without dessert!
Diwali is one of the most significant festivals of India that unite travelers all over the globe, and you have to be a part of this celebration, too.
Don’t miss out on this incredible festival by joining us on different India tours this October.