Diwali, also known as Deepawali, is the Hindu festival of lights. It is celebrated for five days across India and other parts of southern Asia, as well as in many other places around the world. It is the biggest Hindu festival and most important Hindu holiday of the year. During Diwali, people perform cleansing rituals, decorate their homes, gather for special feasts, exchange gifts and light fireworks.
Though the exact dates change depending on local custom, the festival is typically celebrated in the Hindu month of Kartik, which falls in October or November. In 2018, the festival will start on Nov. 5 and end on Nov. 9, according to the Indian Express.
Diwali is "the most awaited and the most celebrated festival of India," according to the Society for the Confluence of Festivals of India (SCFI), an association that promotes awareness of the festival. It is like rolling "a bit of Christmas, New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July all into one," according to Hindustan Times.
The significance of Diwali
Diwali celebrates the light overcoming the dark, according to the SCFI's website, DiwaliFestival.org. The light symbolizes knowledge and wisdom, while darkness is a symbol for all negative forces, such as wickedness, destruction, violence, lust, envy, injustice, greed, oppression and suffering.
Households light dozens of little clay oil lamps, called diyas, to symbolize the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. The word "Diwali," or "Deepawali" in Sanskrit, means "a row of lamps" in Sanskrit.
The festival's roots lie in Hindu scriptures and legends, according to the SCFI, and there are many stories associated with the celebration. For example, Diwali commemorates the triumph of Rama, the lord of virtue, over the demon Ravana, as well as the return of Rama to his kingdom after 14 years of exile.
Hindus also commemorate the victory of the god Krishna over Narakasura, a king who had aligned himself with a demon, causing him to turn evil. Also, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth — including the wealth of money, pleasure, power, strength, knowledge, peace and children — is said to walk the Earth and bless people. Other legends are celebrated according to different local customs. Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists also celebrate Diwali but mark different events and stories. However, they all symbolize the victory of light over darkness.Customized diwali giftsDiwali gifts onlineDiwali gifts for office staffDiwali special giftSend diwali gifts to australiaDiwali gifts australiaOnline diwali gifts to australiaSend diwali gifts to usa
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