Learn more about the Hindu festival of lights!
Who Celebrates Diwali?
Diwali is a Hindu festival celebrated every year to mark the start of the Hindu New Year. People from countries across the world come together to celebrate the festival. Diwali means ‘rows of lighted lamps’. The celebration is named after the lights and oil lamps – diyas – people use to decorate their homes, shops and streets.
The Story Of Diwali
The most well-known story of Diwali is that of Rama, the prince of Ayodhya. He was ordered by his father to leave home and live in the forest for 14 years. He took his wife Sita with him, as well as his brother, Lakshmana. Sita was abducted by Ravana, the 10-headed king of the demons, who took her away to his island kingdom of Lanka. Brave Rama fought and killed Ravana, saving his beloved Sita, before returning to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile. To welcome their joyful return, the people lit up their homes with diyas and decorated the streets and houses. This is thought to be the beginning of the Diwali traditions.
When Is Diwali?
Although celebrated annually, the exact date of Diwali changes from year to year because it follows a Hindu calendar which is based on the cycles of the moon. This year, Diwali falls on Thursday 4th November and runs for five days.
How Is It Celebrated?
The ‘festival of lights’ is celebrated in lots of different ways. The streets and houses are lit up with bright lights and the skies are filled with fireworks. Many Hindus light diyas to welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, into their homes to bring prosperity. Lakshmi is often depicted as a beautiful woman with four arms, standing on a lotus flower.
Rangolis are also a very popular tradition – this is the art of drawing beautifully intricate patterns using colourful powders and pastes. Rangoli is often drawn by the entrance of the home to welcome the gods in and to bring good luck.
People also celebrate Diwali by exchanging gifts and sweets, spending time with loved ones and enjoying festive meals together. Other Diwali traditions include spring-cleaning the home, wearing new clothes, making Indian sweets and visiting temple for worship. It’s a time of joy and happiness!
Hidden Strength wishes you a Diwali that brings happiness, prosperity and joy to you and all your family.